World-renowned chocolatier and pastry chef Oscar Ortega’s new vanilla matcha latte is the perfect answer to increasingly crisp fall mornings. Ortega makes his own matcha powder by hand, and the creamy drink is flavored with granulated sugar, tapioca and almond milk, which Chef Ortega claims is the key to its earthy flavor. “You can’t taste the almond exactly, but it adds something,” he smiles.
Hot drinks like the vanilla matcha and equally satisfying turmeric latte are just a few of many creative new items coming out of Chef Ortega’s workshop, Atelier Ortega, where all of his chocolate, pastries and desserts are conceptualized and crafted. Atelier on Scott Lane isn’t just a workshop, though; expanded outdoor seating makes it the perfect spot to enjoy autumn afternoons with a good book, warm latte and pan au chocolate. Many of Chef Ortega’s new items are also available at CocoLove, his downtown Jackson dessert boutique, so stop in and sample them all.
When Chef Ortega began to brainstorm new gelato flavors for summer, the idea of a convenient, kid-friendly treat popped into his head (pun intended). The resulting gelato pops were so delicious (and delightfully reminiscent of ice cream truck treats) that, instead of remaining a short summer special, they stuck around for the foreseeable future. Hurry in to either Atelier Ortega or CocoLove while the days are still warm(ish) and pick up a pop in either chocolate or vanilla. They are every bit as smooth and creamy as the award winning Italian-style gelato Ortega is famous for, but more fun to eat!
Savory and sweet crepes
Chef Ortega’s crepes, available only at Atelier Ortega, are as good as any you might find at a roadside stand in Paris– which makes sense, considering Ortega’s European pastry education. Two new flavors now reside on the menu alongside tried-and-true classics like the Ortega chocolate crepe. Even if you came for the sweets, you might be surprised at how much you find yourself craving savory after trying the satiating duck confit crepe made with roasted vegetables. More in the mood for dessert for breakfast? The new sweet crepe made with caramel-orange compote and cassis sorbet is both surprising and satisfying.
If you only have the time or appetite for a little bite of sweet, try Ortega’s new buche bars or colorful macaroons in brand new flavors, available at both Atelier Ortega and CocoLove. The buche bars feature fruit on bottom, with ganache and a chocolate layer on top. Our favorite is the 80% dark ganache with orange pate de fruit (orange and Ortega chocolate just go so well together). Delicate macaroons make a cute little gift or pick-me-up, and come in chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, raspberry and the newest mouthwatering addition– blueberry cheesecake.