In his restaurant crowned with two Michelin stars, he offers menus entirely composed of desserts, as does the Frenchman Sébastien Vauxion, chef of Sarkara in Courchevel, also two stars.
With his lollipop made of Jerusalem artichoke-vanilla ice cream and covered with caviar, he won over skeptics who hailed the balance of flavors and textures that were a priori divisive, during an evening in Paris organized by the gastronomic ranking La List.
The Michelin guide describes his restaurant as “unique” with “creative and innovative compositions”, which “are by no means limited to sweet dishes”.
For La Liste, which launched the world’s first app in early September listing the 600 best pastry chefs, innovation is through pastry.
– “An experiment” –
Pastry corresponds to “a trendy tasting mode” and “many pastry chefs are leading the dance in gastronomy at the moment”, Hélène Pietrini, general manager of La List, told AFP.
“People don’t come to my restaurant for business meetings or because they’re hungry. They’re looking for an experience,” emphasizes René Frank.
He likes to play on the “emotional” side of the dessert, “the most fun part of the meal” and which “reminds us of childhood”.
Pastry chef Sébastien Vauxion says he built his restaurant on “no man’s land”.
Since then, this chef who gives proofs to the popular show “Top Chef”, has seen “a lot of creations emerge” made on the same principle as his: “in the world of dessert, but not in sugar”.
As a “starter-dessert”, he offers an ice cream with mushrooms, coconut with candied lemon peel. Its “dessert cheese” is accompanied by roasted flour shortbread and fresh herb sorbet.
– Palace as a local pastry-
Luxury hotel pastry chefs confirm to AFP that there is a “demand” for them to open up to the city.
Yann Brys, pastry chef of the Evok Collection hotel group, two of which have pastry shops, says he is “surprised” to see people “buying croissants in the morning” in his hotel shops like “in a street bakery”.
“The mode of consumption is evolving towards sweets, people are getting used to buying pastries in 5-star hotels”, which have taste and visual requirements, adds the pastry chef, whose Christmas collection with logs in gondola or mask shape is focused on Venice, where the group is opening a hotel in 2023.
“Best pastry chef in the world” in 2019, François Perret of the Ritz Paris has just reviewed the “tea time” by adding desserts to share, after having inaugurated the Ritz Comptoir in 2021, where we buy his famous madeleines or millefeuilles to eat while walking in Paris.
– “Plus accessible” –
“Haute pastry will always be more accessible than haute cuisine (…) The Ritz is opening up to Paris, it goes with the times,” he told AFP.
If the salty can make you dream so much, it is in the dessert that the magic takes place, assures Hugues Pouget, chef of his house Hugo
A client of her shop, Catherine Deneuve agreed one day to co-create a Yule log because she couldn’t find the praline one like in previous years. Hugues Pouget is reissuing this “Marion” log for Christmas 2022, named after his character in “The Last Metro”.
“She told me I like praline, clementine, coffee too, hazelnuts. I built the log with these flavors. We made these little clouds of meringues”.
“It was atypical as a collaboration” in 2014, he smiles. Since then, the actress has returned to the store to “have a friendly coffee-cigarette”.