Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and in line with the 2019/2020 festivities, Lula Cafe has hired a new pastry chef, Emily Spurlin, who aims to strike a balance between the unusual, yet nostalgic and the simple, yet complex through her pastries.
Emily Spurlin first fell in love with pastry while attending culinary school in Paris, France before moving to Chicago for its culinary scene. After spending a summer cooking at Granor Farm alongside chef Abra Berens in Three Oaks, Michigan, Spurlin was elated to receive a call from her favorite restaurant’s owner, Jason Hammel, about joining the Lula Cafe team.
As a result of working on the line for years, Spurlin comes to Lula with a knack for hyper-seasonal and ingredient-focused dishes. Spurlin’s produce-driven style and theme of earthiness is largely influenced by her time working on the savory side, most notably at The Publican. Following her transition to pastry, she joined Floriole Café and Bakery. This experience taught Spurlin the skills behind the pastries she adored during her time in France, and cultivated a deep passion for laminated breakfast pastries. Spurlin then joined the opening team at Bad Hunter as executive pastry chef, where she curated a pastry program and department from the ground up. Most recently, Spurlin spent time at Granor Farm, where she was cooking and baking with an emphasis on the utilization of produce grown on the farm. Today, Spurlin’s pastry style is inspired by nature, in color through highly pigmented foods and in flavor, through the use of botanicals, flowers and herbs. Spurlin prioritizes a playful, colorful approach that invokes imagination and balance in a bite.