Satisfying your craving for sweets along Echo Park Avenue was once limited to donuts, candy bars and the occasional raspada from a sidewalk vendor. But the opening of new cafes and shops means you don’t have to walk very far on Echo Park Avenue to pick up a freshly-based cupcake, a scoop of gelato, a chunk of artisan peanut brittle and, now, organic, Echo Park-made macarons. The French treat is being made and sold at Delilah Bakery by Bernard and Claire Becker, a French couple who now live in Echo Park and recently started their own business, Les Macarons Duverger. Neither has a professional background in the sweets business: He is a movie music composer; she was a painting conservationist in Paris. But Bernard’s love for the cookie-like treat and Claire’s skill at making macarons lead them to start the business after moving to Echo Park.
Bernard explains in an email how they ended up making macrons for a living:
“I was already pretty addicted to macarons and really fascinated by the shape and the texture of these cookies; [they] looked so difficult to make. At this time, Claire was already a very good cook, so I started to tease her and tell her that she would never be able to make macarons… She picked up the gauntlet and started to bake macarons. And to my surprise, after a few attempts, Claire was baking the most delicious macarons I ever had!
When we moved to the U.S. in 2008, Claire didn’t want to continue the conservation business and making macarons was on her list of possible things to do … [but] we were not sure that macarons could work here for the American culture. So, we did a lot of tests with friends and neighbors who, for some of them, had never tried them before. Every time it was a great success and it encouraged us a lot to continue on this project and develop our own recipes.”