A few months ago, Jardin St. James opened a pop-up, micro boulangerie in Potts Point producing French baguettes with imaginative fillings. Now, they've announced that the pop-up has become permanent and will undergo a name change: Maurice Baguette.
The namesake of Darlinghurst's new cafe was a butcher from Brittany, France. He was the grandfather of JSJ's founder Julien Besnard, who has vivid memories of him preparing baguettes after a day's hunt. An early riser, Maurice would head into town each morning and pick up fresh ingredients from the farmers' markets, often returning with surprising fillings.
"When I moved to Australia, the one thing I thought was missing was a good French baguette," says Besnard. "So I decided to open a baguette bar myself."
Besnard has incorporated his grandfather's creations into Maurice's menu. Baguettes include La Parisien with smoked ham, swiss cheese, salted butter and cornichons; La Pro with prosciutto, blue cheese, pesto and sundried tomatoes; and Le Cordon Bleu with chicken breast, ham, camembert, caramelised onion and dijon. Of course, there's an assortment of cakes, eclairs and tarts, and like JSJ, coffee is supplied by The Little Marionette.
The cafe operates from a tiny pocket directly underneath the Coca-Cola billboard. Outfitting was completed by hospitality designers Guru Project, and features a royal blue and white colour-scheme and a larger-than-life caricature of the Frenchman himself. "Rather than going with a look that is associated with the typical French boulangerie (red, rustic and old world) we wanted to take a more modern approach," says Besnard.
Maurice is open every day between 7am and 8pm at 82 Darlinghurst Road, Potts Point. For more information, visit their Facebook page.