It starts with the trees in spring: redbuds, Bradford pears, cherry trees, and dogwoods, followed by the flowering azaleas, daffodils, tulips, geraniums, and begonias. The vibrant spring and summer colors are a most welcome sight coming out of a cold, dark winter. And they’re even more symbolic this year.

The colors in the kitchen are quite vibrant, too. And, I must say, quite delicious. Nothing beats plump tomatoes, juicy peaches, and sweet berries fresh off our local farms. We’re used to seeing those items in desserts, but at Copain, we’re reimagining how we use all kinds of produce in our pastries. Pastry chef Kaley Laird, who came to us this year from California by way of Asheville, specializes in unique pastries and gluten-free baked goods. She created one of the most beautiful spring desserts I’ve ever seen: sweets & beets pie.

Using an earthy root vegetable in desserts not only helps to reduce waste in the kitchen but also adds natural color and creates what we believe to be a lighter, more well-rounded dessert. You won’t feel like you just ate a cup of sugar and a stick of butter.

You’ll feel the same about our avocado pound cake. If you’ve ever added avocado to a smoothie, you know that it provides a smooth, butter-like consistency. It gives this cake a similar quality. While I’m not averse to using butter, this cake makes a strong argument for using alternatives. And when those alternatives are right in front of us, either already in the kitchen or from a farm just a few miles away, that makes each colorful bite even better.

                                                               “NOTHING BEATS PLUMP
                                                            TOMATOES, JUICY PEACHES,
                                                            AND SWEET BERRIES FRESH
                                                              FROM OUR LOCAL FARMS.”

Chef JIM NOBLE is the executive chef and owner of NOBLE FOOD & PURSUITS.
For more information, visit NOBLEFOODANDPURSUITS.COM.