September 30, 2015
By: Alia Akkam, Zagat
The well-worn neighborhood bakery, wooing with its walnut-studded brownies and misshapen peanut butter cookies, has made way for a decidedly slicker breed. Although homespun roots are at their core, these eight newcomers — whether turning out gooey cinnamon rolls or loaves of from-scratch bread — are stylish, aromatic lairs well worth the caloric feast.
As the longtime pastry chef for John Besh, Kelly Fields has emerged as one of New Orleans' biggest talents. Now her creations are front and center at Willa Jean (pictured at top), a brick-walked, Southern-fueled bakery in the Central Business District developed in partnership with Besh and Lisa White. Indulge in Valrhona chocolate and cinnamon rolls slathered in icing, as well as savory offerings like the must-order apricot mustard–smothered pigs in a blanket.