PARIS — François Perret, the star of the Netflix collection “The Chef in a Truck,” is bringing his candy treats to a wider viewers with the opening of a street-facing pastry store on the Ritz resort in Paris subsequent month.
“The strain’s on,” mentioned Perret, sporting a white chef’s jacket and a surgical face masks, as he surveyed development work at Ritz Paris Le Comptoir, the gourmand boutique with a white-and-peach inside that is because of open its doorways on June 7 at 38 Rue Cambon, a stone’s throw from the historic Chanel flagship.
It marks the primary everlasting retail outpost for Perret, who joins a thriving and aggressive panorama that features native stars similar to Pierre Hermé, Cédric Grolet and Christophe Michalak. “I’ve been wanting to do that for some time, but it surely was a query of discovering the best time, the best place and the best method. I feel that now, all the things is aligned,” he mentioned.
The 750-square-foot boutique will operate on a click-and-collect foundation to restrict waste and keep away from disappointment. Along with contemporary produce, it would function a present retailer with objects like dessert wines and cake-scented candles.
Voted Greatest Restaurant Pastry Chef in 2019 by Grandes Tables du Monde, a company grouping the world’s finest eating places, Perret has been head pastry chef on the Ritz since 2015. He’s made a reputation for himself together with his intelligent trompe-l’oeil desserts based mostly on classics like marble cake and madeleines, detailed in his cookbook “French Pastry on the Ritz Paris.”
His new enterprise marks a change of method: all the things has been designed to be eaten on the go, from the flaky millefeuille, which is available in a sensible finger form, to his newest innovation: milk-based drinks blended with floor biscuit or cake. The so-called “boissons pâtissières” are available in three flavors, embrace a vegan possibility utilizing oat milk.
“This can be a metropolis for strolling, and a rustic well-known for its pastry, so why not make a cake-based drink? That approach you possibly can have your cake as you stroll,” he mentioned of the concoction, which is sort of a couture model of a brownie milkshake. “It makes the Ritz extra accessible. Paper cups and straws are uncommon for this home.”
Although the resort was closed from March till August final 12 months as a result of coronavirus pandemic, the tempo hasn’t let up for the chef and his group. Through the first lockdown, they devoted someday every week to baking desserts for hospital workers, whereas Perret additionally posted common cooking movies for his 277,000 followers on Instagram.
To coincide with the discharge of “The Chef in a Truck” final June, he opened a pop-up on the entrance of the Ritz with choices together with his French tackle American specialties like cheesecake and s’mores — suppose chocolate ice cream wrapped in a layer of crunchy chocolate and marshmallow, then caramelized with a blowtorch.
The recipes grew out of his expertise assembly native producers and restaurateurs in Los Angeles as he ready to arrange a pop-up meals truck. A associated e book, “The Chef in a Truck: Travels From the Ritz to the Open Street with an Award-Successful Pastry Chef,” is scheduled for publication this fall.
Perret has additionally been growing the menu for Le Comptoir, which is designed to make the Ritz extra accessible to locals at a time when vacationers stay scarce within the French capital. Whereas afternoon tea on the Salon Proust would ordinarily set you again no less than 68 euros, a croissant right here will value simply 3 euros.
“The thought is that folks can take away just a little piece of the Ritz to take pleasure in at dwelling,” Perret defined. “In a approach, we wished to provide again the Ritz to Paris and its folks.”
Certainly, the resort could also be acquainted to many working within the busy neighboring enterprise and purchasing districts, but it surely stays inaccessible to most — and it doesn’t get extra unique than the Windsor Suite, with its breathtaking view on Place Vendôme, the place Perret organized a non-public tasting of a few of his new creations for WWD.
Le Comptoir’s star product is the madeleine, the small shell-shaped sponge cake that writer Marcel Proust elevated right into a metaphor for vivid recollections of childhood.
Perret’s are available in seven flavors, together with chocolate, raspberry, ardour fruit and salted caramel, with distinctive colourful glazes and fillings. The desserts might be saved for 5 days at room temperature, making them excellent for gifting.
“The little madeleines had been fairly a problem for us, as a result of the concept is that they maintain, which is totally the alternative of what we do normally,” Perret mentioned. “This can be a cake that’s designed to journey, that you would be able to take throughout the Atlantic — in reality, I hope folks do.”
They’re in the stores individually, at 3.20 euros apiece, or in bins of 5, eight or 12, priced from 19 euros to 40 euros — the peach packaging charmingly illustrated with drawings of the resort’s founder César Ritz, his legendary chef Auguste Escoffier, and Perret himself, signaling his new position as public ambassador of the resort.
“I like the graphic design as a result of it’s enjoyable and playful, and so they put a drawing of me on the field. It’s fairly one thing to be pictured subsequent to Escoffier,” mentioned the pastry chef, elevating his eyebrows.
A tall man with an understated humorousness, Perret is savvy on the subject of his public picture. Earlier that day, he climbed up the winding staircase to the highest of the Vendôme Column and took an image of a madeleine juxtaposed with the Eiffel Tower.
“Some persons are uncomfortable with social media and TV, however I feel it’s hyper vital as a result of I need folks to eat my merchandise. For folks to know they exist, you need to talk,” he reasoned. “The documentary has positively had an affect. It’s boosted me and motivated me to go even additional.”
Every thing about Le Comptoir has been designed to be welcoming, together with the truth that the doorway is on Rue Cambon, fairly than the extra imposing Place Vendôme, dwelling to the town’s prime jewelers. “We’re very a lot conscious that the Ritz is usually a little intimidating for some folks,” Perret mentioned.
Likewise, his creations are designed to enchantment to the best quantity. Whereas Hermé has referred to as Perret’s extra upscale tackle the madeleine, served within the eating places and tea room on the Ritz, a “masterpiece,” the chef normally likes to concentrate on not more than two or three star components in every recipe.
“A cake needs to be comprehensible,” he mentioned. “If you eat a cake, you don’t suppose. Your palate does the considering. It has to pop within the mouth. To realize that, you need to maintain it easy. Some folks don’t know when to cease — they make desserts with seven completely different flavors in them. I can’t stand that.”
He’s notably enthusiastic about his newest creation, the “brioche au lait en neige”: French toast topped with egg white mousse, caramel sauce and toasted almonds. “That’s what I name a cake,” he mentioned, displaying a luscious picture of the dessert on his cellphone.
As eating places nationwide stay closed, and the resort struggles to fill greater than a smattering of its 142 rooms and suites, this meals enterprise guarantees to be a beneficial new income stream, and one the Ritz hopes to export to different international locations finally.
“I really feel fortunate to work for a home that regardless of this tough interval has determined to speculate and put together the long run, fairly than freeze all the things. It has determined to put in writing a brand new chapter of its historical past and take a threat by opening as much as the road,” Perret mentioned. “It’s a complete new expertise.”
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