UO Kitchen Visits: Lucky Lab Coffee

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If you've had the opportunity to walk through the Space 24 Twenty Courtyard (or even the 24th block of San Antonio) between the hours of 7 and 11am, you may have noticed a richly sweet, almost intoxicating aroma wafting from the doors of Lucky Lab Coffee. 

You can thank Ingrid Ryan for this, Lucky Lab's in-house pastry chef who has carefully crafted each of the coffee shop's irresistable sweet treats, from the gooey strawberry pop-tarts to the scones to the moist pumpkin bread that almost always tastes as if it just came out of the oven (because it probably did). 

In the spirit of the holidays and Lucky Lab's recently launched seasonal menu, we visited Ingrid's kitchen earlier this week to learn more about what a day-in-the-life looks like for the chef. On this particular morning, we shadowed as she created s'mores pop-tarts, complete with a toasted marshmallow frosting, chocolate ganache filling and a graham cracker pastry puff. 

Read more below and swing by to try for yourself! 

Hey Ingrid! Tell us a bit more about yourself and how you fell in to the culinary world.  

I’m a native Austonian, there’s not many of us 😉  not even sure if that’s what we’re called. Food is art, I started of as an art student and fell into the Kitchen world through my brother. 

We’ve tried (and loved) just about every pastry at Lucky Lab – what’s your personal favorite (if you could choose just one)!

My favorite thing is (and this is a tough one because every recipe I have here was developed for here so you can’t get this stuff anywhere else) the chocolate chip cookies. This is Courtney’s favorite thing and we had several test batches before we landed on our final cookie. It’s perfect in every way, crisp and chewy, dark chocolate the right amount of  sweet and salt balance- breakfast of champions!

With the holidays gearing up, we know you must be crazed with new, fun seasonal recipes.  What are a few highlights from this month’s menu?

The main attraction would be the campfire sweetcream, we developed it last year and its back by popular demand and literally indescribable. I like hearing the staff try, but the best ones I’ve heard are “warm hug in a cup” “ kinda like coffee eggnog” and “camping in a cup”
Next new fave would have to be the honey roasted jalapeño lemonade, we all wanted a spicy drink and this was our team collaboration and it’s the shit!

Number one tip for beginning bakers?

#1 tip- love what you do or it’s not worth it- I think that speaks to anything but passionate people make incredible food- and one thing I live by is “smooth people don’t bite”- meaning be original, if you’re gonna do something that’s been done before thing way outside the box

Without trying to steal too many of your secrets, could you share an easy, go-to recipe for us to try on our own?

I love nostalgia foods, you can sell anything if it triggers a memory. The Rice Krispie are such a simple item but by changing it up just a bit keeps people hooked, I use a little extra marsh mallow and and little extra butter and I brown the butter.