Ladurée’s Elisabeth Holder-Raberin and Pierre- Antoine Raberin land in California, bringing their iconic macarons with them.
The breeze is warm under the large California oak trees and the table is set with café au lait dahlias and bottles of rosé. Conversation is half French, half English, as lunch plates are cleared to make way for towers of macarons—the classic Ladurée macarons that fans line up for every day in cities around the world like Paris, New York and Miami. Having fallen in love with Los Angeles, Elisabeth Holder-Raberin and Pierre-Antoine Raberin of Ladurée U.S. are soaking up the sun and toasting to their West Coast debut with friends in Montecito.
By the end of the year, the company will open two Southern California stores: one in Beverly Hills and another at The Grove in L.A. While the 150-year-old brand has a strong global presence, it’s only been in the states a few years. The first two West Coast locations, set to open mid-December, will be chef-driven restaurants serving much more than pastries (think avocado toast and tofu burgers); Beverly Hills will boast an all-white ’70s vibe, while The Grove’s interior will take on a more classic, traditional French look.
Each location will offer a full menu of natural foods, late hours and plenty of seating (with ample outdoor space at The Grove), while also retaining its quick pastry counter for those simply after the beautiful, famed delicacies. “They’re the supermodel of pastry,” Elisabeth says.
Elisabeth and Pierre-Antoine met while working at Hermès, and she often compares the two iconic French brands for their “know-how craftsmanship.” Since the couple and their twin boys, Joseph and Nathaniel, are spending more time in Los Angeles, they’ve found themselves taken with beach days, weekly farmers-market trips, and motorcycling on country roads. While they still have calls on New York and Parisian time, they’ve quickly found a California way of life and are happy to be bringing their signature treats (which happen to be gluten-free) to the Golden State.
Los Angeles has motivated the couple to add seasonal macarons to the lineup, including passion fruit. They indulge in a little treat every day, and Elisabeth, in pure French fashion, advises, “Sugar is not poison,” but kids should eat good sugar and good ingredients. And forget the all-American open-fridge policy: Pierre-Antoine says absolutely no snacking for the boys—it’s not the French way. “But,” he says, lifting his glass in the sunshine, “we drink all day.” 189 The Grove Dr., L.A.; 311 N. Beverly Dr., B.H.; laduree.com. • Jennifer Blaise Kramer.
Edited by Lesley McKenzie.
PHOTOS: Blue Caleel.