Chloe Watts is the local gal who’s as sweet as pie. Not just in nature, but Chloe was at the helm of Gold Coast bakery/cafe phenomenon Paddock Bakery producing all things sweet and tasty. After passing on the reigns at Paddock, Chloe has a new project in the works in Burleigh and the people couldn’t be more excited. Due to open at the top end of James Street in Burleigh in the not too distant future, in the meantime Chloe shares with Inside Gold Coast her career to date and what we can expect from her new venture, the much anticipated Tarte.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I was born and raised on the Gold Coast and left to live in Sydney for six years, then moved to London for two years before returning home a few years back.
What do you love most about living here?
Undeniably the lifestyle and the weather, it truly is such a magical place.
Tell us about your career thus far?
Prior to owning and running Paddock Bakery for several years, I had some incredible opportunities in London. The best experience was working with a top private chef in London on several events. The most notable experience with him however, was staying with and cooking for John Taylor of Duran Duran and his wife Gela Nash-Taylor (creator of Juicy Couture) in their 50-room Manor in the English countryside. We cooked and served them for two weeks over Christmas on ‘THE’ Napoleon’s antique dining plates and King George’s table, while white ‘albino’ peacocks ran around. A truly surreal experience…
I also had the pleasure of working for a top London hospitality company, marketing some of London’s most notable restaurants and chefs. To gain further experience, I worked for seven pounds an hour in a famous bakery and deli, to learn the ins, outs and intricacies of how it is done on a very large scale. These experiences have undeniably shaped the way I do things within this industry here and I’m so grateful for the opportunities I was given.
Tell us about Tarte.
I have dreamed of doing Tarte for a very long time, and have forever eyed off the location it is now in. The food focuses on ‘classic’ dishes done to another level, honouring the demand for that recognisable breakfast, brunch and lunch menu, but ensuring it is taken to new heights and executed flawlessly, with absolutely everything made on site. Tarte’s bakery offerings will be rustic, and have everything from freshly made, flakey tarts, to the classic cookie and more (watch this space…).
Over the years I travelled to NYC for weeks at a time. While there, I fell in love with the style and aesthetic of West Village and Soho and I knew very early on that I wanted to achieve that look for Tarte. Simply put, the aesthetic of Tarte is a ‘West Village – New York’ style with a Parisian influence. It has a fully custom dark charcoal frontage, made from high quality timber and super high windows and doors. The interior will be filled with marble, tiles, blacks, whites and brass accents throughout. The main service and display counter is a 100 year old antique counter from a country NSW town Movie Theatre with the lights above from mid-century Amsterdam. The idea of Tarte is to be completely open, offering a seamless flow from indoors to out.
What is the process of creating Tarte from concept to reality?
Honestly, it’s a lot of hard work and attention. Nothing is simple. Every decision has to be well thought out and serves its purpose. Each element of design was carefully curated to achieve the look I wanted but also to make sure the staff are comfortable at their stations and that we have good flow for our customers. It also means getting your hands dirty – I personally put in over 3,000 individual black mosaics with the tiler – those three days were not fun! Haha. We hope it’s paid off!
Why do you think the Gold Coast needs a bakery/cafe like Tarte?
I think the Gold Coast has some wonderful bakeries and cafes, namely my brother’s establishments, Bam Bam, Custard Canteen and Cubby Bakehouse, as well as Paddock Bakery, now owned by Dion and Maya. All four of these places are some of the best in QLD, not just the Coast and I’m extremely proud to be connected to them. So simply put, we have amazing places, but Tarte will have its own unique character and menu with a style the Gold Coast hasn’t seen before. It’s also something new for Burleigh Heads, with loads of outdoor seating under the trees and in the warm sun – Burleigh hasn’t really had that before, so I’m super excited to offer not only good food and a great space, but over 100 seats outside in the iconic Burleigh Heads!
What can the Gold Coast anticipate from Tarte’s menu?
I have been curating this menu for 12 months, and I cannot WAIT to share it with the Gold Coast! For now though, it’s top secret 😉
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Restaurant for dinner: Francie’s in Coolangatta for a casual date night – best pizza around! Rick Shores is hard to beat when you combine the tasty food with that unbeatable view and of course, my good friend’s over at Labart are downright amazing!
Bar or pub for a drink: The Scottish Prince is great fun on the weekend!
Café for breakfast: Paddock Bakery still has my heart
Coffee spot: Seadog in Burleigh does epic takeaway coffee and has kept me going through this fitout!
How does your weekend usually look: At the moment? Covered in dust and paint! Haha. Otherwise with my fiancé and little cavoodle relaxing at home or making a day trip south with a podcast on…