MASTERPIECE OF THE HEART
Soraiya Nagree, owner and baker of La Pâtisserie by Luxe Sweets, lives by famous American writer Gertrude Stein’s quote “America is my country and Paris is my hometown.” A Parisian infatuation has transformed this brilliant engineer into a brilliant pastry chef with a penchant for all things sweet. Nagree’s dream began in 2006 with Luxe Sweets and after years of perfecting the concept, her vision is now complete with the opening of her French pastry shop, La Pâtisserie by Luxe Sweets.
A trip to France when Soraiya was only ten years old sparked her affinity for all things French, especially French pastries. Upon walking into her first pâtisserie in Paris, she knew that one day she was destined to have her own shop that was filled with the smells and sounds of Paris. The tastes and sights were unparalleled, and even in her youngest of years it was clear she was to spend the rest of her life encompassed in that lifestyle.
Head Pastry Chef
I came to the pastry world from my sincere love of sweets, especially all things chocolate. After some inner reflection, I took a leap of faith and attended Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts here in Austin. It gave me a solid foundation to start from, as well as the confidence that my "leap of faith" was a step in the right direction. I carried that knowledge into my first pastry job as a morning baker for non other than La Patisserie, as well as a stage at Parkside under Chef Steven Cak. The things I learned from pastry school, my brief time with Chef Cak and working under Soraiya for the past 7 years have been invaluable to my current successes and my drive for future accomplishments.
Outside of work, my family enjoys hiking, camping, and road trips. Not an actual activity, but I'm always on the hunt for the best chocolate croissants and truffles. Thus far, La Patisserie has the best chocolate croissant in Austin...I may be bias but I have tried many and it holds up for me.
WHY FRENCH PASTRIES
It All Comes Together
In college, Soraiya earned a chemical engineering degree from Trinity University in San Antonio. She went on to be a urethane engineer for a bowling ball manufacturing company, before deciding she would rather be experimenting with edible ingredients, rather than in-edible chemicals. She headed to the Le Cordon Bleu-Texas Culinary Academy in 2005 and earned her Associates of Applied Science in Culinary Arts. Soraiya spent the next few years building her oh-so-sweet and successful brand, Luxe Sweets, which delivered her baked goods all over the city, most notably her macarons. During this time, Soraiya cultivated a team of bakers that respected her philosophy about sweets and came to work each day with the same passion Soraiya put in to developing her brand. Soraiya’s delectable meringue sandwiches filled with buttercream and ganache quickly developed a cult following in Austin. With a strong local fan base, Soraiya knew expansion was key and began shipping her macarons and other sweets nationally. As the Luxe Sweets brand flourished, Soraiya’s life became an incredible balancing act as she still managed her commercial kitchen, The Kitchen Space. While Luxe Sweets was becoming a celebrity of sorts, Soraiya became a favorite in the Austin community and has dominated at the Austin Chocolate Festival for “Best Cookie,” “Best Fudge,” “Best Dessert” and “Best Brownie” every year since 2006.
Into the Kitchen
Such achievement gave Soraiya the confidence to move out of of The Kitchen Space and make her dream of her own pâtisserie a tangible one. Upon visiting La Pâtisserie, Soraiya’s guests will feel as if they have suddenly been transported into a quiet street in Paris where nothing matters except a delicious cup of coffee paired with a moist financier, a decadent gâteau l’opera, a perfectly flaky mille-feuille or one of Soraiya’s signature and beloved French macarons.