I know, you don’t want to hear about Christmas, we’re barely past Halloween. But if you’re a pastry-fanatic, or in love with one who will need a holiday gift, this is news you need right now.
John Kraus—former top teacher at Chicago’s French Pastry School, the one-time title-holder as best baker in America as designated by Pastry Art and Design magazine, and of course, above all for our purposes, the owner and visionary behind swoon-worthy Patisserie 46—is going to make dinner.
Yes, dinner! He’s going to close the bakery, hire a band, and serve a 10-course dinner with tea pairings either the Saturday before or the Saturday after Christmas.
“Yes, I can cook, too,” Kraus assured me. “It’s sporadic. If I’m in the mood, I can. And think I’m in the mood. I think we’ll start with a nice soup, a warm cauliflower with duck confit. Then, a light salad with fennel and apples. The main course will be braised beef cheeks, or something like that. Then a cheese course, maybe fourme d’Ambert with my Christmas jam and our beer bread. Now, a light sorbet. Then a series of plated desserts, at least two or three. Then we’ll drop a kugel and a panettone off for everyone, to be eaten family style. Right now I’m thinking it will be one gigantic table, but I’m not sure. A band I just love called Ham Dog will be playing mountain, Christmassy music, ukelele, and guitar. And every course will be matched with a specific tea. I think it will be pretty amazing. And then everybody leaves with a box of chocolates, and mignardises. I think it will be pretty spectacular. Or at least, it better be, for what we’re thinking of charging.”
That is, $100 a head. Is that a lot of money for pastry? Depends on how much you like pastry. But it doesn’t seem like a lot of money for a once-in-a-lifetime 10-course dinner for that special someone who really admires dessert. In fact, I can’t recall a truly head-turning gift for that special someone with a sweet-tooth in Minneapolis in . . . well, ever, actually.
If you want in, bookmark Patisserie 46’s Facebook page, which is where Kraus says he will announce the dinner. Then they’ll start selling seats, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.
Oh, and in other Christmas news you think you don’t want yet, but you really do, guess when Patisserie 46’s holiday breads such as kugel and panettone start to appear? “Right after Thanksgiving we start unleashing the demons,” says Kraus. The first buche de Noël will appear the second week of December.
Patisserie 46, 4552 Grand Ave. S., Mpls., 612-354-3257, patisserie46.com