The world’s best pastry chef was no fan of macarons. But that was no hindrance for him to build a macaron cult, the world over with exotic flavours as diverse as wild rose hip and foie gras. Pierre Hermé is unique that way, and that is why this true-to-tell macaron maestro has been crowned the world’s Best Pastry Chef by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
His journey has been long and fruitful. Over the years he has won several titles including: Man to macarons, as Louis Vuitton is to handbags; Picasso of Pastry; Virtuoso of sugar; the kitchen emperor; the Hermés of macarons, and most famously – the Dior of desserts.
Born in Alsace in France, Pierre got into the kitchen at a tender age of 14 under the apprenticeship of famous patissier Gaston Lenôtre but soon showed he is made of serious matter when by 24 he was manning “upscale Parisian food merchant” Fauchon.
Pierre’s entry into well-known macaron-makers Ladurée changed his life, when he got into a steady relationship with macrons. He changed the very engineering of this sweet dish by pioneering new flavours and techniques. He changed the tradition of using sugar, claiming that he “no longer considers sugar as the spinal cord of pastry”. Some of his “daring” flavours include Pedro Ximénez and raisin; olive oil and vanilla; fig and foie gras and orange, pink grapefruit and Campari.
Entrepreneurship came knocking when he met friend and business partner Charles Znaty, an advertising and marketing expert. In 1998 he set up a pastry boutique in Tokyo and soon built an “empire of boutiques” across the world in “locations as diverse as Thailand, Germany, South Korea and Azerbaijan”.
Pierre’s most famous creation is the Ispahan rose – a mix of raspberry, lychee and rosewater. He has also collaborated with artists, and perfumers. From macrons, today his patisseries also serve tarts, cakes, chocolates and jams.
Deservedly, the title is the symbol of determination and ambition. In his words, “From the age of nine I wanted to be a patissier. My mother tried to talk me out of it, but it didn’t work.”
Yes, that is all it takes – aim.
[ Via : Luxuo ]