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Fall 2011 Dining Guide: Real Specialist — Candice Reynolds, Red Queen Tarts

Candice Reynolds

Candice Reynolds

Here’s what I had to say in the original letter:

Make one thing really well: This whole food truck mania is not about the pleasures of diesel fumes and plastic forks. It’s about young cooks who make brilliant pizza, or serious ice cream, or bizarrely original tacos. Every chef needs a signature dish that is all hers or his, a lure to the restaurant, a mouthful of nothing-else-like-it that diners dream of days later.

Here’s why I think Reynolds exemplifies this quality:

When she was growing up in Snellville, Reynolds was never allowed junk food, such ascommercial toaster pastries. “We were organic before organic was cool,” she jokes of her upbringing. Not that she minded: it didn’t take long to realize that the peanut butter cookies her mother made with freshly ground peanuts and honey from her backyard bees were far superior to Nutter Butters. Years later, she was working as a paralegal and part-time caterer when a friend gave her the idea for Red Queen Tarts. A fiend for organic ingredients, she starts with a buttery dough made with freshly ground whole wheat flour and fills her tarts with fruits in season, such as peaches, blueberries and muscadines. Following some positive press, her mail order business took off. While she doesn’t yet have a retail outlet, Reynolds sells her tarts locally at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market on Saturday mornings and the Howell Mill Food Park on Tuesday nights. You can eat them right from their bags, but as any Pop Tart lover will tell you, a minute in the toaster does wonders.

A selection of tarts (credit: Mike Hipple)

A selection of tarts (credit: Mike Hipple)

9 comments Add your comment

brian

September 22nd, 2011
8:04 am

DEAR GOD…if you have not tried one of these tarts, you are missing out totally. Not only is Candice and amazing person, but that fact comes through in her tarts. I recently sent a box of these across the country to a dear friend who is a high end interior designer on the west coast in San Diego, and she threatened the life of anyone who came within 5 feet of her tarts!! HAHAHA! Maybe they will catch on there too. RED QUEEN OF TARTS ROCKS!!!

Steve

September 22nd, 2011
8:41 am

They are incredible, and made with the highest quality ingredients. The lemon curd tart was stellar!

candice

September 22nd, 2011
8:56 am

Thank you Brian and Steve, you are too kind!

Jen C

September 22nd, 2011
11:23 am

Candice’s tarts are the highlight of my week. Run to her and buy some, it doesn’t matter the flavor, they will all change your life.

Matt

September 22nd, 2011
11:45 am

Brian, you have made me want to try one of her tarts like right now!

Rodney

September 22nd, 2011
12:24 pm

I tried them initially because of the name – Red Queen Tarts – then I found out that they were tasty :)

Valerie

September 22nd, 2011
2:12 pm

I’m fortunate enough to be working fewer than 100 feet from Candice at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market each week and always look forward to my tart treat! Creative flavors, amazing pastry and just the right amount of sweet. Now that everyone knows about them, I’m going to have to get mine earlier…

josh

September 22nd, 2011
4:09 pm

these sound amazing – and quite hilarious talking about these with some british friends.

Another brian

September 23rd, 2011
7:13 am

Had one randomly at the farmers market and was outstanding. Love em. An H&F BLT followed by one of these tarts is a great way to start one’s weekend.