Okiyama Feature Photo - Parisetc.com

Abri: customizing for each client with a database. An interview with Katsuaki Okiyama

For the repeaters, we maintain a database of what they ate each time. This allows me to not repeat the same dish. So if I see that a client ate a duck the last time, I would substitute it with another meat, or at least change the style. We serve 3 entrées in a menu, but we have between 15 and 20 in reserve. Continue reading


Christophe Michalak – returning to simplicity

I evolve every day. For the longest time, I made very technical desserts that are very aesthetic, with strings of sugar. That was over 10 years ago. Today, I see that everyone does that, and I decided to stop this very artistic side. I was so deeply into the art that I can now come back to things that are more efficient, simpler and sober. I return to simplicity, but it is something that took me 20 years to understand. Continue reading

Frédéric Cassel

Frédéric Cassel: the president of Relais Desserts and the father of the maison in Fontainbleau

Everyone I train always comes back to the boutique, and I always know what is going on in their lives. They keep me up to date. I have one who calls me papa. He said, “My little one is born, and we named him Frédéric.” I didn’t ask for it. It’s recognition because we are with them. This is the goal of the maison. We are a family and a large company at the same. Continue reading

Interview Nicolas Le Bec rue Le Bec in Lyon 2011 Parisetc © All rights reserved

Nicolas Le Bec from rue Grolée to rue Le Bec

It’s true that I’m very disciplined in my work. Each plate must be identical to another. The picture must be propped in the same way each time. A certain level of rigor is a must. I believe that every great chef, not just a good chef but a great chef must necessarily be demanding. There are things that may work or not work depending on the specific characteristics in each generation. But the work remains very military-like. Everything must be organized; if someone is out of order, it will disrupt the whole system. Continue reading

Philippe Urraca

Philippe Urraca, President of the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Pâtissier demystifies the institution

France is the only country in which manual work is tied to the Ministry of National Education. In Spain, it doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist in other countries either. We are lucky to have this structure in France. And it was the Ministry that set up the competition for the Meilleurs ouvriers de France. It’s a State diploma that is conferred by the President of the Republic. It’s something beautiful for both the craftsmanship and an image in general of France. Today there are 200 categories of craftsmanship that are recognized by the competition. Continue reading

虎屋 ~ Parisetc.com © All rights reserved

Futoshi Yoshida reflects on his 12 year’s experience as Chef Patissier of Toraya, Paris

Toraya is one of the most important and historic confectionery establishments in Japan. Records show that Toraya has served the Imperial family as early as the 16th century. When the Imperial court was transfered from Kyoto to Tokyo, Toraya followed the court and moved its headquarters to Tokyo (1869). Today Toraya employs around 800 people with 150 artisans, and maintains laboratories in Gotemba at the foot of Mount Fuji, Minatoku, and two in Kyoto. Continue reading

Christian Camprini ~ Parisetc.com © copyright

A master chocolatier Christian Camprini : atypical and perseverant

It’s really not the notion of luxury that interests me, but the way in which we work with the products, the way in which we implement what it implies. Things have tastes. I know what others do and I know what we do. We know that on certain products, we are not at the same level, in other words, others are not capable of what we are able to do. But we are capable of doing it because we produce very small quantities, not because we are better than others. Continue reading

Sébastien Bouillet ~ Parisetc.com ©

Pâtissier-chocolatier Sébastien Bouillet’s global views

Why, in a city like New York, there is almost no French pastry? How come Pierre Hermé never managed to succeed in New York? Or Lenôtre or Fauchon? No one has made it. The only ones I know who managed to succeed are François Payard, a friend of mine, and Jacques Torres, who works well with chocolate. There must be a reason! All the important pastry chefs in the US are in the hotels where there are lots of tourists. But there is no American city where there are French pastries with American clients, at least none that I know of. It’s bizarre. Continue reading


Chef Patissier Yoshinori Asami, the first foreign Meilleurs ouvriers de France finalist

There is something not many people know about called table analytics. There is a formula such that if you can do the right calculations and have good ingredients, you can always make good ice cream. You can calculate this formula if and only if you have everything in your head from the water and oil contents of butter, milk, cream; and cacao percentage of chocolates; to acidic percentage of each fruit. This was one of the examinations before the final round. Continue reading

Hervé Mons ~ Parisetc.com ©

Hervé Mons – fromager with a global vision

France is an incredible country; it’s a group of small countries assembled together. Owing to particular landscapes and to geographic situations, we have a diversity of regions, the climates, and the terroirs. In addition, there is the French spirit. If I make a cheese in my village, the village next to me would make another kind of cheese because they would do things differently. And that is what is incredible. The people here love to make recipes, love to produce things, but truly in a personal way that is never twice the same. The two things that are incredible in France, it’s the diversity of wine and cheese. Continue reading