Soraiya Nagree, owner and baker of La Pâtisserie by Luxe Sweets lives by the famous American writer Gertrude Stein’s quote “America is my country and Paris is my hometown.” A Parisian infatuation has transformed this brilliant engineer into a brilliant pastry chef with a penchant for all things sweet.
A trip to France when Soraiya was only ten years old sparked her affinity for all things French, especially French pastries. Upon walking into her first pâtisserie in Paris, she knew that one day she was destined to have her own shop that was filled with the smells and sounds of Paris. The tastes and sights were unparalleled, and even in her youngest of years it was clear she was to spend the rest of her life encompassed in that lifestyle.
In college, Soraiya earned a chemical engineering degree from Trinity University in San Antonio. She went on to be a urethane engineer for a bowling ball manufacturing company, before deciding she would rather be experimenting with edible ingredients, rather than in-edible chemicals. She headed to the Le Cordon Bleu-Texas Culinary Academy in 2005 and earned her Associates of Applied Science in Culinary Arts.
Soraiya spent the next few years building her oh-so-sweet and successful brand, Luxe Sweets, which delivered her baked goods all over the city, most notably her macarons. During this time, Soraiya cultivated a team of bakers that respected her philosophy about sweets and came to work each day with the same passion Soraiya put in to developing her brand.
Soraiya’s delectable meringue sandwiches filled with buttercream and ganache quickly developed a cult following in Austin. With a strong local fan base, Soraiya knew expansion was key and began shipping her macarons and other sweets nationally. As the Luxe Sweets brand flourished, Soraiya’s life became an incredible balancing act as she still managed her commercial kitchen, The Kitchen Space.
While Luxe Sweets was becoming a celebrity of sorts, Soraiya became a favorite in the Austin community and has dominated at the Austin Chocolate Festival for "Best Cookie," "Best Fudge," "Best Dessert" and "Best Brownie" every year since 2006.
Such achievement gave Soraiya the confidence to move out of of The Kitchen Space and make her dream of her own pâtisserie a tangible one. As the first, and only, authentic French pâtisserie in Austin, Soraiya’s guests will feel as if they have suddenly been transported into a quiet street in Paris where nothing matters except a delicious cup of coffee paired with a layered croissant, a decadent gâteau l’opera, a perfectly flaky mille-feuille or one of Soraiya’s signature and beloved French macarons. With the success of the south location, Soraiya and her pastry team were ready to treat north Austin to the same delights. She opened her second La Pâtisserie in 2016 and continues creating amazing sweets for Austin.
When she is not running La Pâtisserie, Soraiya is spending time in her Austin home with her husband, Azim and their 3 children. Even at home she finds herself drawn back to the kitchen where she loves brainstorming new ideas for recipes. When not baking, Soraiya enjoys traveling with her family, reading and dining out at all of her favorite Austin restaurants to add some savory to her very sweet life.