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Meet Jenna Leurquin of JL Patisserie in Scottsdale and Central Phoenix

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenna Leurquin.

Jenna Leurquin was raised in Belgium, developing an affinity for cooking and pastries early in life. Some of her classmates’ parents had a business in the industry so she would help on the weekends. At 16 years old, she decided to participate in a fundraiser for the school and partnered with a bakery and Ice cream shop; she helped bake and confection the goods and then sold them during school lunch to raise money. It really sparkled her ambition of owning her own bakery one day.

Jenna is also a golfer and received a full-ride golf scholarship which brought her to the U.S. She went to Boise State University, double majoring in international business and finance. Her background ties directly to her current career as she remarks her art is very detailed and precise; something Jenna says matches her personality closely.

After college she followed her calling and moved to Paris and began her prestigious training at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, where she followed the cuisine and pastry program. She then specifically focused on pastry, chocolate and bread. Chef Leurquin’s abilities quickly became recognized as she began interning and consulting for various prestigious establishments including 5 star palaces, Best Craftsman of France and World Champions.

In July 2016, Jenna decided to move back to the U.S. to further pursue her dreams. She was the head Pastry chef at Silverleaf for 2 years until April 2018, when she started her own business.

Jenna first started baking for her clientele and restaurants out of a commercial kitchen in Old Town Scottsdale while undertaking the construction of her own bakery production and storefront on Scottsdale and Shea. Her style is inevitably French-inspired pastries. She daily crafts pies, cakes, breads, croissants, danishes, macarons, jams, etc. Her Business, JL Patisserie, not only offers the bakery items sold in her storefront but also focuses on catering services, wedding cakes and pastry Classes. Chef Jenna Leurquin designs her pastries around a concept of collections for each season to accentuate the importance of ingredients’ seasonality while conserving a modern look. She prides herself in baking with high quality and organic ingredients. Jenna also seeks to source locally when possible to promote local economy and agricultural practices.

Her favorite dessert to create is pie. She says her style is unique and the aesthetic may appear different than what many are traditionally accustomed to. Her approach is to analyze the key ingredient of the pie and to come up with many ways of working it to bring all of its different flavor note and characteristics without denaturalizing the product. Her objective in baking is to valorize the ingredients instead of overpowering them with sugar and processed fat.

In November of 2019, Jenna plans on opening her second location in Central Phoenix at the crossroad of central and Camelback where she will offer all of her pastry items, breads, some savory food as well as a coffee and drink menu. JL Patisserie’s pastry items can also be found at various farmer’s markets.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The community has been extremely welcoming and supportive of our business and concept. We strive on providing the highest quality possible and it has been received very positively.

One of our biggest challenge has been to find the right employees. We are constantly looking for bakers that are as passionate and dedicated as us.

Please tell us about JL Patisserie.
Jenna Leurquin Patisserie was created to offer an “haute couture” experience in the culinary world. The creations are inspired by the seasons and the trends are represented through collections. With this original approach to pastry, we work on revolutionizing even the most firmly entrenched traditions.

As we first eat with our eyes, our objective is to create pastries that stands out and are visually innovative. Further, we focus on delivering the highest quality of pastries utilizing the best ingredients. This commitment involves respecting each ingredient and baking in the tradition of high French and European pastry making.

Because we consider pastries the most indulgent food, we are on the quest to create pastries in which sugar is brushed aside to reveal the nobility of the composition. Being able to balance acidity, sweetness and bitterness by utilizing the nature of each ingredient is what we strive for. Hence the importance of seasonal flavorful ingredients, total respect of the product in its most natural form, and a detailed baking process.

While sweet childhood memories and traditional flavors are the inspiration, we innovate our pastries with the newest ingredients and with a sense of simplicity and exclusivity.

You can find our pastries at our locations on Scottsdale, Farmer’s markets (and soon Phoenix) but JL Patisserie also provides catering services, wedding cakes and pastry classes. Catering services and weddings are popular and are the best opportunity for us to customize and design pastries specifically to order.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Growing up in Belgium, there was a bakery at the corner of the street on the way to school. My brother and I would save up our coins and stop there every so often to get some treats without our parents knowing. It was always a big moment deciding what we were going to have.

My mother was and still is a great baker, she was really into “American baking” which means we had the best of both worlds! While carrot cakes and cookies weren’t a thing in Europe, every celebration (birthday, parties, etc.) was celebrated around a traditional American dessert. It really got me interested in all the wonderful possibilities in the baking world and now, I cannot celebrate without a classic carrot cake!

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