…My interest in the culinary field predates my culinary training and professional career, dating back to my childhood and many memorable hours passed in the kitchens and at the tables of my family and friends. Some may already be familiar with some of my background and personal history, perhaps gleamed from small snippets from my website and and Youtube channel.
I grew up in France, a country often defined by the amazing quality of its cuisine and wine, and a culture that -like so many others- places food at the center of many important human interactions. There were no shortages of examples of excellence in my parents’ and relatives’ kitchens, or among the rare visits to local restaurants. Whenever possible, I avidly watched the adults in my life when they cooked, eventually joining them at their side. I passed countless meals enjoying the delicious results of my mom’s labors, my large family at my side.
I began my apprenticeship in Bordeaux, my special focus in the pastry field. With my first savings, I purchased my first pastry book. Although I loved cooking, I was ultimately seduced by the artistry involved in cake making. At age seventeen, I obtained my pastry diploma (CAP Pâtissier). With 19/20 in technology and 14.5/20 in practice, I was honored to be named as a semi-finalist for the best apprentice of France.
Immediately following graduation, I left for Reims, France where I completed my compulsory military duty, after which I returned to Bordeaux. I pursued my pastry career, working at the best patisseries for 8 years. I then decided to focus on bread, working at several MOF owned boulangeries, or bakeries, throughout France, perfecting valuable skills under the best chefs of France. Two years later in 1997, I was nominated for the regional selections for the MOF baker contest held near Toulouse. While I didn’t achieve the final prize, I wasn’t discouraged for it gave me the visibility and clout to find employment in and move to the French capital, Paris. There, I had the privilege to work at the Ritz Hôtel Place Vendôme and after that position, I became the head baker at the Plaza Athénée under the famous Alain Ducasse.
In 2003, I joined Lenôtre culinary school. A year later, I had a job opportunity in Las Vegas. My journey in America commences…
This is part of my personal story extracted from my Pastry Fundamentals eBook intro which will be released soon!).