Beth Biundo has been baking sweet confections since she was just a child. Luckily for locals, it wasn't just a passing phase. In addition to being the talented pastry chef behind the delightful desserts at Lilette Restaurant (3637 Magazine St.), the native New Orleanian recently partnered with Lilette owner and chef John Harris to launch a new satellite business called, fittingly enough, Cakes By Beth.
Having trained at New York's French Culinary Institute and then worked for a string of top-tier restaurants, including the Windsor Court, Delmonico and Cuve, Biundo knows a thing or two about creating the kinds of impressive desserts that keep customers coming back. Both her finales at Lilette and her special-order fare (cakes, cookies, fruit tarts, monogrammed cupcakes and other desserts) share some enticing similarities.
"I use premium chocolate, seasonal fruits and local organic dairy and butter in my desserts," says Biundo, who began taking special requests during her two and a half years at Lilette, which now serves as the headquarters and kitchen for the new joint venture. "Lilette has a loyal audience," she says. "People know and love the food, and this was a great way to offer our customers a way to have our desserts at home."
Ideal for an impressive finish to a dinner party, birthday party or other occasion, Biundo's desserts are made from recipes she has been perfecting over the past 10 years. "I focus on using more fresh, high-quality ingredients and less sugar," she explains. "So the cakes are more flavorful, but not overly sweet."
Among the items on the Cakes By Beth menu are triple chocolate cake, lemon cake with lemon curd, passion fruit cake with buttercream frosting and passion fruit filling, creme fraiche cake with buttercream icing and berries, coconut cream cake and carrot cake. Other desserts and requests for items not on the menu are welcome. For more information, call 782-9736. Women's Summit Lisa Ling, a correspondent for National Geographic and the Oprah Winfrey Show, will be the keynote speaker at "Educating Women for a World of Crisis," the inaugural summit of the Newcomb College Institute at Tulane University. The event -- Feb. 8-11 at Tulane's Lavin-Bernick Center -- will explore innovative ways women around the world resolve crises on the local, national and global levels. For more information, visit http://newcomb.tulane.edu/.
- Pastry chef Beth Biundo shows off a cake available through Cake By Beth, a business she and Lilette chef/owner John Harris have started.