It was the Lavender Lemon Tart that started it all. My obsession with Chicago-based Justice of the Pies was cemented after my first ever bite of their Lavender Lemon Tart. The headiness of the lavender. The heavenly tartness of the citrus. Suffice it to say the ever-stylish and talented Maya-Camille Broussard knows what's up when it comes to baking. We asked our favorite pastry connoisseur about the inspiration behind her brand, how she comes up with her one-of-a-kind flavor combinations, and her most decadent indulgences (not surprisingly, they're food-related).
Describe JOTP’s mission and tell us why you decided to launch it.
Justice of the Pies is a bakery that specializes in sweet and savory pies, quiches and tarts. I created the company in 2014 in memory of my late father, Steve Broussard. My Dad was a criminal defense attorney with a hobby for baking (and eating) pies. Justice of the Pies was created to celebrate his love of pies and to honor his belief that people deserve second chances. Justice of the Pies considers itself to be a social mission in a culinary art form and maintains a goal to positively impact the lives of those who work with us.
You carry flavors I’ve never seen before like Blue Cheese Praline Pear and Margarita - what inspires you to create these one-of-a-kind concoctions?
Oftentimes when I travel or when I simply go out to eat, I'm inspired by the flavors and experiences I come into contact with. I may travel to Colombia and be moved to created an arepa-crusted pie or go out and have a cocktail that serves as a catalyst for a whole slew of ideas! Creativity requires a sensitivity to our surroundings and paying attention to what moves and excites us. I just try to make sure I'm tuned in as often as possible.
Who or what is giving you life right this second?
Sleep is always giving me life (literally!) but I think self-care would be the next thing. As an entrepreneur, the misconception is that you have to constantly grind. That is false. You have to constantly nurture yourself and that's where the true work comes in. Have you ever noticed that your best ideas come to you while you are on vacation, chilling on a beach with not a (current) care in the world? Self-care is essential to growing a successful business. After all, if you're not in a top notch place mentally and physically, you certainly cannot expect your business to be! Correct?
When you’re not working away in the kitchen, how do you spend your free time?
I like to spend my free time alone. I love being alone with my thoughts. I love sleep (see question number 3!) I'm an INFJ on the Myers-Briggs scale. My energy is revived when I'm by myself. I love interacting with people, but I always look forward to time by myself.
What’s your most decadent indulgence?
I have many decadent indulgences. My first would be Mexican food: tacos, enchiladas, elote, etc. My soul actually hurts when I eat really bad Mexican food. I also love warm, homemade cookies out of the oven. Interestingly enough, I don't care for cookies if they are cooled or even hard and crunchy. I like them fresh and hot out of the oven. My last indulgence would be true Southern cuisine fares such as shrimp and grits, hot water cornbread, string beans, red beans and rice, crab legs with Old Bay seasoning. I also get mad when I eat really lackluster soul food. If it lacks soul, it's clearly a misnomer. Who wants to eat food that brings shame to its name?!
Sir Dogwood item that catches your eye?
I LOVE the Leeloo trench coat!!! It's the cutest thing ever!!