Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we are getting ready for summer fun and for the new creations the Relais Desserts pastry Chefs concocted for us: ice creams, cookies and fruity, crunchy or refreshing sweets. It’s takeout to appreciate on the beach… feet in the sand, or while on a stroll. Some of the Relais Desserts Chefs are telling us a little more about their favorite flavors and compositions for the summer.
Paris-Beach Flip-flop: Breton shortcake, verbena red berry marmalade, red berry cream and raspberry glaze.
Strawberries! In sorbet, in a pound cake, in tarts and in the iconic Bagatelle. It’s great in whatever floats your boat!
This summer creation?
The strawberry, apricot and pistachio Bayadère. I love its flavor and color mix.
A must, to eat on the beach?
The strawberry and rhubarb madeleine that makes you feel like a kid at each bite.
The raspberry tiramisu: Our clients love it and come May, they look forward to it; it’s a classic.
And what is your personal guilty pleasure?
The raspberry éclair, every year I put in a new ingredient. Last year, it was coconut and this year, it’s Timut peppercorns for its slightly peppery notes.
Finger cakes by Lenôtre House. Four delicious cakes such as the strawberry Valencia: strawberry jam, hibiscus and chia seeds, strawberry chocolate and small almond coating and decoration of strawberry-yuzu paste.
Fruit sorbet (57% to 74% fruit…) by Lenôtre House: lemon-ginger, pistachio-apricot-strawberry bayadère…
July gourmet specialty, with summery fruity flavors by Patrick Gelencser, La Roche-sur-Yon (France)… Honey apricots, pistachio chips and extra-crunchy, pure butter flaky pastry.
Ispahan ice cream by Pierre Hermé Paris: litchi-rose sorbet and raspberry sorbet. The flavors of the ice creams and sorbets overlap and are delicately mixed randomly using an ice cream maker’s spoon. It’s a handmade mix.
Oh, our vegan sorbets definitely, they’re refreshing and flavorful.
This summer creation?
The new Rinaldi Boom Boom, some semifreddo or frozen “parfaits”. Mark: Sicily pistachios, Caribbean dark chocolate icing. Pamela: Madagascar vanilla, strawberries, mango white chocolate and Amber: caramel, salted peanuts with amber chocolate coating.
A must, to eat on the beach?
Dried fruit and honey bars, to keep your energy up when it’s hot out.
Queen’s Flower by Roberto Rinaldini: meringue cake and vanilla parfait.
From last May 9 through 12 and for the first time, the Taste of Paris festival put the Relais Desserts pastry chefs in the spotlight. 12 pastry chefs were invited, they offered dozens of demonstrations and over 3,000 cakes were consumed; the bet of creating the first Sweet Relais Desserts restaurant at the Grand Palais was clearly won! Here is the story in pictures.
For four days, the Grand Palais in Paris became a true temple of pastry, thanks to this festival to be enjoyed to your heart’s content. The big Paris houses along with the beautiful regional ones had the pleasure to participate in this delicious adventure placed under the auspices of excellence… a cherished value to the Association.
From left to right : Jean-Paul Hévin, Mercotte, Arnaud Larher, Christophe Michalak, Maëlig Georgelin and Jean-Paul Hévin’ chef.
On the top, left: Jean-Christophe Jeanson (Lenôtre House) ; center, from left to right: Laurent Duchêne, Christophe Roussel and Jean-Christophe Jeanson. Center, left : Sadaharu Aoki ; “Papillon” by Vincent Guerlais ; right: Jardin de Printemps Fraise et Verveine by Pierre Hermé. Below, left: Mercotte with Maëlig Georgelin ; right: Pierre Hermé.
Just like every spring, all the world’s Relais Desserts pastry chefs met to share their know-how and talk about their craft, but also to allow aficionados from Lyon to taste their creations. It was the opportunity to celebrate once more, state of the art Haute Pastry.
Photos : Pep’s Photomatic by Eric Meyss
The Relais Desserts in front of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Lyon.
Between May 5 and 7, the seminar took place in Lyon—the capital of gastronomy—under the leadership of Richard Sève, Sébastien Bouillet and Jean-Paul Pignol; for the occasion, the pastry chefs imagined the “Chefs’ afternoon snacks” on the theme of market pastry. A huge and wonderful “afternoon snacks” display, which gathered about 550 people in the beautiful hall de la Corbeille of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Lyon. Gérard Collomb (mayor of Lyon and former minister of the Interior) and David Kimefeld (President of Greater Lyon) were there and even received a “medal macaron” from Vincent Guerlais, president of Relais Desserts.
From left to right: David Kimefeld (president of Greater Lyon), Sébastien Bouillet, Gérard Collomb (mayor of Lyon and former minister of the Interior), Richard Sève and Vincent Guerlais.
Other than a visit to the Pignol house lab in Brignais and Sébastien Bouillet’s shops, the pastry chefs also discovered the Musco, the Lyon chocolate museum that Richard and Gaëlle Sève in Limonest created.
Visit of the Musco, the Lyon Museum of Chocolate, created by Richard and Gaëlle Sève.
From left to right : Richard Sève, Pierre Hermé, Stéphane de Bourgies, Gaëlle Sève, Vincent Guerlais.
As a matter of fact, it is at the Musco that Relais Desserts had the pleasure to present the Zazakely Sambatra Association—presided by the photographer Stéphane de Bourgies—which works tirelessly to help with the education of Madagascar youth—with the funds collected by the pastry chefs during Macaron’s Day last March 20th namely… a check for 53,500 euros.
And lets not forget the visit of Relais Desserts’ partners showrooms, that’s about 20 members, a delicious country style lunch offered by the fruit cooperative Sicoly, a discovery of Lyon rally as well as a visit of the very exclusive Hermès and Christofle workshops.
For the first time, the Taste of Paris festival is putting the Relais Desserts pastry chefs in the spotlight. It is the opportunity to taste the latest creations of more than 10 of our chefs and to watch them work!
A festival to enjoy at the Grand Palais in Paris, which for 4 days will transform itself into a real temple of gastronomy with, as guests, the most fashionable chefs of the time… of savory or sweet talent alike.
And so, we highly recommend you book a day session or an evening session, keep in mind you can always restaurant and bar hop thanks to a cashless dematerialized debit card. Hands in your pockets so to speak but with taste buds at the ready!
Fortunately, daylight saving time also springs forward to chocolate time! The Relais Desserts pastry chefs play withall shapes and color with humor and finesse and create artistic, playful and whimsical chocolate artworks. Not only are these an exquisite invitation to travel, but they are also an invitation to the sweetness of spring and childhood.
The “Chocolate Planet” theme, which is a reminder of our Bean to Bar chocolate making operation. It’s a sweet world tour around cocoa origins such as Papuan, Aztec, Massai and of course the master chocolatier!
For the spring edition of Desserts, Guillaume Gomez accepted our interview, the Gourmet Confession, where Anne-Sophie Pic and Alain Ducasse preceded him.
Named Best Worker of France (MOF) in 2004 at the early age of 25, the former apprentice is the chef of the kitchens of l’Élysée, where he already worked back in…1997. As loyal as direct, this workhorse is also an ambassador of Designations of origin to the United Nations and spends most of his time promoting the diffusion and transmission of gastronomy, such as in two culinary books of reference.
Your fetish flavour?
I do have a penchant for sourness, which promotes other flavours: the savoury, the bitterness. It balances the sugary in a good way.
The place of gourmandise in your life?
Very important! I am very gourmand, and it shows (laughs). I do not think anyone can practice a food profession without a certain attraction or curiosity to discover new dishes and to taste new flavours.
Your favourite moment of gourmandise?
I have a soft spot for quick bites: this improvised moment between colleagues or friends delights me. If I meet a chef or a maître d’hôtel that is a friend at the market, we stop at the fishery to share some shrimps, open a bottle and so forth. I also enjoy more formal meals, but spontaneity pleases me.
What moves you in pastry?
Pastry chefs are like us (editor’s note: the chefs), they are very gourmand, they are epicureans who love people and life. They impress me by their capacity to create cakes with perfect regularity, day after day. Different to that of the chef, who can call on his intuition, the work of a pastry chef requires high technicality, in which discipline and precision do not leave a room for chance.
Dough, the cornerstone…
True to say that with only a handful of ingredients one can either produce a puff pastry, a brioche or a savoury dough such as the one for pâté en croûte (editor’s note: one of his heavenly sins). They may well form the link between sweet and savoury!
A nice sweet moment at l’Élysée?
In 2015, at l’Élysée, with the filming of the Best Pastry Chef by Philippe Urraca. Then the receiving of the Légion d’Honneur by Paul Bocuse in 1975 from President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. This was a first for a chef and I am sorry not to have been there. For this occasion, Maurice Bernachon (editor’s note: a chocolate maker from a family of pioneers of bean-to-bar for three generations), created the famous Président, a cake decorated with a lacework of chocolate, inspired by the Forêt-noire.
How are desserts selected at l’Élysée?
The President always decides, as he is the one who eats what we prepare on a daily basis! With Fabien Cocheteux, the pastry chef, we take into account both the taste of the President and the season. In summer, we make home-made ice-creams and get our supplies from French producers as much as we can. As a matter of fact, I champion the Semaine du Goût as we, chefs and pastry chefs, must take our share of responsibility in the education of taste, in the respect of seasonality, as well as in nutritional balance.
Any protocol that needs to be respected at the palace?
Service “à la française”, “by the dish” is outdated. The great entremets to be shared, accompanied by a sugar or chocolate piece, are not in the flavour of days. To speed up the rhythm of meals, all of our desserts are served on the plate. The tendency is more towards well-being.
Any specific dessert?
I love simple pastries, with a ‘just” taste, like the Tarte Tatin or the lemon tart. Macaroons by Pierre Hermé conclude a meal very well.
And on the chocolate side?
I love chocolate! Chocolate bars by Sébastien Bouillet are a torment: once started, I cannot stop. I remember some excesses, especially when I worked near Jean-Paul Hévin’s boutique. I used to buy chocolates every week. Awful! Among the dedicated events, I really appreciate the Salon Impérial Chocolat at the Château de Fontainebleau created by Frédéric Cassel.
Any sweet souvenir from childhood?
Having grown up in Paris, the Parisian pudding that we found in all bakeries comes first. It was always good as it was home-made with real eggs. I should also mention crepes, as at home and as a child, we would improvise a convivial and gourmand snack with them in no time.
Cuisine, leçons en pas-à-pas pour les enfants, by Guillaume Gomez, illustrated by Louison at the Éditions du Chêne.
Most of them just published, others to rediscover, here are some of our pastry chefs books who, for sure,will inspire you !
Established in Norway since over twenty years, Pascal Dupuy heads several nice vary famous addresses in Oslo, which includes bakeries, pastry shops and restaurants and handles sweet and savoury just as well. In this nice book of recipes, he delicately and generously conjugates French know-how with Norwegian traditions and raw material. A true delight.
PASCAL PÅ NORSK
By Emma Therese Hansen
Photo: Sune E. Frøyseth
Éditions Dinamo Forlag – 398 SEK (about 40 €)
One of the most famous pastry chefs of the Boot, Luigi Biasetto unveils all the facets of macaroons in this book. From their origins to the selection of the best ingredients, not to forget the essential rules of their making, he declines macaroons in 60 recipes. Sweet, frozen or savoury, changing techniques, fillings and decorations. Indispensable for the unfettered lovers of this soft and round gourmandise.
LUIGI BIASETTO, MACARON
By Luigi Biasetto
Éditions Italian Gourmet – 69 €
Half-way between Lyon and Japan, Sébastien Bouillet revisits the great classics of French pastry with freshness and lightness, with a personal design touch. In this Best of, he reveals 10 of his signature desserts step by step, and invites us to make pastry without fear, like a pastry chef: coriander and lemon Angel cream, Pavlova, exotic chou, Chiffon Cake…, just follow the lead.
BEST OF SÉBASTIEN BOUILLET
By Sébastien Bouillet
Ducasse Édition – 14 €
This richly illustrated piece of work is meant for amateur or confirmed pastry chefs and also unveils the main rules of pastry, such as the alchemy of some ingredients or their change in texture. The Result? Some 750 recipes going from fetish creations of the pastry chef to the great classics, not to forget regional and foreign specialties, as well as some light recipes. A marvellous Bible for the gourmand.
LE LAROUSSE DES DESSERTS
La bible des amateurs et des professionnels
By Pierre Hermé
Larousse Cuisine – 29.95 €
Emmenés par Pierre Marcolini, treize grands chocolatiers belges, dont Jean-Philippe Darcis, se livrent sur leur amour du chocolat et d’un métier un temps oublié, maîtrisant toutes les étapes de sa fabrication, de la fève à la tablette. Outre leur vision, leur savoir-faire et leurs spécialités, ils dévoilent ici trois de leurs meilleures recettes salées ou sucrées. Un bonheur.
Shop, coffee or corner, discover the new places of our pastry chefs.
For his gourmand casket, inaugurated in November on the historical site of the boutique, Vianney Bellanger focussed on the pleasures of teatime snacks. A must for enthusiasts of fresh and melting madeleines, of savoury cakes and of gourmet bars produced every morning with local produce in direct distribution, served in eco-responsible packaging.
It is in the old geisha quarter of Kyoto that Maison Jouvaud has opened a charming boutique and tearoom last spring. In Indus style, mixing gourmandises and decorative object, Maison Jouvaud presents its Rocailles, a meringue that is typical of the south of France, its travel cakes and some delicate desserts served by the plate. So many delicacies to be found at their new address in Kyoto, at the heart of the Isetan shopping temple.
To celebrate the 40 years of his boutique, Michel Belin inaugurated the Manufacture last summer, a boutique and a lab of nearly 700m2. The menu? Delicate pastries and a boutique-workshop dedicated to chocolate, Viennese pastry, bread and a whole range of savoury and ultra-fresh snacks. To be tasted on the spot, eyes closed or watching the artisans work through the windows overlooking the workshop.
Yann Blanchard’s new address, Berlingo, ravishes all amateurs of frozen delicacies and of chocolate since last summer, until midnight bells ring. Needless to say that the pastry chef uses organic milk, local ingredients, and has also created vegan ice-creams, without gluten. To be tasted within a coloured little house or on the terrace, between sunbathing and a starred sky.
Just opened in autumn, Café Pierre Hermé, which faces the emblematic pastry shop of rue Bonaparte, is an opportunity to savour coffee within the rules of the art. Exceptional baristi, a selection of outstanding coffees by Hippolyte Courty, founder of l’Arbre à Café, this new place with its dashing and tangy colours, declines the intensity of the beverage and of fine sweet pleasures in the most delicate way.
Last December, Jean-Paul Hévin opened a 13th boutique in Japan. Where? In Kyoto and within the gourmet space and Isetan shopping high place of Isetan. For the hurried gourmets in transit or for the seasoned sweet teeth, this new casket presents home-made pastries and chocolates as well as some exclusive delicacies produced with the local ingredients.
JR Kyoto Isetan, B1 Higashi-Shiokoji-cho, Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Having revised traditional German pastry with success, Volker Gmeiner inaugurated a new boutique in Konstanz, Germany, in October. A perfect address to appreciate his tasty creations, in which fruits are at the forefront, such as cherries in his irresistible Forêt Noire, pears or apricots in tarts worth spoiling yourself for, or apples, which become divine in his apfelstrudel.
Kanzleistrasse 3, Constance, Allemagne
Inseparable from Lyon’s gastronomy, Jean-Paul Pignol has just opened a gourmet space in the Halles of the Grand Hôtel Dieu, which has recently been refurbished. The result? Apart from his sweet and savoury creations, the caterer, and MOF, conducted the project and has brought in eight unavoidable and complementary trades: fish, meat, cheese, wine, fruits, Viennese pastry… An exquisite and tasty voyage.
Every March 20th, Macaron’s Day makes solidarity coincide with sweet delicacies. For this 14th year, The Relais Desserts Chefs have mobilized their creativity to benefit the Zazakely Sambatra association —presided by Stéphane de Bourgies who works with Madagascar youth— taking their inspiration from the island terroir’s richness to compose a macaron gift box, especially created for the occasion. So many sweet things to take out in a bright Madagascar colors and limited edition gift box with, as a bonus a pretty bracelet the Madagascan stylist Sih Rakout created.
To find all Macaron’s Day participating houses in France, it is here. For other countries, go here!
Pierre Hermé Paris House initiated this event in 2005 with the will to highlight the macaron cookie and celebrate spring with gourmet sweetness and solidarity, because all of this special day’s profits and donations are given to a charitable organization.
What do solidarity and sweet delicacies have in common?
In my opinion, sweet gourmet food, solidarity and generosity go hand in hand. Passing knowledge down and sharing are values I’ve always defended because in the profession of pastry chef, helping each other and passing down knowledge and skills are both a pleasure and a duty.
A word on the Zazakely Sambatra Association?
This association works with the key goal in mind to teach, to pass down knowledge and skills to Madagascar’s children, a similar approach to ours. It is the story of a man, Stéphane de Bourgies and also of a great friendship.
Your signature macaron you specially created for that day?
Our macarons Infiniment Vanille de Madagascar (Infinitely Madagascar Vanilla) and Infiniment Chocolat de Madagascar (Infinitely Madagascar Chocolate) with a chocolate ganache. We use pure Madagascar-origin chocolate from the Millot farm.
Zazakely Sambatra is an association that allows children to grow and develop their full potential. There is a real need to support organizations that help this country full of natural wealth, notably its cocoa farms, its vanilla, its flavors and its ecosystem…
Your signature macaron you specially created for that day?
To a pastry chef and chocolate maker, you can’t talk about Madagascar without chocolate and vanilla, of course!
The Cocoa Forest crowdfunding campaign has ended and thanks to you we have raised
Namely, we’ll be able to plant over 1,325 trees in the test sites of cocoa plantations in the Dominican Republic.
These cocoa plantations will allow us to test several agro-forestry models in order to:
increase the profitability of the producers’ lots
create additional revenues for the farmers through the sale of associated food crops
protect the environment
In other words, you just participated in the development of a sustainable cocoa-culture. We are happy you became part of our collective, which gathers all actors of the sector, from the producer to the consumer, with researchers, companies and chocolate makers in between.