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Sweet Spot: Pâtisserie Mélanie's Kouign-Amann

A school teacher turned Hillcrest pastry chef crafts a cross between a palmier and croissant


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Photo by Paula Watts

Last Valentine’s Day, former Crawford High School teacher Melanie Dunn opened Pâtisserie Mélanie, a lifelong dream brought to fruition after training at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris.

Since then, it’s become a fast favorite in Hillcrest, where she operates from the street-level floor of her apartment thanks to California’s Cottage Food Law, which permits baking in and selling out of one’s home. Her vision was to replicate the high-end patisseries she saw in Paris.

There you’ll find her top seller, the kouign-amann, “a cross between a palmier and croissant.” After rolling out a mixture of flour, salt, yeast, and water, she laminates the dough with butter and bakes them for just under an hour. The result is caramelized and flaky on the outside, tender and buttery on the inside.

Currently, her permit keeps her from selling anything more than pastries and bottled sparkling water, but she’s looking for a bigger space. As she says, “We would love to serve coffee, breakfast, and lunch like a Parisian café, with a chalkboard menu that changes daily.”

3788 Park Boulevard, Hillcrest patisseriemelanie

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