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Benefits With Friends: Pop-up pastries promote future chefs

by Carin Schoppmeyer | August 12, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO Brightwater chef Vince Pianalto (left) reacts as Paige Ray of Rogers (right) takes a picture of macarons and Cris Stone of San Antonio, TX. (back) watches during the Foodie Friday event, Friday, August 9, 2019 at Brightwater in Bentonville. Foodie Friday is part of the Megaphone Summit, a conference hosted by Soapbox Influence to connect social media influencers, podcaster and bloggers with opportunities to build their skills. They learn skills like SEO and food styling using photography for the work they do with brands. Attendees of Foodie Friday learned how to pull mozzarella and make macarons. The full conference kicked off Friday and ends on Sunday. The annual summit is in its ninth year.

Vince Pianalto, Brightwater chef instructor and serial restaurateur, will take the idea of a school bake sale benefit to a higher degree when he revives his Fayetteville bakery La Maison des Tartes as a pop-up to raise scholarship money for Northwest Arkansas Community College students. The two-day fundraiser is set for 6-9 p.m. Aug. 20 and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 21 at Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food in Bentonville.

The pop-up menu is set to include tarts with sweet fillings such as chocolate caramel with sea salt; coconut honey; fresh fruit; lemon curd; apple; and fruit and nut. Among the savory tart options will be ham and cheddar; spinach chevre; roasted vegetables; and potato leek.

Brioches and croissants will also be on the carte du jour: chocolate, orange cream, ham and cheddar, mushroom, chard and chevre, and cinnamon roll brioches, along with plain, pain au chocolate, ham and cheddar with bechamel, almond and kouign amann croissants.

Pianalto says the idea to reprise the patisserie formerly in Fayetteville as a pop-up came about from a conversation with a colleague. "It's a great opportunity to see some old friends we haven't been able to see and to do what we love and do it for the benefit of the school."

Pianalto adds that the fundraiser is a way to welcome students back to campus as classes begin Aug. 23. He says classes are planned to be "full steam ahead, full capacity -- with caution and protocols. We want to get students back in front of ovens and stoves" doing what they love.

According to Brightwater's website, the center "was conceived to be more than a typical culinary school. As an academic department of NorthWest Arkansas Community College, Brightwater offers uniquely holistic programming with academic and career training in the areas of culinary nutrition, artisanal food, beverage management and food entrepreneurship."


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La Maison des Tartes Pop-Up

Who: Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food

What: Sweet and savory tarts, brioches, croissants, scones

When: 6-9 p.m. Aug. 20 and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 21

Where: 8th Street Market at 801 S.E. Eighth St. in Bentonville

Information: (479) 631-8600 or

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