Pastry Chef Shelby White Enlivens Baked Offerings at Rhino Coffee, Port Au Prince

If you’ve recently visited Rhino Coffee, the independent coffee house located in Shreveport’s South Highlands neighborhood, you may have noticed that the coffee shop’s baked goods offerings now include an array of oversized, festively colored macarons. Macarons are sweet meringue cookie sandwiches that are commonly filled with such tasty fillings as jam, chocolate ganache or buttercream. Macarons aren’t new to Shreveport, but the macarons at Rhino Coffee deserve to be singled out. These immaculate sweets are the work of 24-year-old pastry chef Shelby White, a 2011 graduate of the culinary arts program at the Art Institute of Atlanta who recently relocated – along with her filmmaker husband – to Shreveport from Wichita, Kansas.

A photo of Shelby White
Shelby White, macaron magician, photographed at Rhino Coffee.

“They’re pretty temperamental. You have to get to know your oven and your ingredients,” White said of the macarons that have become her calling card. “I started making them at a bakery in Wichita. I spent a few months getting it right.”

Macaron flavors change weekly but usually include seasonal flavors. For the fall, White is considering flavors like ginger snap and chocolate peppermint. A pumpkin spice macaron is already available (and it’s delicious, if you’re a pumpkin spice person). 

“Honestly, I come in each week and I say: Hey, guys, what should we make?’,” White said of the flavor selection process. Some of the most popular flavors to date have included Nutella/pistachio and chocolate/caramel.   

White currently works two days each week at Rhino Coffee, which is the amount of time it takes to replenish the stock of macarons. She also works four days each week at Port-Au-Prince Cross Lake, where she crafts pies using family recipes provided by the restaurant and, on the weekends, she bakes cakes. A recent one-off weekend cake at Port-Au-Prince was a three-layer turtle cake featuring homemade caramel sauce (“I love making caramel,” White said) and chocolate ganache. If you’re an Instagram user, you can keep up with White’s work for Port-Au-Prince by following the @portauprince.crosslake Instagram feed.

What does White think of Shreveport?

“We’re really liking it here. It’s a neat town.”

Hopefully, she’ll continue to enjoy her stay – a person could get used to these macarons.

 

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