Nation’s Restaurant News speaks with actress Elizabeth Chambers on her forthcoming Bird Bakery in San Antonio
Hollywood celebrities seem to have a thing for opening bakeries in Texas.
Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock opened her popular Bess Bistro on Pecan in Austin, then expanded in 2010 to add Walton’s Fancy and Staple bakery and sandwich shop across the street.
Now actor Armie Hammer, the actor who played both the Tyler and Cameron Winkelvoss twins in the movie “The Social Network,” and his actress wife, Elizabeth Chambers, will open this weekend a new bakery in the Alamo Heights neighborhood of San Antonio.
Bird Bakery, a wide-windowed space in a small strip shopping center, provides seating at French café tables and a large communal table made from recycled boards.
Nation’s Restaurant News spoke with Chambers, a San Antonio native, last week as she put final touches on the bakery.
Do you have any foodservice in your background, or has it all been media?
It’s been all media. I bake because it’s very therapeutic. I would bring baked goods to the sets where my husband was working. You can’t control everything in your environment, but you can control the fact that if you put three cups of flour and two cups of sugar and the rest of a recipe, you can know what’s going to happen. You know how it can turn out. There’s something very reassuring in that.
Where did the idea for the bakery come from?
My grandmother, Maureen Carnathan, owned a very beloved catering company in San Antonio. I took a lot of her recipes, and we’re serving those: her custard, her lemon curd, a lot of the San Antonio favorites.
I figured I might do it when I was 50. But this space became available, and when I tried the other options in the city and coming from L.A., where cupcakes are done right, I thought this was a good time to do it.
What kind of ingredients?
I’m a purist. It became clear we had to do it right. I’ve looked into local egg suppliers, local farmers for peaches and apples and local pecans for our pie. Even our coffee is locally roasted.
Any signature items?
We’ll be serving our Garden Lemonade, which is a clove-spice lemonade. And our “twig-and-leaf tea,” which is a jasmine-hibiscus tea.
How broad will the menu be?
We’ll do pies and serve those in single slices, monster cookies, tiramisu done right (it’s super boozy), rice pudding, banana pudding. We’ll also do some savories. Eventually I’d like to introduce morehere. My grandmother had a great breakfast torte. As soon as school is back in session, we’ll offer three bagged lunches with a pimiento-cheese, and salad sandwich. We’ll start off with grab-and-go.
Why did you go with the Bird Bakery name?
I think birds always make people feel happy. How can you not smile when you hear a bird chirping?