by Meaghan Morelli
Chef Robyn Eads, founder of Peace Tree Desserts, calls herself The Sustainable Pastry Chef, because of her dedication to locally sourced, responsibly produced foods. From the product to the packaging, she takes her sustainable moniker seriously.

“It’s better for us, and better for the planet,” Chef Eads told me recently. “I like to use what is available, rather than just creating more waste.

She also happens to be a darn good chef. Chef Eads sat down with me the day after she launched her new line of creative Cajeta Caramel sauces at the Westport Farmers' Market. “I’m literally flying,” she said, her vivacious nature enhanced by a hugely successful local launch of her products.

“The Cajeta Caramel sauces were created with the eco-conscious consumer in mind,” said Chef Eads, a Culinary Institute of America grad and a veteran of some of the world’s most renowned kitchens, like Le Bernadin in Manhattan, as well as locally celebrated restaurants like Wilton’s School House, where she was the head pastry chef. “At the market yesterday, I had people coming up and saying, ‘My friend just called me and told me she bought a rosemary caramel sauce from you and that I have to try it.’ The response was just amazing.”

While we chatted, Chef Eads offered me samples of her new caramels, which I eagerly accepted. “I love playing in the kitchen and surprising people,” she said. And some of the new blended caramel flavors, made from Connecticut goats’ milk, are definitely surprising.

The rosemary caramel is so herbaceous, and the flavor so fresh, I asked if there was lavender in it as well. “No, but that’s another flavor combination for me to try,” Chef Eads smiled. The curry caramel boasts a perfect balance between savory and sweet. “It’s great with coconut or bananas,” she said. It would also be a terrific addition to a Thai-inspired stir fry.

“I like creating dishes with a real depth of flavor, things that tell a story on your tongue,” said Chef Eads. The samples she shared definitely spoke to me.

In addition to the Westport Farmers' Market, Cajeta Caramels will also be available at Double L Market and Collyer Catering.

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