Detroit Q&A

With Lisa Lud­win­ski of Sis­ter Pie

Lonely Planet Magazine (US) - - Globetrotter - Edited by CINDY GUIER Pho­to­graphs by STEVE & ANNE TRUPPE

WHAT DO SPON­TA­NEOUS DANC­ING, COM­MU­NITY AD­VO­CACY AND WHIPPED CREAM HAVE IN COM­MON? THEY’RE ALL SERVED UP ALONG­SIDE DE­LI­CIOUS BAKED GOODS AT SIS­TER PIE, A BAK­ERY IN DETROIT’S HIS­TORIC WEST VIL­LAGE. WE TALKED WITH MICHI­GAN NA­TIVE LISA LUD­WIN­SKI ABOUT HER POP­U­LAR BAKESHOP AND GOT HER TAKE ON SOME OF THE BEST WAYS TO EX­PE­RI­ENCE THE RESURGING MO­TOR CITY RIGHT NOW.

How did you be­come a pas­try chef ?

I quickly moved to New York after col­lege to pur­sue a theater ca­reer in di­rect­ing. I was al­most im­me­di­ately dis­tracted by food, both what I saw in the city and what I read about in books and blogs. I started film­ing a silly, low-budget cook­ing show out of my var­i­ous Brook­lyn apart­ments, try­ing on a new recipe ev­ery week. This ex­pe­ri­ence ig­nited my pas­sion for food, and after many ad­ven­tures in vlog­ging, I be­gan work­ing at Mo­mo­fuku Milk Bar. Only weeks into work­ing in a pro­fes­sional kitchen and I was in love with the hus­tle and cre­ativ­ity that comes with bak­ery life.

How did Sis­ter Pie come to be?

After liv­ing in Brook­lyn for six years, I had a grow­ing itch to re­turn to Michi­gan and start my own business. I knew I wanted to open a good-food/do-good kinda place, and pie seemed like the right place to start. The con­cept was in­spired by both a com­mit­ment to bak­ing with sea­sonal Michi­gan pro­duce, and the broad def­i­ni­tion of sis­ter­hood and what that can mean in a work­place and com­mu­nity space.

De­scribe the ex­pe­ri­ence of vis­it­ing Sis­ter Pie.

Our goal is to be a wel­com­ing, friendly place for all peo­ple, and we try to achieve that with an open kitchen de­sign, a full pas­try case with op­tions for many palates, big win­dows pour­ing light onto the com­mu­nal ta­ble, and a steady mix of tunes that runs from ’90s R&B to Joy Di­vi­sion. The place is al­ways buzzing with cus­tomers, a full staff of bak­ers, and you’re likely to hear the sound of rolling pins hit­ting pie dough and oven timers go­ing off as you en­joy a slice.

Fa­vorite pie?

Tart pies! My ul­ti­mate pie is prob­a­bly our cran­berry crum­ble pie: all-but­ter, flaky crust; Michi­gan cran­ber­ries, both whole and in com­pote form; and a but­tery, brown sugar crum­ble on top. I like to eat it in a bowl, smashed up with some vanilla ice cream or fresh whip.

I’m also ob­sessed with plum pies, and the way they bake down into the most won­der­ful jammy tex­ture. Peach plum is an es­pe­cially great com­bi­na­tion. I could go on.

What dish sums up the city for you?

The cat­fish tofu sand­wich with sweet po­tato fries at Detroit Ve­gan Soul [at right]. It’s made with love by two na­tive Detroi­ters who opened a restau­rant to nour­ish their fam­i­lies and friends with tra­di­tional soul food, but wanted to of­fer health­ier, more sus­tain­able op­tions. Their mis­sion is deep with love, com­mu­nity and re­ally good food.

“BELLE ISLE, Detroit’s beau­ti­ful, east side park, is a per­fect pic­nic des­ti­na­tion. The Anna Scripps Whit­comb Con­ser­va­tory is es­pe­cially worth a visit.” belleisle­con­ser­vancy.org

“DETROIT VE­GAN SOUL is one of my fa­vorite places to grab a ca­sual din­ner, and they now have two lo­ca­tions! Owned and op­er­ated by part­ners Kirsten Ussery and Erika Boyd, this place has my fa­vorite veg­gie burger in the city.” de­troitve­g­an­soul.com

“Detroit’s pride and joy, EAST­ERN MAR­KET boasts restau­rants, shops and a mas­sive cov­ered Farmer’s Mar­ket that op­er­ates ev­ery Satur­day, as well as on Tues­days in the sum­mer­time. I love stop­ping at the Grown in Detroit ta­ble and grab­bing a slice from Supino’s or a burger at Cut­ter’s.” east­ern­mar­ket.com

“DEQUINDRE CUT GREENWAY is my fa­vorite spot for a quick run, bike ride or leisurely walk. This ur­ban recre­ational path fea­tures in­cred­i­ble art and graf­fiti and con­nects the Detroit river­front to East­ern Mar­ket.” de­troitriver­front.org

Banana Pete pie (top) and blue­berry plum bal­samic pie LUD­WIN­SKI’S TOP DETROIT PICKS

Cat­fish tofu sand­wich with sweet po­tato fries

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