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Trader Profile: Marion, Q Le Baker

Friday 17th December 2021

If you’re a regular here at the Market then you’ve no doubt stopped for a coffee and a buttery pastry from the crew at Q Le Baker. We caught up with co-owner Marion David, for a quick chat on what it’s like owning such a successful bakery, and reveal the secret to why their bread tastes so good.

What did you do before owning Q Le BAKER? 

I was the General Manager at Baker D. Chirico bakery and studying my Masters in Linguistics and Translation.

What do you enjoy most about owning Q Le BAKER?

I really enjoy working alongside my staff and helping them create new products.

What is the most common question you get asked?

“So, are you a baker?” is what I am always asked.

Despite being a co-owner of a bakery, I am not a baker. I have a wonderful team of Bakers and Pastry Chefs who are the impetus of the business.

What are the top two products you sell at Q Le BAKER?

Customers’ favourites are the Olive & Garlic Fougasse and the Baguette. The Pork and Fennel sausage roll is also close behind.

What is something people may not know about you?

My very first business was in 2011 creating and designing bow ties. Big, gaudy, loud bow ties!

What makes your bread so good? Give us the details!

Technique & process. A lot of bakeries in Melbourne use the same flour suppliers and yet we all end up with delicious yet different bread. The preliminary steps are crucial to making good bread.

What is your favourite thing to bake?

Ironically my partner is coeliac so at home I like to experiment with new recipes. My most successful thus far is a gluten free Apple Tarte Tatin. There have been many fails along the way (GF crumpets being one of them), but I enjoy experimenting with the challenges of gluten free desserts.

What’s your best general baking tip?

Be prepared – organise your station and ensure you have all the right ingredients, like having your butter at room temperature.

What’s your ultimate sourdough making tip?

Sourdough is extremely temperamental – follow a good recipe and practice.

How does your day start?

My day generally starts with a big glass of water and then I zoom off to work. I like to maximise my sleep time, so I tend to skip breakfast until I arrive at the office. On my days off I go for a big morning walk with a friend and then I pop into Wild Things Grocer near my home to buy breakfast ingredients (generally an egg salad sandwich).

When it’s not baked goods, what is your favourite dish? Why?

My partner’s Spaghetti alla Vongole or dad’s Celeriac Purée. I know dad can cook better than a sloppy purée but this particular purée precipitates wonderful childhood memories for me.

What is your earliest food memory?

My dad is a professional chef, so food has always been omnipresent in my life from a very young age. Although food has generally played a positive role in my childhood, one of the earliest food memories I have is mum’s infamous chocolate cake which was bursting with sultanas. Why you would add sultanas to a perfectly delicious chocolate cake was beyond my 7-year-old self. My brother and I gave my poor mother such a hard time she made us eat a second slice each. She watched over us making sure there wasn’t a single bite left. There were many tears that day.

What do you love most about being at Prahran Market?

I love the village-feel of the market. You can find anything from wagyu beef to the most unique of vegetables, everything is at your disposal.

What do you love to do on your day off?

I have recently picked up German classes, so I spend my days off studying the language. I also enjoy boxing classes and watching Formula 1.

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