Never jump into a long line assuming it is where you want to be. Last night I was waiting to get a glimpse and taste of the world’s famous pastry chef, Pierre Hermé, when I sensed something wasn’t right.
Me: Excuse me, are you guys here to see the pastry chef?
Students: Pastry chef?
Me: Yup! Pastry chef!..Pierre Hermé..? …Anyone?
Lots of blank stares.
Students: This is the Freshmen-faculty dinner.
Lesson learned and luckily I made it to see Hermé in time.
Pierre Hermé is a French pastry chef and he is well-known for his savory and sweet pastries–especially macarons. He has published books on these petite hamburgers but interestingly enough it was not love at first sight. He actually hated this overly-sweet pastry and did not understand the rave until he began implementing his savory and sweet ideas.
His ideas start on a piece of paper where he sketches a blue print, scribbles the ingredients, and then passes it to his chefs to perfect. He mentioned that he doesn’t need to test and taste when he scribbles everything down, he knows it will be amazing.
Hemé is especially known to work with a “fetish.” He finds one ingredient and creates many designs and flavors with it. His first and famous fetish is with isaphan–rose. He made the perfect harmony by combining raspberry, lychee, and rose in 1995. He has also gone through a citrus, olive oil, and wasabi fetish. He adores Japan and has spent some time there researching wasabi, and discovered that the bottom of these roots are actually sweet. He is quite a chemist I must say.
There are three key components that Hermé follows to create a pastry: ingredients, proportions, and design. He works with architects to help him come up with an avant-garde module. His chocolate cake is a good example of his definition of perfection; he stated that there is nothing more that can be done to better this taste and shape.
At the end of the night we all got a tray with four of his creations. I transported to Paris for those few minutes while eating, and I thanked all my lucky stars that night. I understand why Hermé is referred to les rois de la pâtisserie–his pastries are the best and one in a million. His research, design for innovation, and incredible knowledge of ingredients emits in every piece and really is delicious. If you ever get to bon voyage à Paris, he is worth a visit.
It was so dark I couldn’t get the best photos but here they are.
This was also a flashback to one of our first baked goods on WGTB! Our very delicious Chocolate Cinnamon Macarons.