As the North County restaurant and culinary scene grows, a number of things seem to happen almost synergistically. Excitement and energy spread within the local community of patrons, Chefs and restaurateurs. That energy starts reaching outwards, attracting attention of both outside consumers and media outlets alike. It also starts to draw the attention of industry professionals who see an opportunity in joining a growing pool of talented Chefs and having a hand in shaping an up and coming culinary community.
This post is about one such talented Chef and one of our most highly regarded restaurants here in Oceanside teaming up.
Now, the reason that the aforementioned restaurant is so highly of regarded is due its Chef / owner’s dedication to craft, technique and use of quality ingredients to produce scratch made products daily with a high level of skill and constancy.
That restaurant is of course Petite Madeline Bakery and Bistro owned and operated by Chef Christine Loyola.
Petite Madeline Bakery and Bistro
Petite Madeline serves California / French inspired Bistro fare and classic pastries made with time-honored techniques. Their downtown location has become a daily or weekly ritual for locals seeking out fresh croissants and day rolls or their weekend brunch specials. Having set a high standard and proven the business, Chef Christine has carefully been looking for someone the past couple of years to bring on board and help evolve the business even further. The hard part was finding someone different enough to help expand ideas but rooted in the same philosophies, traditions and attention to detail.
Petite Madeline’s Day Buns
Enter Chef Ian Smith.
Chef Ian has been in the kitchen for a while now, a savory Chef by trade (Like Christine) he started experimenting and honing his dessert skills during his time at The Wine Vault and Bistro here in San Diego. He really started to get notice from both the foodie public, media and Chefs when he opened Swoon Dessert Bar in North Park (this is where I first heard of him and started stalking…I mean following his career.) Swoon and Ian quickly gained a reputation for inventive and delicious food.
Swoon Dessert Bar ~ Bulleit Burbon Butterscotch Pudding W / Dark Chocolate Caviar
Unfortunately Swoon, due to partnership issues, closed its doors before its time. Ian then joined the popular Carnitas Snack Shack crew and while in the kitchen put his imprint on their dessert menu. Wanting to have his own opportunity he took an executive Chef position in North County. It was then that I got Ian involved in North County Food’s third Chefs’ Dinner. It was also there that Christine and Ian had a reunion of sorts. They realized they had worked in the same kitchen years before at La Costa.
Long story short…Ian’s dish of Roasted Pork Belly served at the Chefs’ Dinner was not only a hit among the diners it, along with his acumen in the kitchen, impressed the other chefs, to the point where Ian was courted with no less than three Chef offers from some of the other participants..
Following his heart and what he wanted to do Ian turned down two, some would say more lucrative (monetarily and press wise) offers to accept the position at Petite Madeline where he felt he would be able to express himself creatively as a Chef and, as mentioned in the opening, be part of an emerging talent filled food scene.
Chefs Ian Smith and Christine Loyola ( Introduce yourself and ask them what they mean about being “Accidental Pastry Chefs”)
You will slowly start to see Ian’s influence on Petite Madeline’s specials menu. These changes will not be drastic, subtle technique and ingredient introductions.
The first real introduction to Ian’s food will be the Mother’s Day Menu which Ian has created. It has some new creations from him and one or two brought over or inspired by his cuisine at Swoon.
Example of what you will see on the Mother’s Day Menu. Carrot Cake ~ Carrot cake, topped with cream cheese panna cotta (Ian hates cream cheese frosting), cardamom carrot white chocolate ganache, cake crumbs, garnished with carrot tops. The final Petite Madeline version may differ slightly.
Some unsubstantiated but likely facts about Chef Ian Smith I made up.
He invented the one course tasting menu.
He sleeps in a Chefs Coat
He has taste buds underneath his tongue.
His knives Sharpen themselves.
Hope you are excited about this addition as I am. Now off to Petite Madeline With you..
223 N Coast Hwy,
Oceanside, CA 92054