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Exclusive: Acclaimed Austin chef Laura Sawicki leaving Launderette and Fresa's

Matthew Odam
Austin 360
Acclaimed pastry chef Laura Sawicki is seen here at La Condesa in 2012.

Laura Sawicki, who has been one of the best pastry chefs in Austin for the past decade, is leaving her role as executive pastry chef and partner at the restaurant group that owns and operates Launderette and Fresa’s

In a message shared with the American-Statesman, the ownership group that includes chef Rene Ortiz, Margaret Vera and Tracy Overath said that Sawicki, who will work at Launderette and Fresa’s through the end of the year, is leaving the company to pursue her own interests.

“She has been an incredible part of our team over the last (eight) years and will be missed greatly. While we are sad to see her go, we are so excited for her to be able to pursue her passions in the way that is most meaningful to her,” the statement reads.  “We know that she will be successful in whatever she chooses to do.”

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Sawicki came to Austin with Ortiz to open La Condesa in 2010 and later served as executive pastry chef at Sway. Sawicki and Ortiz have been partners at Fresa’s since 2013 and opened Launderette in East Austin to wide acclaim in 2015. 

A six-time James Beard Award semifinalist for outstanding pastry chef, Sawicki is known for her delicate flavors and whimsy, including a birthday cake ice cream sandwich that will remain on the menu at Launderette after her departure. 

Chef-partner Laura Sawicki, left, is leaving Launderette and Fresa's, where she has worked for eight years with executive chef Rene Ortiz.

Sawicki said in a statement that she has used the time during the coronavirus pandemic for self-reflection, and it has led to her wanting to pursue her own interests. 

“It was a painfully difficult decision to make, and one I did not take lightly. I’m excited to spend the new year focusing my energy on the future,” Sawicki said.