品 美 食
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
CD: Simplicity, no unnecessary ado, beautiful curves, beautiful
colors. Something quite pure, something that needs to be
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
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
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
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
© Claire Damon