A princess cake and a corporate job in banking seem like unlikely ingredients for a macaron company, but they each played a part in kickstarting MakMak Macarons. Carlos Heng and Dan Pigott began their venture in DIY style, with Carlos overtaking Dan’s kitchen and selling his sweets in an underground fashion. Eventually MakMak went legit, getting crowned with the honour of Sydney’s best macarons in Time Out magazine and opening a flagship store in Newtown, in a shop initially decked in fake seagulls, beach balls mid-bounce and 100 kilograms of sand.
As you could guess, MakMak doesn’t take the lazy option when it comes to anything – which probably explains why it has such an excellent rep for creating addictive and seriously quality flavours, such as Malteser & Roasted Banana, Smoked Vanilla & Pecan Praline and Peanut Butter & Belgian Milk Chocolate. The duo once even produced an installation of 350 of their handmade sweets and painstakingly created gold-leaf macarons for a wedding (despite it being the craziest nightmare, because the glitzy ingredient would not stick to the biscuits).
Dan and Carlos also talk about the time they made Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott flavours for the last election, what it was like going on research trips overseas (where they ate some surprisingly awful macarons in Paris), and how they manage to make 3000-4000 sweets from scratch each week. Plus, they share their favourite places to eat and drink in Sydney (such as Mary’s, Madang, The Sparrow’s Mill, Mamak, Papi Chulo) and where they’d like to dine next.
You can listen to this episode on iTunes or download it via RSS or directly. And mega thanks to everyone who has kindly spread the word about this podcast or left a rating or comment in the iTunes store – it makes the late-night editing marathons (and lost ZZZs) worth it!
PS Carlos’ comment about the slim choices for late-night dining in Sydney – “We all seem to give Golden Century more money to build another Golden Century” – is probably my favourite quote in the whole interview.