Shirley Cotte and her incredible Napolitaines made in Milano

Because the Kotomili brand celebrates the Mauritian identity all over the world, I couldn’t miss Shirley Cotte’s incredible Napolitaines made in Milan. Pastry chef, passionate, creative, artist, she is a sensation with every post on Facebook. I decided to find out more and share it with you.

Shirley reinvents our beloved Mauritian “Napolitaines” with unusual themes and dressings. Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Halloween, births, wedding anniversaries, all occasions create inspiration.

A batch of exceptional Napolitaines takes three days of work. Sketches, preliminary tests on paper, quality ingredients, dough, baking and finishing. The decoration and designs are meticulously handmade, with sugar, pearls and food dyes. Friends and customers who have had the chance to taste these wonders say they are getting the real taste of the Napolitaines of the good old times.

After seeing several posts of Shirley’s Napolitaines in the Facebook group “les expatriés mauriciens à l’étranger (l’authentique)”, I was surprised to learn that she lives in Milan. Well, there are Mauritians everywhere but it’s more common to find them in England, France, Canada or Australia, isn’t it?

So, Italy? Shirley, how come?

I came to Italy when I was 16 years old. My mother left Mauritius 30 years ago to move to Milan for work.

Hmm, we are polite and we won’t calculate a lady’s age… 😉

And pastry, passion? Profession?

Passion, yes, for sure. Profession, no, not at all. I have had my own professional career and I have made my career in a completely different field. Cooking, cakes and especially Napolitaines are pure pleasure. I taught myself and years of practice have made it what it is today, and I’m very proud of it.

Who gets to enjoy your Napolitaines?

It was my family and friends at first. Then I had occasional requests. Sometimes I even send them by post, vacuum-packed, abroad!

So Shirley, word of mouth, social networks, do you have a plan in mind?

To tell you the truth, I didn’t at first. I had a full-time job and Napolitaines was on the side. Then in 2020 everything changed, as it does for everyone. My professional activity was in a difficult sector, so I found myself with free time to bake, post and think… Yes, it generates an interest from all over the world, it’s quite incredible. At the same time, it’s more complicated at the moment because the mail delays are disrupted by the pandemic so I’m not doing it at the moment. If I can’t guarantee the quality on arrival, I prefer not to try. I want that guarantee of quality and that melt-in-the-mouth feeling when you bite into them.

When this crisis is behind us, my goal is to find a place to create a culinary laboratory, a workshop to go even further in the experiments and professionalize this activity. Probably with my friend Cynthia (Dhall puri Mauritian culture on Facebook) who makes dhall puris and chanapuris, in Milan!

Thank you Shirley for your art, your sharing and your good mood. Keep on aweing us visually, and gustatively for the lucky ones. We wish you every success!

Follow Shirley Cotte on Facebook and Instagram


For Kristel’s birthday, we got to taste Shirley Cotte’s incredible napolitaines made in Milano. ⁠Honestly, they are absolutely amazing!

The decoration and details are lovely, the melt-in-the-mouth feeling is terrific and the taste is awesome. Simply the best I’ve had.

They arrived very well packed, overnight from Milan and stayed perfect for several days (yes, we resisted and had only one each per day 🙂 ).

That was the hardest part. Thank you Shirley!

Of course, I did a photo shoot before eating those delicacies. Enjoy!

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