Noah French, pastry chef at TAG, talks about his new bakery venture with Troy Guard
Lori Midson Noah French, pastry chef at TAG, will open a bakery with Troy Guard in mid-October.
Back in early February, Amanda Faison, food editor at 5280 magazine, unleashed the news that Troy Guard, the chef/owner of TAG, TAG RAW BAR and TAG Burger Bar, would open a new Mexican restaurant, along with a bakery, in the Ballpark 'hood. And while Guard will oversee the still-unnamed south-of-the-border restaurant, his pastry chef at TAG, Noah French, will be the face -- and master baker -- behind the (also nameless) bakery and dessert bar, which will open on the corner of Broadway and Larimer in mid-October.
The concepts, which are completely separate (although you'll be able to walk from one to the other via an interior door), will continue to increase visibility in a booming neighborhood already strewn with of-the-moment restaurants, but while Mexican joints are a mainstay in Denver's culinary landscape, bona fide bakeries and sweet endings -- the kind where you can get composed desserts, fresh-baked scones, croissants, crepes, quiches and housemade ice cream -- are far less abundant, but French, a New Jersey native with a pedigreed culinary background, is determined to make the bakery and confection crib a destination for everyone who savors sin.
French and Guard met in 2000, at Roy's, in New York City, where they both worked. Prior to French's New York stint with Roy's (French also spent twelve years at Roy's in Hawaii), he was a pastry chef at various five-star hotels in Barbados and Miami Beach, and during the time he spent cooking and baking in other cities and countries, he and Guard stayed in touch. And two years ago, while French was in Barbados, he got a phone call from Guard. "He called and said that he wanted to do a dessert concept in Denver," recalls French, who declined. "I just accepted the job in Barbados, but I told him that if he still wanted to do the same concept in two years, to call me."
Guard didn't call, but he did send French an e-mail in early 2102 that reiterated that the vision was still alive, and was French ready to leave Barbados behind for Denver?
By the time March rolled around, French was in the Mile High City, meeting with Guard and searching for spaces. "We looked at all sorts of neighborhoods, and by this point, I was 100 percent in," says French, adding that it "was a great opportunity." For the next several months, he and Guard kept in constant contact, and in October of 2012, French bid Barbados farewell and moved to Denver -- for good.
The duo began plotting the bakery and dessert bar concept -- a 24-seat, 1,000-square-foot space, designed by Xan Creative -- and got to work on menu planning and aesthetic elements.