The vanilla desserts that you are introducing have been a resounding success. How did you manage to reinvent this flavour?
Vanilla is a classic ingredient that has sadly suffered from the use of artificial flavours and colours. I also think it’s a shame that we only eat the seeds when vanilla offers us a whole range of qualities to explore: we can use the empty pods, we can explore varying levels of ripeness, try out pods of different origins and sizes, vary how we infuse them and test out different strengths. I love playing around with all these things, as a chocolatier would with chocolate, to get either a sweet, light flavour or something more characterful and full-bodied, as though you’d added coffee.
What’s your philosophy when it comes to the ingredients for your recipes?
There’s nothing particularly special about making a new square-shaped chocolate éclair in itself. What makes it special is responsibly selecting the right ingredients – using good chocolate, flour, eggs and butter. Then, to surprise my audience or make them think, I like to have fun by adding a little extra salt, or leaving out the biscuit, for example...
How do you manage the production and sale of your creations?
Having seen the pâtisseries in Paris full of cakes until late in the evening, I wanted to adopt a radically different approach. Thinking up my own creations right where I sell them, centralising all the stages of production in a single place, and working out quantities to suit the production capacity of each shop lets me minimise wastage and offer products that are always fresh and of the highest quality. I feel that it is imperative to make a real impact on the way in which cakes and pastries are produced and consumed, while reducing the quantity of waste that is generated.