Photo by Ilsy Serrano
Dessert and wine pairing? Afternoon sugar rush? Bridal shower tea? Kisha Frazier has you covered under one roof (multi-tiered with upturned, tiled eaves) at Hummingbird Macarons at the Pagoda Garden and Teahouse in Norfolk. After a humdinger of a success nearby on Botetourt Street (now devoted to production and instruction), this new locale offers charcuterie boards and packaged sandwiches but, “Overall, it’s a dessert lover’s paradise,” she says. Instagrammable seating “vignettes” charm, from a gentlemen’s corner with wingback chairs to another with Chinese flair dedicated to Madeline Sly, who started “Friends of the Pagoda & Oriental Garden Foundation” two decades ago to help preserve this Taiwanese gift. Embracing the riverfront venue’s mystical allure, Frazier added to her lineup of luscious macaron flavors one called Pagoda, comprising matcha (green tea), molasses (the site once held a molasses tank) and candied ginger.
At technical school in Melbourne, Australia, they couldn’t pry Elena Hocking away from the pastry kitchen when it was time for her next class. That propelled her to Chicago’s French Pastry School and to train in France with Stéphane Glacier, M.O.F. (coach of the gold medal award-winning French team at the 2006 World Pastry Team Championship). She folded that experience into her business know-how to open Macaron Tart, a French patisserie in Town Center of Virginia Beach for morning pastries, light brunch/lunch (quiches, chicken salad croissants) and French country high teas. Hocking also teaches kids and adults how to make the all-natural confections sold here including titular macarons and tarts like apple Normandy, lemon meringue and pistachio apricot.