Pastrylove: Alliance Patisserie

Pastrylove: Alliance Patisserie

Macarons at Alliance Patisserie
Macaron love at Alliance Patisserie

The first time I had French pastries in France was as a 19-year-old Harvard College senior studying abroad in Paris.

Paris love, age 19
Paris love, age 19

That trip put me on a mission to spread fine chocolate and pastry, led to my founding of the original Chocolate Tours in Chicago and beyond, and – after closing the chocolate tours earlier this year – still continues to inspire me as I speak and consult about chocolate.

Pastry peek at Alliance Patisserie
Pastry peek at Alliance Patisserie

Chef Peter Rios has opened a little bit of Paris in Chicago, with his new Alliance Patisserie. Pastry followers worldwide may know Chef Peter as the owner of Alliance Bakery, also in Chicago, known for innovative specialty cakes and more, or may know him through one of his many incarnations as pastry chef superstar.

alliance patisserie
Scenes at Alliance Patisserie…


moody matcha and chocolate passionfruit macarons


choc hazelnut kronut and hot choc

pastry case

Chef Peter told me it has always been his dream to open a shop focusing on French pastry, ever since he graduated from Kendall College and later studied with pastry giants such as the great Pierre Herme in Paris.

His dream came true, and Alliance Patisserie now helps the dreams of others come true, whether by sharing some of the best macarons or classic French pastries outside of Paris, or by serving as the romantic site of a marriage proposal, which I was thrilled and honored to facilitate for a lovely couple after a chocolate tasting I led for them in the shop!

We tucked the ring into the pastry case...
I arranged with the groom to tuck the ring into the pastry case…
...she said yes!
…she said yes!

Chocolate and pastry are all about love.

v day treats

Your friend in chocolate,


Valerie Beck

Chocolate Expert, Sweet Speaker, Chocolate Consultant

Instagram @chocolateuplift

“Uplift Through Chocolate!”

Le Jour du Macaron Comes to Chicago

Le Jour du Macaron Comes to Chicago

by Valerie Beck, chocolate expert and macaron maven

What fun it was to celebrate the first Macaron Day in Chicago this year on March 20 – following more established versions in Paris and New York – to benefit Esperanza Community Services!

The way it worked: macaron lovers and charity supporters made donations to Esperanza at participating pastry shops, and received a macaron in exchange.

I jumped in at these beloved locations:

The Waldorf Astoria Chicago,

Luscious chocolate mint macarons at the Waldorf Chicago
Luscious chocolate mint macarons at the Waldorf Chicago

Toni Patisserie,

Delightful hot chocolate macaron at Toni Patisserie
Delightful hot chocolate macarons at Toni Patisserie

and Alliance Patisserie.

Chocolate passionfruit and more at awesome Alliance Patisserie
Chocolate passion fruit and more at awesome Alliance Patisserie

By the way, what’s the difference between a macaron and a macaroon? The macaron is a colorful French sandwich cookie that comes in endless flavors (chocolate passion fruit is my favorite lately), and the macaroon is a coconut haystack cookie of Italian origin that comes dipped in chocolate if you’re lucky! Read more about these 2 different cookies on my previous blog post Macaron vs. Macaroon.

Here’s to philanthropy through macarons, and Uplift Through Chocolate!

Your friend in chocolate,


Sweet Talk

Alliance Patisserie
Alliance Patisserie

~ New: click for the video of my interview on tastytrade web tv, about chocolate health benefits and the business of Valentine’s Day, and see some of the pastries we’ll sample today at the below tasting! ~

Come hear about the history and health benefits of chocolate, while sampling fine chocolate and pastry this Valentine’s Day:

I’m hosting a seated chocolate tasting open to the public at 12:45 pm on Valentine’s Day, Saturday 2/14, at new Alliance Patisserie, 615 N. State Street, Chicago, and a few spots remain!


Chocolate is love!

Valerie Beck, Chocolate Expert