Best of Austin Style Pick
After spending 15 years as a celebrated restaurant pastry chef, Jodi Elliott recently opened Bribery Bakery on Wells Branch Parkway, giving the neighborhood a warm, cozy café offering cakes, cookies, and more. Though it has only been open for a few weeks, Bribery is already attracting regular customers and a growing list of signature items. (Insider tips, don’t leave without a cinnamon roll … or two.) Outfitted with vintage chairs, tables, and bursts of bright colors on the walls, the quirky shop is the perfect place to grab a leisurely breakfast with friends or sink into a plush, velvety chair with a good book and a frothy latte. And soon, it will transition into a nighttime dessert bar offering plated masterpieces to enjoy along with cocktails.
If you experience a sugary déjà vu during your trip to Bribery, it’s no coincidence. Elliott’s sweets first debuted atForeign & Domestic, the North Loop restaurant she co-founded in 2010 and used to launch her wildly successful Saturday bake sales. In retrospect, she says, that was a turning point in her career. “I realized, ‘Wow! There’s obviously a need for a different kind of bakery in town, a different kind of pastry,’” Elliott muses.
Though the San Antonio native has traveled across the world to hone her skills — including New York for culinary school and London to work at the famed The Savoy Hotel — Elliott’s passion for baking began at home in her grandmother’s kitchen. At only eight years old, Elliott remembers her “Meme” sharing family recipes for baked goods, including a delectable coconut cake that is now featured on Bribery’s menu. “She used to call it Five Day Cake because the process is so long,” Elliott says. “It really doesn’t take five days!”
Baking is nostalgic for Elliott, a feeling that permeates throughout her bakery. As customers indulge in a slice Maple Pecan Pie or a Giant Chocolate Chunk & Pecan Cookie, they are also getting a piece of Elliott’s family history. “My grandmother would always send pecans for Christmas gifts,” says Elliott. “She’d send everybody all over the country a 5-pound bag.” Though Elliott identifies as a more classic, rustic pastry chef who trained “before the whole molecular gastronomy movement,” you will certainly find innovation when it comes to flavor. “My focus is in detail and layering of flavor,” Elliott explains. Some tasty pairings include Lime and Coconut Coffee Cake and Strawberry Almond Tart with Lemon Cream.
And as if things couldn’t get any sweeter, Elliott says a second location is already in the works for the Mueller neighborhood later this year. We just hope it’s after swimsuit season.