Tova du Plessis


Tova du Plessis



Philadelphia, PA

After years of working in some of America’s most iconic restaurants, Chef Tova du Plessis decided to go back to her roots when she opened her first bakery. She took inspiration from the fresh baked bread and pastries she would make alongside her mother as a child. Her food reflects her heritage while being heavily influenced by her technical training. 

Essen Bakery is a neighborhood spot, where a big city can feel like a small town. The original tiny dining room inside has been replaced with a flower-rimmed pick up window and the pavement has been converted into a spacious streetery. Wednesdays through Sundays, you can find the folks at Essen grinding freshly roasted coffee beans, making sandwiches on fresh bagels and breads and boxing up buttery pastries. Saturdays and Sundays are crowded and lively as fans from all over the city and the country make their weekend complete with a slice of babka. Essen bakes everything from scratch every day from the best ingredients they can find. 

Awards & Accolades

  • James Beard Foundation, Outstanding Baker semi finalist nomination -  2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • Competed and won against Bobby Flay on Beat Bobby Flay

  • Best of Philly Award - 2017