Growing up in a Mexican family, a visit to our local panaderia (bakery/pastry shop) was a weekly tradition. We would pick out desserts and take them home to enjoy throughout the week. As I travel around Texas looking for unique spots to visit, I am always drawn to small, family owned businesses that remind me of my childhood.
On one of my adventures, I came across Matisse Bakery in Deer Park, Texas. Business owner and pastry chef, Fiorella Pissani, has been creating beautiful, decadent desserts in Southeast Texas since 2016. This local bakery is serving a variety of American, European and Peruvian desserts that will tantalize your taste buds.
Chef Pissani grew up in Peru and started making pastries and desserts at a young age. Testing out different recipes in her parent’s kitchen, she used her brother to “taste test” her creations. Although they didn’t always turn out the way she would have liked, she never gave up trying to perfect her craft. While trying to improve her skill, she carefully watched her parent’s own and operate a pizzeria.
Witnessing her parent’s ability to bring a smile to customer’s faces through their creation of food, inspired her to want to create food too. When Chef Pissani moved to California, she continued to learn from her father’s culinary experiences and eventually made her way to Texas where she studied culinary arts and pastry under Chef Eddy Van Damme and Chef Younes Kay at HCC.
After receiving her culinary arts degree, she moved to Boston and New York to gain inspiration. Upon moving back to Texas, Chef Pissani started selling her desserts at the Deer Park Farmer’s Market in 2016. From there she began to frequent other farmer’s markets in the area and creates and sells her decadent desserts from her home.
Passionate about bringing her Peruvian heritage to life through her baking, Chef Pissani specializes is Peruvian desserts including Alfajores, Pionono and Mazamorra Morada. Alfajores are a caramel cookie sandwich with Spanish roots and the Alfajores at Matisse Bakery are one of their best selling items. Customers rave about this sweet treat and say that it reminds them of Peru. The Pionono is the American equivalent to a jelly roll cake but it is filled with Manjar Blanco which is the same filling you will find in the Alfajores. Mazamorra morada is a popular pudding like, Peruvian dessert made from purple corn, fruit, cinnamon and cloves.
Chef Pissani wanted to do more than specialize in Peruvian desserts and honed her skills at making a variety of American and European desserts to pay homage to her grandparents European roots and her own children’s American roots. From Peruvian desserts to beautifully decorated cakes, banana bread, pies, torts and croissants, Matisse Bakery has something to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Check out Matisse Bakery at The East End Farmer’s Market and Wanderlust Market on Sunday’s and at The University of Houston’s Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays. Visit them on Facebook or call 713-261-6919 to place your order today.