Master pastry chef Armin Hack is an artist. His medium? Belgian chocolate and layers of fresh puff pastry. A fourth-generation pastry chef, Armin started his training in Germany at the ripe old age of 5 while playing in his father's bakery. Today, he and his wife Melanie offer made-from-scratch scones, croissants and schnecken, but they want to give us something more, something truly fine. That's why, as Melanie says, "We decided to focus on what Armin's bliss is about — fine European pastries and chocolates."
CityBeat: Where did you eat your last great meal and what was it?
Armin: We go to bed at 7 or 7:30, so we don't go out much. I did have a wonderful Sunday brunch at Grand Finale.
Melanie: Armin cooks beautiful food for us. When we were on vacation he made angel hair pasta with marinara and topped it with sautéed chicken breast, salad with a herbed balsamic vinaigrette and strips of mozzarella.
CB: What's the most overrated American dessert?
Armin: Anything too big and too sweet. We just got back from Europe; there's a change away from the big desserts to really fine desserts — smaller, more decadent.
Melanie: Most typical American bakery items are so sweet I can't taste anything but sugar. They're so sweet they hurt your teeth.
Frieda's Bakery, 6927 Miami Ave., Madeira, 513-272-0939.