Melbourne patisserie Madeleine de Proust opens its...

Melbourne patisserie Madeleine de Proust opens its doors

Madeleine de Proust owner HyoJu Park in the newly opened Madeleine de Proust store

As a small girl growing up in South Korea, HyoJu Park watched a pastry chef bake madeleines on TV – and something was sparked in her.

After going on to work as a pastry chef at London’s Langham hotel and then Seoul’s two Michelin-starred restaurant Mingles before relocating to Melbourne to take up a position at Attica, HyoJu says she’s now come full circle after embarking on her latest venture, Madeleine de Proust, with her chef-partner Rong Yao Soh.

Located on Melbourne’s Lygon Street, the newly opened Carlton bakery is entirely dedicated to madeleines – small, shell-shaped sponge cakes that originated in France.

Located on Madeleine de Proust’s shelves are classic madeleines with familiar spins on them – think burnt butter with leatherwood honey; Ferrero Rocher; red velvet; black sesame; as well some with an Asian influence like yuzu and pandan.

When explaining the concept behind the store’s name and concept Rong said it came from a common French expression that has its roots in the writings of Marcel Proust.

In his book Swann’s Way, Proust writes about the nostalgic experience of sharing madeleines with his mother, which reminded him strongly of his childhood. In France, a madeleine de Proust describes a smell, taste, sound, or sensation that evokes memories of childhood or other emotional memories from long ago. It is this feeling the duo hope to recreate with their baked goods.

“We are creating madeleines that can make people share the joys of childhood,” Rong told Broadsheet.

Image: HyoJu Park at Madeleine de Proust. Image courtesy Madeleine de Proust

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