A “miraculous mirage” is how one fan describes “Lorraine Patisserie Famous MACaroons and More,” a local cafe which just might turn this “desert town” into a “dessert town.”
Pastry Chef/Owner Michael Cohen, who has been a chef for 33 years, named the business after his mother “who is the main reason I became a chef.”
“I honor her with everything I do in this wonderful family business of fine pastries,” he says.
In addition to his “world famous” MACaroons or “MACS,” for short, Cohen creates his other speciality pastries, as well as breakfast and lunch items, at 229 Frontage Rd., in Pearce.
In case you were wondering, the “MAC” in “MACaroons” comes from Cohen's own initials.
Cochise resident Ralph Score says that he and wife, Jen, have been to Lorraine Patisserie several times since it opened in June.
“It is really a gem. Love everything we have had there,” he told the Range News. “The croissants are incredible as are the various breakfast sandwich offerings – you have to get the Loretta. The home-made macaroons are truly celebrity worth.”
Score says that the local cafe “compares with any great pastry place I’ve ever been to including those in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and other major metro cities. Bravo to Lorraine Patisserie.”
One of Cohen's “New York” connections is actress Fran Drescher, who calls his MACaroons “off the scale.”
“I love the chocolate dipped ones. Yum,” Drescher said in a testimonial for Cohen.
In June, Drescher featured Cohen's MACaroons “Cabaret Cruise” for her “Cancer Schmancer Movement.”
Cohen sent Drescher 250 two packs of his chocolate dipped and chocolate chip MACaroons for the cruise.
Cohen calls Drescher a “personal friend of the family,” whom he has known for 15 years, and he is happy to help with her cause, as his own mother died from cancer.
Another celebrity fan is Oprah Winfrey's former chef, Art Smith, and Cohen talks about the “wonderful experience” of working with him, as well as Chefs Michael Washer and Wolfgang Puck, for Winfrey's fiftieth birthday party at Harpo Studios, in Chicago.
Cohen grew up in Skokie, Ill., and attended “Dumas Pere L'Ecole de la Cuisine Francaise.”
Upon graduation, Cohen was awarded what he calls a “rare apprenticeship,” working side by side with Master Chef Snowden in the restaurant kitchen, as well as being responsible for instructing the class, he said.
Cohen began his chef career in the 1980s, working in some of Chicago's restaurants then going on to become executive chef at “Tango,” one of the city's finest seafood restaurants, Cohen said.
He then became executive pastry chef for the Paris-based chain, “L'Amanguier,” and later for a private country club in Glenview.
Cohen, who has lived in Arizona more than 10 years, credits his cousin Marc Broder, of Pearce, with his move to the area. Locals may know Broder as the owner of “Stronghold Custom Woodworks.”
“He's the reason I came back from Sedona,” where he had moved to help a friend, Cohen told the Range News.
Cohen is ably assisted at the restaurant by area resident Jennifer Whitney.
“We are crazy busy here,” he told the Range News. “Without Jennifer, I couldn't do it.”
(Editor's note: Some information in this article was obtained from Michael Cohen's website http://lorrainepatisserie.bigcartel.com)