Jesus Perez Goenaga, restaurateur

Jesus Perez Goenaga, a founder of Baltimore's Tio Pepe restaurant who as its pastry chef created desserts that were "sinful perfection," died of pneumonia May 10 in Bradenton, Fla. He was 77. On a trip to Baltimore, he stopped for lunch at a small basement-level restaurant, the Dutch Door at 10 E. Franklin St. He found that the place was up for sale and joined with its owner, Ethel V. Major, to open Tio Pepe there in 1968. Also joining him was another chef, Pedro Sanz. The original partners enlarged the former tearoom, adding a bar that they made themselves. "It is hard to remember the era when Baltimore had so few 'signature' restaurants. Tio Pepe was one, and its whipped cream cake with pine nuts ranked with Marconi's chocolate sundae and Haussner's strawberry pie in the local holy trinity of desserts," said Stan Heuisler, who was Baltimore Magazine's editor from 1976 to 1992.
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