Even people who never visit Chez Pierre French BAKERY (2901 David Drive, Metairie, 504-267-5839; 3208 Clearview Parkway, Metairie, 504-467-3176; www.chezpierreneworleans.com) may have tasted one of its confections. For 15 years, Chez Pierre has catered events at venues citywide, including the Superdome, Smoothie King Center and the National World War II Museum.
Owner Katrina Tran's previous ventures include Lin's Bakery and Frosty's Caffe. Since opening Chez Pierre's Clearview location in 2015, she and her team of bakers also have provided pastries to all Puccino's and Fairchild's Ice Cream locations.
"The other bakers (and I) put our hearts in everything we make, and we put our passion in it," Tran says. "You can taste the difference."
Chez Pierre French Bakery opened in the 1980s, but Tran expanded the business when she bought it in 2005. Blocks of fresh butter and sacks of flour cover nearly every surface in the Metairie bakery's kitchen. The shop's gleaming countertops and refrigerated cases showcase options for every sweet tooth.
"We do everything from the simple to the extravagant," says Tran, who employs a multilingual staff.
Petit fours, casino mousse, red velvet cakes, eclairs and croissants are wrapped and packaged by the staff. Custom orders for special events include sculpted 3-D cakes and multi-layered Chantilly wedding cakes.
Born in Vietnam, Tran learned to cook from her grandmother. Vietnam's French culinary influence inspired Tran, who serves traditional and modern Vietnamese food alongside classic French pastries at Chez Pierre. She devotes equal attention to pho and chocolate ganache. Scones and flaky meat pies share a display case. Crawfish pies and banh mi are on the menu as well.
"We make everything from scratch, and it's freshly made every day," Tran says. "If I won't eat it my- self, I'm not going to serve it. ... I cook for the whole town to eat."