Opening Friday, September 7 at the Continuum is the 50 seat Lee & Marie’s Cakery, the brainchild of social entrepreneur and philanthropist, Andrea “Andy” Travaglia, who has partnered with pastry chef Yannis Janssens, one of Dessert Professional magazine's Top Ten Pastry Chefs of 2010. Lee & Marie's will serve breakfast and lunch daily with pastries made from scratch in their Wynwood-based production kitchen.
Big on local sourcing, Lee & Marie's gets their milk and cream from Myakka's Dakin Farms, coffee from Panther and all sorts of ingredients from Paradise Farms to create, among other things, the "Panther espresso coffee pudding and Hummingbird cake, an old-fashioned Southern treat laden with pineapple, coconut, bananas and pecans with brown butter frosting; Maple Bacon & Corn muffins and Meyer lemon bars, to name just a few."
But this isn't just your ordinary sweet spot. Travaglia, in tandem with the University of Miami/Nova Southeastern University’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, provides employment opportunities for autistic adults, "helping to guide them on a path to greater independence and an enhanced quality of life," says a press release.
Open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Lee & Marie’s will offer four or five featured cakes and pies of the day, including the namesake Lee’s famous New York cheesecake and Marie’s German chocolate cake; coconut cake with soft coconut caramel; red velvet cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting; Dutch salty caramel apple pie and “Cup Cones,” a new take on cupcakes: mini-cupcakes served inside an ice cream cone with different flavors and fillings. There's also an American Éclair collection featuring fillings including Heath Bar fudge; Boston cream; red velvet and caramel cheesecake popcorn.
In addition to the baked goods, Lee & Marie’s also has a lunch menu featuring salads and artisan sandwiches, ranging in price from $10 to $12. On that menu: Lee & Marie’s BLT&A with country bread, pork belly, kimchi aioli and avocado; chicken curry salad on ciabatta with apples and golden raisins and a steak Panini of prime rib roast, Trugole cheese and caramelized onions; arugula salad served with local Hani’s goat cheese, pecans and roasted beets; and a classic Caesar comprised of romaine lettuce, Parmigiano crisp and brioche croutons, among others.
Janssens, incidentally, is a native of Belgium and classically trained in pastry arts, working at pastry atelier Del Rey under Champion du Monde Winner Gunther Van Essche. His most recent gig was as executive pastry chef at the Fontainebleau.
“Everything we are doing at Lee & Marie’s radiates positivity. We are working with local farmers and suppliers to make sure, when possible, that all of our products are created with ingredients that are fresh, natural, and organic. And thanks to Andy’s passion, we have an opportunity to share our training and skills with community that can directly benefit. Andy has created an incredible environment and we are so excited to introduce Lee & Marie’s to the Miami Beach community – and the world.”