Pastry chef Yigit Pura is a busy guy. Owner of Tout Sweet Patisserie inside Macy's Union Square, Pura recently opened his second store at Town & Country Village in Palo Alto, as well as a kiosk at the Ferry Building Farmers Market. But, since we love him and he loves us, Pura gave us a few minutes of his time to answer our burning questions. Eat him up!
7x7: What inspired you to go sweet instead of savory?
YP: I don't think it was ever a choice. The first two years of my career were in savory kitchens, handling proteins and stocks that used to make my stomach turn. I always seemed to be too OCD for the savory kitchen, and I've never been a "go with the flow" kind of guy, so combining my need for organization with my lust for sugar led way to a very happy road.
7x7: What’s your favorite junk food?
YP: I fear I have too many to list. But one of my ultimate comfort-junk food combos is a bag of white cheddar cheese Cheetos, Sour Patch kids, and Diet Doke. So awful, yet so wonderful.
7x7: How are you able to work around so much sugar and still look so damn hot?
(Blushes) Honestly, I think it comes from being happy and doing what I'm passionate about. Even though I work my ass off, at the end of the day, I'm doing what I've always wanted. And, I'm sure the combination of eating local fruits and chocolate everyday helps too (and my trainer at the gym!).
7x7: Where do you see your business heading this year?
YP: Create, inspire and indulge. That's my philosophy this year. Now that we have our store in San Francisco and one in Palo Alto, I want to focus this year on creating really outlandish desserts that will hopefully blow peoples minds.
7x7: Any plans to return to TV this year?
YP: Yes. I have a few irons in the fire, but in TV, nothing is certain until it's on air. Fingers crossed.
7x7: How has SF influenced you?
YP: SF influences me everyday! From the farmers market to all our followers at Tout Sweet. In SF, we have access to the most insanely delicious produce, and it truly is a mixing pot of cultures, so new flavors and inspiration is literally everywhere. One of my favortie things is walking around Clement Street in the Inner Richmond or, better yet, all the small shops and grocery stores in Japantown trying the decipher ingredients and flavors I've never tasted. You can go around the world and taste all sorts of cuisines without ever leaving the 7x7 radius. Also, foodies in SF are brutal—in the worst way and the best way. People want good food, and aren't afraid to speak their minds. As challenging as it can be as a creative person, it's always good to keep yourself in check.
7x7: What’s your perfect lazy Sunday?
YP: Lazy Sundays are what I live for. The perfect lazy Sunday is a great brunch with just a few friends, then to take a giant blanket to Golden Gate Park (sorry, not Dolores) by the Conservatory of Flowers, with a couple bottles of rosé or Champagne, a few nibbles and sweets, and just let go. It always tickles my heart to see the band of rollerbladers that gather right around there off of the main drive. It's truly San Francisco. The group that gathers there has awesome energy; old or young, black or white, gay or straight, it's people just in their happy moment.
7x7: What’s your hands-down favorite thing to eat in SF?
YP: This isn't a fair question. Really! But lately, I'm obsessed with my friend Azalina's new Malaysian restaurant in the twitter building called Azalina's. The curries are mind-blowingly delicious. Just few weeks ago I had a coconut-chicken dish which, the second I put it in my mouth, I thought "why the fuck haven't I ever tasted this before in my life!" So delicious.
7x7: Where would you go for a night out on the town?
YP: If it doesn't involve my pillow, I do love going out for classy cocktails at a few of my favorite locations. One being Bourbon and Branch in the Tenderloin—totally closed off, private, dark, quiet. The perfect place to get together with one or two friends, have one or two (or three) really well-made drinks, and just be.
7x7: Favorite Bay Area day trip?
YP: Drive up to Point Reyes Station via Hwy 1. It's one of my favorite things to do to unwind and get out into nature. When you pass the Golden Gate Bridge, take the long windy road up Hwy. 1 and stop by Bollinas along the way, and just take in the ocean, the cliffs and just the beauty of it all. Then get some nibbles and wine at Cow Girl Creamery in Point Reyes Station, and have a mini picnic outside. The tiny, quaint town is really adorable too. It's a perfect 5-hour day trip.
Dolores Park or Presidio Park?
Neither. Golden Gate Park any day!
Bike or Muni?
Burrito or burger?
East Bay or North Bay?
Happy hour or brunch?
Divisadero or Valencia?
Three words that describe SF to you?
Delicious, Magical, Expensive.
Visit Tout Sweet Patisserie inside Macy's Union Square, and at Town & Country Village in Palo Alto, toutsweetsf.com.