Q Le Baker
Shop 709, Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra VIC
03 9973 3069
If you are a Prahran market regular, you will have noticed a new smell in the air – a mouth-watering aroma of fresh bread, buttery croissants and flaky pastries. The thought of it all is enough to make you giddy!
The source of these magical wafts is Q Le Baker, the market’s first on-site baker. The brains behind this delicious hub of creativity is Marion David, Quentin Berthonneau (Vue de Monde and Chez Dré) and Chez Dré owner, Stephen Sam. It is safe to say that this team is well seasoned in all things baking.
However, the aim of Q Le Baker is not to be just another French bakery. Veering away from any clichés, Q Le Baker is all about transparency. Apart from a state of the art Vanguard oven, no ingredients are imported into their kitchen. Marion, Quentin and Steve have looked to local suppliers, growers and farmers to source their high-quality produce, including a local flour mill in Sassafras and the ever-fabulous Saint David Dairy. Their creations take local produce and pair it perfectly with the traditional French techniques that Quentin has spent so many years finessing.
Q Le Baker’s team of pastry chefs also like to fill their bread and pastries with native Australian herbs, think apricot danishes garnished with native thyme, pies infused with native pepper herbs and galettes scattered with lemon balm and lemon myrtle. What can’t be sourced locally is more often than not made in-house, including the ginger beer for their hot cross buns and the yoghurt in their organic kingbrøt.
Nevertheless, the successes of today didn’t come without the obstacles of yesterday. While the Q Le Baker team was ready to start kneading, rolling and baking back in November, they did find themselves having to play the waiting game when it came to their oven. A special order from France, the baking motherland, Q Le Baker’s beloved Bonguard didn’t arrive until November and took two weeks to set up! This last-minute set back meant that the baking team missed out on their trial period and the doors had to be opened in the final week leading up to Christmas. Well and truly thrown into the deep end, almost 40,000 people came through the Prahran market on the first day of opening and Q Le Baker was well and truly in the thick of the Christmas rush. But, they survived, flourished even, and this humble bakery now exists as one of the most popular destinations inside the Prahran Market. Easter will be a piece of cake!
Q Le Baker may have only been around for a few months, but it already seems like a market staple. Driven by a desire to showcase all the great local ingredients available in Melbourne through the refined baking traditions of French experts, this little pocket of Prahran is producing stuff that many could only dream of. With hopes of opening up the Australian flour market and showing the world what our local mills can do, Q Le Baker’s future is shining bright and kicking off a legacy for a wealth of budding bakeries to follow.