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Absinthe Pastry Chef Luis Villavelazquez Shops the Market

Every week, Lulu Meyer of CUESA gives us the scoop on what's hot and happening at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

This past Saturday I found myself wandering the market with Absinthe and Arlequin Bakery’s executive pastry chef Luis Villavelazquez and his sous-chef Carrie Collins. They were at the market on a mission to pick up berries, herbs and mushrooms and to see about getting Luis’s knife sharpened at Critical Edge. Arlequin’s booth opened at the Thursday market last October and has received rave reviews and gained a loyal following for their scones, cupcakes, cookies and beignets.

Luis, a native San Franciscan, is one of the youngest and most talented pastry chefs working in the city today. He has been a huge supporter of our market and our farmers ever since  he worked under Elizabeth Falkner at Citizen Cake. His scone, cookie and cupcake flavors vary as the seasons change but always reflect his eclectic approach to pastry.

These days, Luis told me he’s inspired by the early spring strawberries from Lucero Farms and fragrant herbs like Marin Roots Farm’ s chocolate mint. Lately he has been experimenting with sweet loose leaf tobacco leaves in a tobacco panna cotta to be offered on the Absinthe dessert menu and a strawberry and crème fraiche scone with a tobacco glaze for the Arlequin booth. Though his approach to desserts is often unusual and inventive, the end result is always satisfying

Some of my personal favorites at the Arlequin booth include the fig and fromage blanc scone, the cocoa nib cupcake filled with huckleberry jam and topped with violet essence frosting, and the maple bacon beignets. Starting this Saturday we are very pleased to welcome Arlequin to the Saturday market. Look for Luis and his crew under the arches just south of the clock-tower, near the Blue Bottle Coffee kiosk.