Would you line up at two AM in zero-degree weather, just for a croissant? People would regularly do that all the time, purely for the chance to try Kate Reid's pastries. The New York Times, after all, said her croissants are "the finest you will find anywhere in the world, and alone worth a trip across the dateline". Other fans include René Redzepi, Nigella Lawson and Helen Goh.
Originally, Kate spent over a decade pursuing her dream job of being an aerospace engineer for Formula One car racing. She was the only woman in her role (and in fact, there wasn't even a female toilet where she worked). But when her career aspirations crumbled, and her life in London proved hugely isolating, Kate took solace in obsessive weight loss. Her eating disorder left her dangerously ill – she was six weeks away from dying – but her recovery was a key part of her starting Lune Croissanterie in Melbourne. It was inspired by a pivotal (and entirely impromptu) visit she made to Du Pain et des Idées in Paris. After a stint at the boulangerie, Kate started selling her own croissants from a tiny space in Elwood. The blockbuster reaction was incredible (people would arrive hours before opening, with movies on their iPad to pass the time), and has since led to Lune Croissanterie opening in Fitzroy and the CBD. Even the French newspaper Le Monde has given Kate's croissants an endorsement. But she is as upfront about the lows of her career as well as the big-time highlights. I really loved talking to Kate: she's so engaging, friendly and very honest. Catch Kate being interviewed by The New York Times food editor Sam Sifton, about The Power of Obsession for Melbourne Food and Wine Festival on March 9.