A Parisian Pastry Chef Has Re-Invented the Croissant

New things are taking shape worldwide of Parisian pastries.

Behind a glass counter at Le Comptoir, the new bakery at the Ritz Paris, artistic cakes are displayed like great fashion jewelry next to a spectrum of madeleines in tastes like blackberry, enthusiasm fruit, and salted caramel. There are glossy strawberry tarts, liquid caramel-topped barquettes, and croissants like you’ve never seen them before. Instead of the iconic crescent shape for which the flaky, laminated dough pastries were initially named, these croissants are long, narrow batons, plain or packed with vibrant fillings.
These newly-envisioned croissants, and the collection of other French pastries and mouthwatering snacks, become part of the intense, accessible brand-new pâtisserie now located in the renowned hotel. Opened by César Ritz in 1898, the Ritz Paris has a track record as the rarefied realm that’s hosted the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Marcel Proust, and Coco Chanel, however Le Comptoir marks a little bit of a new chapter for the storied brand.

Visitors can still make a booking for the French tea service at Salon Proust, embellished with elaborate drapes, tufted velour furniture, and leatherbound works by the well known author. Now they can also pop into Le Comptoir and sit in a sunlit area, at a sleek banquet surrounded by mod lighting, gold accent walls, and neutral, peachy shades.
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More notable, however, guests can also take their treats to go. While Parisian cafe culture has long renowned purchasing coffee to stay, drinking it while people seeing from a small table, nowadays it’s much easier to purchase a café Américain and accompanying treats to go. At Le Comptoir, customers can spend three euros on a plain croissant, 3.50 for a discomfort au chocolat that– thanks to its ingenious new shape– provides chocolate in every bite.

François Perret, Ritz Paris head pastry chef considering that 2015, is the mastermind behind the pastries, consisting of the brand-new croissant. He really created the pastry to be picked up and more quickly portable. “The aim and motivation was to use a benefit aspect to the consumers, for this reason finger food,” describes the chef.

At the time, too, COVID-19 restrictions meant France was closed to visitors, and Perret desired residents who worked or lived neighboring to have access to the Ritz’s rarefied pastries. “I was lucky sufficient to keep working throughout this duration, and took this chance to try and continue to offer residents something to look forward to every day, regardless of the chaos around us.” Plain or filled, wrapped in a peach-colored paper box, the croissants were a bit of luxury for locals and, when the nation re-opened over the summer, to visitors, too.
Perret, who hails from Bourg-en-Bresse in eastern France, was called the world’s best pastry chef by the dining establishment association Grandes Tables du Monde in 2019. The same year, he filmed a Netflix series called Chef in a Truck, in which he roamed the streets of Los Angeles, slinging his refined performance of classic American desserts to fortunate passersby, like the puff pastry-based s’mores, filled with chocolate ice cream, covered in hot marshmallow, and torched.

Even outside of his stint as a food truck operator, the chef has a reputation for developing confections that are both sophisticated and lively. The clever trompe-l’oeil dessert is made to look like a larger-than-life version of the small, shell-shaped cake– one that appears like you might pick it up with your hands– only this version is in fact a light-as-air sponge cake piped with honey chestnut filling.

Le Comptoir likewise allows travelers to do something they weren’t able to do with pastries from Salon Proust: Take them home as keepsakes. The madeleines are designed to go, by train or Transatlantic flight. The gift boxes (in the signature shade of peach, naturally) start at 19 euros for 5, all decked with playful illustrations of Perret alongside César Ritz and legendary chef Auguste Escoffier.

” My main motivations are my love for pastries, workmanship, and my gluttony,” states Perret. “It guides me, whenever.”

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