Named after a Radiohead hit single, Sydney patisserie group, BlackStar Pastry, also shares the rock band’s legendary success. Its pastries continue to be big hits, with long, trailing queues lining up until stock is sold out.
Christopher Thé is the man behind the rockstar-like fame, having taken a gamble in 2008 to open his first patisserie in Newtown. From that very first day, BlackStar Pastry flourished, welcoming visitors from all over the city to try the dazzling creations. Word spread and BlackStar was soon popular enough to open a second store in Rosebery. These days, Chris has three stores to his name, allowing even more Sydneysiders to sample his mouth-watering delicacies.
Chris discovered his passion for cooking while studying psychology at The University of Sydney and working as a kitchen-hand to earn a living. He soon realised where his interests really lay and began an apprenticeship at Bel Mondo. In his second year he focused on desserts, eventually moving on to work as a pastry chef at Claude’s, under the instruction of Tim Pak Poy and Chui Lee Luk. Most notably, he spent a year as dessert chef at Peter Gilmore’s Quay before opening the first BlackStar Pastry.
Chris preferences flavour over appearance but each of his cakes mixes fruit, creams and chocolate to create visual masterpieces. The Pistachio Lemon Zen Cake is built from layers of pistachio ganache, white chocolate mousse, lemon curd and crunchy dacquoise, while the decadent Amedei Chocolate and Hazelnut Torte is layers of rich chocolate and nuts, finished with a glistening ganache of Amedei Chuao.
No trip to BlackStar Pastry is complete without trying the Strawberry Watermelon Cake. Layers of almond dacquoise and rose-scented cream are paired with macerated strawberries and a ‘racing stripe’ of fresh watermelon, topped with grapes, pistachios and rose petals. Since his start in 2008, Christopher predicts he’s sold over six football fields worth of this heavily Instagrammed marvel.
In addition to the sweet treats, the Rosebery store has a particular focus on freshly baked bread and lunch. The savoury fare changes daily and you’ll find what’s on offer scrawled on the overhead blackboards. Think lamb shank pies, goat’s cheese and leek quiches, and gourmet sausage rolls. You’ll also find daily salads, such as roast pumpkin, feta, spinach and green beans, and pimped up sandwiches such as wood-roasted chicken breast made using bread baked daily on-site.
Set in a converted warehouse, BlackStar’s Rosebery store is open and spacious with high ceilings and exposed bricks. Copper-framed chairs glow under the hanging light features and complement the large featured pastry counter. Beautiful natural light shines through large windows, and an open kitchen means you can peek in to spy on the chefs at work.
With its cult status bringing in locals and visitors from further afield, BlackStar Pastry shows no signs of slowing down. If you don’t want to be disappointed, get in quick!