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Pastries at The Peabody

Destination: Memphis

Here’s another great Valentine’s Day location for sweethearts. Take a trip to Memphis, TN, home of the iconic Peabody Hotel

This “oasis of elegance and good taste” is world famous for its ducks—yes, literally ducks, who are paraded daily in a ceremony fit for heads of state. And, those ducks are heralded in some of the Peabody’s amazing pastry confections, which we checked out and highly recommend!

We talked with Pastry Cook Lee Willadsen, who suggested the cupcakes (pictured), or the white chocolate ducks filled with chocolate mousse. They also do cookies in the shape of a duck--a double shortbread cookie with raspberry on the inside and decorated (think feathers) in chocolate.

Willadsen, who has been with the Peabody for about a year, credits Pastry Chef Konrad Spitzbarg for the reputation the Peabody has gained for its confections. “Our local customers are all returning customers—they come back,” he says. His passion is hard to deny—this former aircraft mechanic moved to Memphis, attended L’Ecole Culinaire, and then came under the wing of Spitzbarg. “Cooking is my first passion,” says Willadsen, “especially pastries. My grandmother was a cake decorator, my aunt is a cake decorator, and now two other aunts are getting into it. I guess it’s in my genes.”

And, for Valentine’s Day? The Peabody will feature specially decorated cakes, hard cookies, and a wide selection of pastries on its buffet.

Gotta love it.