Sugar ? “Sometimes a back drop, sometimes a seasoning”. Pierre Hermé speaks of his Autumn collection like a fashion show or like ephemeral maracons. This architect of emotions, the Dior of desserts, the Picasso of pastries, creates combinations of tastes, fragrances, textures and flavors recognizable by thousands. Pierre considers the end of a meal as an apotheosis.
Your Paris ?
My first trip, at age 14, was to Paris. Colmar-gare de l’Est, then take the metro in the direction of la porte d’Auteuil, for two years as an apprentice at Lenôtre. A mix of happiness and anxiety. Coming from a long generation of bakers and pastry chefs, I was very scared that I would not live up to them. It was difficult to adjust to Paris, I only thought about going back to Alsace. But today, I can’t see myself living elsewhere. The beauty of the architecture here erases the negative sides; the traffic, or the aggressive sides of certain people.
What is the place you could invest in, in Paris ?
The cloister of l’École des beaux-arts that I would transform into a huge teahouse in the summer. It’s a bucolic place that I adore. I would serve original fruit cocktails there, and ice cream with different flavors according to the seasons like violet and blackcurrant or rhubarb, strawberries and passion fruit, or even cream cheese, passion fruit and orange.
Addresses of Pierre Hermé
Musée Antoine Bourdelle, 18 rue Antoine Bourdelle, Tel. 01 49 54 73 73
The most little known museum of Paris and yet one of the most interesting. It’s a contemporary of Rodin. I love the tension given off from its sculptures. I love spending time there. I go one or two times a year, on Saturdays, to lose myself for a bit. You are away from Paris, away from time.
Le Baratin, 3 rue Jouye-Rouve, Tel. 01 43 49 39 70
I got married there. I just celebrated my anniversary. It’s what you call cuisine of the heart. Raquel Carena makes what she feels like, what she loves. Her husband, Philippe Pinoteau, chooses biodynamic wines with very little sulfites. Order a Philippe Pacalet, Jean Foillard or Mark Angeli Burgundy to accompany a beef cheek confit or fresh fish, direct from Guilvinec.
La tête dans les Olives, 2 rue Sainte-Marthe, Tel. 09 51 31 33 34
Talking to Cédric Casanova about olive oil is like diving into his private life. This Sicilian arrived in Paris with 100 liters of olive oil in his luggage. His mini boutique is the opposite of a commercial supermarket. Everything there is for a reason, for its history or its producer. I buy these delicious little artichokes in a jar, green olives in brine and lemons for parfaits. There is taste like a lemon from Menton. By reservation, he can prepare you an evening meal.