From Paris, With Love 2

Essence Bakery Brings Delicious French-Café Inspired Treats to the Valley

You haven’t experienced the immeasurable flavor of perfection until you’ve tasted an authentic French croissant. Now, there are many American versions of croissants, and for the untrained palette, they all taste pretty good. However, when you have the opportunity to relish a croissant that only the French know how to make, you will immediately taste the difference; as the crust is much more light, flaky and buttery. I only know of two places where you can experience such delicacies– in Paris, naturally, and at Essence Bakery Cafe.

Eugenia Theodosopoulos grew up in Southern Ohio and started baking pies at the age of 13 for her grandfather’s restaurant. At the age of 26, Eugenia went to Paris for Culinary School where she studied under some of the best French chefs in the city. She also met her husband, Giles Combes, there and in 1994 they moved to Arizona and opened a catering business. After 17 years of catering, they opened Essence Bakery Café in Tempe, and in 2013, they opened the Arcadia location.

Chef Eugenia’s specialties include French croissants, napoleons, French macaroons and baguettes. She is still passionate about her love for baking and creating culinary delicacies, which lead to her being awarded the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame, Pastry Chef Extraordinaire in 2011. In addition, her talent extends to the bakery’s lunch menu, which offers a wonderful selection with daily specials—there is only one word that describes her Quiche Loraine – Wow! Absolutely the Best.