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One of the highly anticipated participants in Sydney's new-wave bakery push finally hits launch stage this week. Lode Pies and Pastries, the Surry Hills spin-off fuelled by two chefs from the two-hatted LuMi restaurant, slides open its pie-warmer on November 3.
Lode is a joint venture between LuMi owner-chef Federico Zanellato and Lorenzo Librino, a graduate of the LuMi kitchen. "We've tried to make it feel more like a boutique [than a bakery], it's super luxurious," Zanellato says.
And while there are pies, they are chef pies. The filling of the vegetarian pie is a mix of potato, roasted capsicum, caramelised onion and comte cheese. And there is an even more upmarket range of pithivier-style pies, including a shiitake and beef version, on the opening menu. "We'd like to do family-sized pies [down the track]," Zanellato says.
Apart from bringing the skill of hatted chefs to Lode, the emphasis is on the quality of the ingredients. They use European butter and organic Australian flour, and Zanellato and Librino are keen to bring "new flavour profiles" to classic pastries.
The "Crown of 487" pastry mixes white chocolate custard, raspberry glaze and rose petal, while Lode's blueberry tart is filled with macadamia frangipane, blueberry jam and piped cream cheese custard, then topped with fresh blueberries and lemon zest.
"We'd like to be as good as Lune in Melbourne, or Rollers in Manly," Zanellato says. With the number of top-line chefs jumping into the baking business, the bar is getting high.
Sydney has more venues on the way, with Mat Lindsay (Ester, Poly) a co-owner at soon-to-open A.P. Bakery in Darlinghurst, while Neil Perry is a partner in Baker Bleu, which will open in Double Bay early next year.