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Still-life paintings of luscious desserts made Northern
California contemporary artist Wayne Thiebaud world-famous. The real thing can
be found in Loomis at Divine Desserts by Aguirre, where the art of pastry chef
Javier Aguirre is earning him well deserved attention.
Just three months ago, Aguirre and his wife, Esther, opened Divine Desserts in the little yellow house at the corner of Doc Barnes Drive and South Walnut Street. Don't let the small retail space fool you. There's a great deal of activity going on in the back as the Aguirres - he is the pastry chef and she is the baker - work diligently (Javier's work day begins at 3 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m.) to fill wholesale orders for restaurants, caterers and other bakeries.
"We rely on hotels, B&Bs, the wholesale trade in order to succeed," Esther said.
Javier designs and creates a variety of distinctive gourmet treats. The handcrafted, European-style pastries include tortes, truffles, cheesecakes, tarts and individual French pastries, all made with the finest, high-quality ingredients available.
"All my flavor compounds come from Europe," Javier explains.
He uses orange, rum, passion fruit and other flavors that are
in paste form.
"I work with European butter creams, high-quality chocolate, real cream and fresh fruits," he added.
Javier's pastries are works of art that are as beautiful as they are delicious.
The tiramisu tartlet is a feast for the eyes and as light as a feather. A delightful tiramisu cream filling of Mascarpone cheese sits on a layer of yellow cake, topped with lady fingers soaked in coffee syrup, with coffee cream on top and finished with a dusting of Dutch cocoa powder. It's just one of the many tantalizing delicacies that can be found at Divine Desserts.
Doreen Carlson of Loomis was making her first visit to Divine Desserts on Monday.
"I think this is fabulous," Carlson said. "I used to do cake decorating for the kids and I know this takes a lot of work."
Born in the colonial city of Guanajuato, in central Mexico, Javier, 45, came to the United States in 1980. His first job was in Reno, where for more than 10 years he learned his trade working with an Austrian pastry chef. Prior to opening Divine Desserts, he worked for 15-1/2 years at Blattler's wholesale pastries in Auburn.
The Aguirres are residents of Ophir and have lived in the area since 1992. Together, they have six children: "His, mine, and ours," Esther said.
Family members help out doing different tasks at the shop.
Esther has been a grocery baker for 25 years, having taught at a culinary school before she began working in an Auburn bakery. The bakery goods Esther makes for Divine Desserts are also handmade with quality ingredients and flavorings.
In addition to the pastries available daily in the store's cases, Divine Desserts accepts special orders for all of its goods. Orders should be placed two business days in advance; and, during the holiday season, additional notice would be appreciated.
Name: Divine Desserts by Aguirre
Address: 6045 So. Walnut St., at the corner of Doc Barnes Dr.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.