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Ganache: Panache in Edmonds | Art & Appetitie


September 16, 2017

Nikolai Kulakevich in his Ganache Patisserie and Cafe on Main Street in Edmonds, which already has many regulars.

Nikolai “Nick” Kulakevich came by his love of baking early.

"It's crazy. As a little kid, I remember visiting my grandfather's bakery and taking in all the wonderful smells.” Whenever anyone asked what he wanted to do when he grew up, he would respond emphatically, “I'm going to be a pastry chef!”

But it wasn't until the age of 40 that he and his wife Renata recognized a business opportunity and jumped at it. The American palate seems to be ready for something more than just the glazed donut and the blueberry muffin. Something a little more sophisticated, like European-style pastries, might just have a market.

Nick and Renata began by opening a tiny commercial bakery in Everett that catered to European delis and grocery stores. In 2009, they moved their operation to Mountlake Terrace and eventually opened Crema De La Crema – their first pastry shop, which is now closed.

Early this spring, another opportunity presented itself when an ideal location in downtown Edmonds became available. Now, Nick begins his workday at 5 a.m. in Mountlake Terrace at his commercial kitchen. But at 10, when he's delivered the goods to his new café, Ganache Patisserie and Cafe, his favorite time of the day begins.

He allows himself a moment to relax with a cup of coffee and a pastry and watches his neighbors open their shops as customers begin to stream into town. He's noticed that there's a sense of community, a friendliness in Edmonds that he enjoys very much. Interactions with customers are more than just sterile business transactions, he said.

After six weeks, Ganache already has regulars that you can set your watch by. Many more people stumble in, delighted to discover a European-style bakery in town.

If you haven't had the pleasure of visiting yet, let me make a couple of recommendations:

The Volcano Cake: There's nothing quite like it – it’s entirely the bakery’s own invention. Cut into it with your fork and you'll discover that it's not a layer cake at all. Instead, small pieces of cake are mixed together with frosting. It's topped with generous dollops of chocolate sauce. It’s attractive and whimsical – a delight both to the eye and the palate.

The Napoleon: I tried this gem at Nick's suggestion. Imagine mascarpone cream, whipping cream and thin layers of pastry dough stacked together and finished with baked crumb shards of the thinnest pastry crust. While you're at it, throw in a “secret ingredient or two.”

You won't be disappointed – unless you try to eat it with a fork. Be brave – use your fingers. As my grandmother used to say when she discarded her fork: “it's time to go to the banquet!”

Chocolate mousse cake: As an unabashed chocoholic, this concoction was the first thing I ordered on opening day. It’s dense, rich and heavy on the chocolate cream, light on the layer cake. In short, it’s everything I could hope for. It’s sweet, but not too sweet – in keeping with the European trend to moderate sugar.

Besides, Ganache doesn't need to resort to burying everything in sugar – that’s a baker's trick used to extend shelf life and mask the use of substandard ingredients. Actually, it’s hard to imagine anything getting stale there. Their baked goods seem to disappear out of the display case practically as fast as they fill it.

I also have it on good authority that the almond croissants and the “chocolomi” (chocolate shaped like a salami) are not to be overlooked.

A few savory items exist as well. Their sandwiches look very appetizing and they hope to add quiche, pirozhki and danish in the future.

I highly recommend Ganache. It's a great addition to the downtown core. I wish them many years of success!

The Volcano Cake is a treat for the eye and palate.

Ganache Patisserie and Cafe

Rating: 4.9 out of 5.

Where: 407 Main St., Edmonds

Hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Store plans to be open Sunday in the near future.

Price range: $4-$30

Information: 425-280-9255


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