During holidays we can culinary indulge ourselves. Ala’s Miss Mellow sweet goods are the best example of such festive pleasures. Her famous butterscotch tart, brownie with salted caramel, tarte tatin and caramel popcorn can be found at Relaks and Filtry Cafes.
Ala Gabillaud finished cultural studies, worked as a makeup artist and co-founded with her partner Krzysztof Kowalski SUPERSALON – a bookshop. In the kitchen, she has always been like a kid in a candy store. Hence an idea for a confectionery business. Soon she will open her own place in Warsaw. She doesn’t want to reveal the location yet not to jinx. We are waiting impatiently. We just can’t get enough of excellent patisseries in Warsaw.
What are you preparing for Christmas? Do you have any particular Christmas tastes?
– I have just delivered to Relaks a gingerbread made of rye flour with buckwheat honey. It is my favourite gingerbread- tight, like bread but moist, spice-scented, a bit orange. It will last for a few Christmas days, and you will be able to take it with you in a jar.
We make poppy seed cakes with brioche dough, chocolate-praline cakes, tangerine- almond cake with chocolate frosting. I associate winter with gingerbread, tangerine, poppyseed cake and nuts, figs, and raisins.
My mouth waters. How did the adventure with confectionery start?
– Half of my family spends time in the kitchen, if not professionally than amateurish. My mother runs a company with ready-made line of meals and soups, my uncle is a baker. When I was young, I used to visit him and play with my cousin pretending we run a shop, sell bread and sweets. The scent of my childhood was yeast in different forms.
Why confectionery? Probably I have always got along well with butter and flour. Besides sharing with people and making them happy is fun.
Your father is a Frenchman. They are masters in this field.
– I like this certain attitude they have towards pastry. There are bakeries and pastries on every corner which are often visited by kids who buy croissant on their way from school.
In France, craftsmanship is valued. Customers are aware what they eat. No artificial ingredients, aromas and color additives in the product are highly appreciated. I would like to implement the same philosophy here.
Did you grow up in France or Warsaw?
– In Warsaw. This is my city. I have my paths here. I like Muranów very much. We used to live there with Krzysiek for a while before Antośka was born. Especially Ogród Krasńskich with its playgrounds dedicated to children at a different age.
My favourite square is Zbawiciela. It is almost impossible not to meet someone you know on the way.
We live in Ochota, near Narutowicza Square and this is the best place for us. There is Antosia’s nursery school, we have lots of pizzerias, friends, Kolonia and Wielkopolski Park where you may encounter people playing boule.
And as for eating?
– Tarte tatin at Alewino in Mokotoska Street is a real knockout. Served warm, with grated fois gras and verbena ice. This is just so inappropriately delicious! Of course, visit MOD for its jacket potatoes, sprinkled with kaffir lime leaves and served with tamarind mayo.
– Indeed. These are not ordinary ingredients, but the dish is simple. And it is exquisite.
Photo: Aga Bilska