A French-trained pastry chef creates “the good life” in Utah
The Grand America Hotel is a symbol of luxury. From the Italian marble floors and English wool carpets, to warm wood paneling and glass chandeliers, guests are sure to feel like VIPs—even if they are simply visiting for afternoon tea or need a box of macarons to go.
Inside the 24-story, white stone landmark hotel sits the mini-French bakery La Bonne Vie, which means “the good life,” and is designed to convey old-world refinement in layers of pastels. Think rich pink drapery, a bakery case full of a rainbow’s palette of desserts, and high-gloss white cabinetry specially lit to dramatically display packages of chocolates and cookies.
Executive pastry chef Xavier Baudinet, who grew up working at his family’s bakery in France, brought his talents and his personal recipes to Utah in 2013. He and his staff of 14 provide all of the baked items—including baguettes and croissants, pastries and cookies—along with gelato and ice creams to La Bonne Vie and the rest of the hotel’s restaurants and events, including the famed afternoon tea. They start their day at 2 a.m. and run two shifts to accommodate demand. They produce 45,000 macarons alone in a month.
Baudinet likes to rotate desserts every three months. This spring expect to find lots of pastries featuring lemon, raspberry and rose, including Ispahan macarons, made with lemon-raspberry gelee and rose raspberry sorbet, and a lemon-flavored tiramisu.
“This is a great place to work,” says Baudinet. “They never tell me, ‘No.’”
La Bonne Vie
The Grand America Hotel
555 S. Main, SLC