Laminations Be Praised! How the Croissant Came to Be, and Other Crusty Tales

Presented by Sandra Holl, Chef/Partner, Floriole, Chicago

Although the French are known for croissants, they did not invent this globally appealing culinary pleasure. Come join us as one of Chicago’s most celebrated bakers, Sandra Holl, traces the origins of the croissant and other “laminated” pastries and touches on some of the colorful, although not necessarily true, origin stories.

But what exactly is laminated pastry, which sounds about as appetizing as a concoction made from layers of formica?

“It’s just a fancy name for a family of buttery layered doughs,.” Sandra explains. “While the classic most well known, and celebrated member of this family is the croissant, the family includes puff pastry, Danish and my personal favorite Kouign amann.” Sandra says that laminated pastries are created by rolling butter into dough, then making a series of folds and turns until the dough has numerous alternating layers of dough and butter. When these doughs are baked, the moisture in the butter turns to steam and forces the layers to separate and puff, leaving a light and airy product. Sounds simple, but when made by experts like Sandra, the result can only be described as culinary ecstasy. Warning: Sandra will be bringing tasting samples from her nationally acclaimed Lincoln Park bakery, Floriole. Adult discretion is advised!

Biography: Sandra was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, graduated with a BA in French literature from the University of Colorado, taught English to high school students in France and worked in marketing in San Francisco before discovering her love of food and cooking. After volunteering as a prep cook for a non-profit and staging at a few restaurants she decided to sign up at the California Culinary Academy. She spent her externship and the following years working at world renowned Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. Sandra and her husband, Mathieu, left the Bay area for Chicago and started Floriole in a tent at the Chicago Green City Market. They have grown their business into a flourishing full service cafe and bakery specializing in French inspired pastries rooted in midwestern ingredients. The bakery has been named among the top 10 bakeries in the US, has received a Chicago Tribune Dining Award and is recognized as having some of the best bread in the country. Sandra has contributed to Bon Appetit and Sweet Paul magazines, appeared on Martha Stewart and Unique Sweets. In 2016 she was named Pastry Chef of the Year at the Jean Banchet Awards.

Saturday, July 21, 2018
10 a.m. to noon
At Louis Weiss Memorial Hospital
Auditorium, lower level
4646 N. Marine Drive (at Wilson), Chicago

(Signs will say “Permit Parking” and “Doctor’s Lot” but it’s OKAY for YOU to use on this Saturday!)

Cost of the lecture program is $5, $3 for students and no charge for CHC members, faculty and students of Kendall college, and Weiss staff and faculty.

To reserve, please e-mail your reservation: