Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.
Francois Collet has a deep resume. The second generation French-born chef trained across the pond in addition to tutelage at the Culinary Institute of America. Past gigs have included Epcot in Orlando and the Buckhead Bread Company.
But you’re not likely to meet this cafe’s namesake in Alpharetta. Much like Sweet Tentations on Holcomb Bridge Road, Collet French Pastry is a retail arm of Monsieur Collet’s wholesale business. Located on Peachtree Industrial, Collet crafts delicate French pastries for five star hotels and restaurants.
Instead you’ll meet Catherine Taylor. Herself French-born, Taylor recently relocated from Florida where she retired as a culinary school instructor. Even though most of her products are made elsewhere, she’s certainly got a grasp of technique used to craft these works of art. And I could listen to her pronounce the names of French pastries all day.
Make your first visit for breakfast and try the apple pie. While not graced with a French name, these pies are beautiful and equally delicious. Thinly sliced apples are carefully arranged over a rich custard and held together by a pastry shell. Dusted with powdered sugar, it’ll satisfy your sweet breakfast tooth.
Or you can’t go wrong with a simple croissant. Collet’s is large and golden brown on the outside. It’s flaky exterior yields to a buttery soft and delicate texture inside. A chocolate-filled variety is available for a bit more.
Lunch options include quiche, sandwiches and soups. It’s a small menu at this point but could compete with places like Mittie’s Tea Room for ladies seeking a dainty yet delicious meal.
Collet’s cooler is home to a dizzying array of pastries, from tarts to eclairs. A flourless chocolate cake, who’s French name unfortunately escapes me, was outstanding. Velvety smooth chocolate is hugged by several chocolate shells. It’s adorned with edible gold leaf on top.
And you can’t go wrong picking up some cookies to go. They didn’t last long when shared with my co-workers. Neither did the coconut macaroons. Slightly crispy on the outside yet moist in the middle, they exploded with coconut flavor. You’ll eat every crumb.
Collet is a keeper. The location is a bit of a challenge to find, but is certainly worth seeking out. Au revoir!
Collet French Pastry Cafe is located at 2225 Old Milton Parkway in the Sabri Guven building.