FRANCE SPRING 2015 NO.10

ariel.tian

2015 Spring issue of Taste of Life magazine, the Nordic region, France, and Canada's leading luxury lifestyle magazine in Chinese and English.

品 美 食

GASTRONOMY

TOL: What is the source of your inspiration for the

decorations and toppings?

CD: I’ve always thought decoration as the last step.

My inspiration comes from life. For example for the

Green Absinthe cake, in spring in the morning near my

grandparents and my great-grand parents’house, to go

to the stream below the domain, there is a path where

the scent of wild mint and many wild plants emerges. In

addition to all of that, I wanted to transcribe the sounds

and colors on it, to deliver fullness and appeasement. I

also added angelica, because it comes from my home.

When you bite in and taste it, it will make a sound,

which is very similar to the sound of someone walking

on grass. So, the design comes naturally: the color, the

taste and the sound. It’s something very simple: a few

chunks of angelica, some elder flowers, because there

are also many elders in my region! What I like is the

elegance of things, and not the overload.

TOL: What are the criteria of elegance according

to you?

CD: Simplicity, no unnecessary ado, beautiful curves, beautiful

colors. Something quite pure, something that needs to be

appetizing though.

TOL :In your cakes, we can see a lot of colors and it

is full of serenity.

C.D: Really? Actually, it was involuntary at first. One

morning at the end of January, with my team, we were

putting cakes on the shelves, then we took a step back

to see how it looked, there was an almost monochromatic

range: yellow, orange, darker orange, lighter orange,

bolder orange, it was still a uniform color range, so at the

beginning I thought it was a problem. I returned to the office

and I thought, this is not possible. Why do I have the

same color range there? Since I do not work the appearance

first, it was not a willing effect. Then I realized that it is

because I respected the seasons, so in January and February,

we have lemons, oranges, grape fruits, saffron, then

exotic fruits like mango, passion fruit, pineapple, all these

fruits are yellow or orange. I finally told myself this is not

so bad, we will accentuate it, we will keep working on these

monochrome ideas. In fact, people need sun in winter, so

nature provides us fruits that have the color of the sun, like

yellow, orange, they are incredibly lively! I’ve realized that

it is very coherent throughout the year. It means that in

spring, it is very energetic, that’s when the first wild mints

arrive, the rhubarb, angelica, lime. So nature brings atone

to spring: green.

Nowadays, everybody wants answers immediately, and

nature stops us, there is a rhythm of season, there is a

rhythm of nature, there is nothing to do about it!

To make an apple chausson (pie), it takes 7 days. Not because

there are days of rest, it really needs 7 days during

which the dough is spread, extended, folded, swept,

turned, everyday there is a fully manual operation in order

to get this extremely layered and crispy dough. I don’t

know how others make it, at least this is the way I work.

The true luxury is the beauty of the things and the time we

take to make them.

TOL : In your shop, I saw an uncommon French

toast.

C.D: I like things that are a little more gourmet, so I make

it differently. I cut brioche into cubes, then soak them in

『 糕 點 與 麵 包 』 店 / 89 rue du Bac

a crème brûlée mixture, with cream and vanilla, then I shape

them and cook them for about forty minutes to get them well

colored and very soft. Children love it. It’s funny, because I

think it’s a taste that will remain in their memory, our French

toasts might be to them like the madeleine was to Proust.

TOL: For you, what is the quality that makes a good

patisserie chef?

C.D: Sincerity! This is the first thing. It is doing this job

with a lot of heart, and a willingness to share a pleasure. In

other words, doing with generosity, benevolence and care!

Without sincerity there is no soul, in the professions of arts

and craft, it is this additional soul that always makes the

difference.

Recently, I got this wooden ball. It is a beautiful object, a

game called “Boulingrin” that my mother gave me. It reminds

me that “life is a game”. I also would like to have

this “vanitas” painting, it’s a skull on a table, (for example

in the Vanitas by Philippe de Champaigne). Everything is

vain, whatever happens, we know the end. We do a lot of

things out of vanity, it is what often guides us. So for me,

it is a call to order: be careful, all is vanity, you must keepyour

safe-control.

© Claire Damon

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