Magic, it seems, can be made from the most basic of ingredients. In a myriad of combinations, flour, eggs, butter and sugar alchemize into elegant cakes, rich brioche rolls, airy cream puffs and crackly croissants spun from an improbable number of layers. Of course, it is more than just magic in the deft hands of a master pâtissier — they have a special combination of vision, passion and skill to create indulgent confections that bring us joy.

As Nashville has grown as a food destination, so, too, has the array of bakeries offering extraordinary pastries. Take in the words of the following four masters — their backgrounds, inspirations, goals — and then go savor their delectable works of art.