PARIS — François Perret, the star of the Netflix collection “The Chef in a Truck,” is bringing his candy treats to a wider viewers with the opening of a street-facing pastry store on the Ritz lodge in Paris subsequent month.
“The strain’s on,” mentioned Perret, sporting a white chef’s jacket and a surgical face masks, as he surveyed development work at Ritz Paris Le Comptoir, the connoisseur boutique with a white-and-peach inside that is because of open its doorways on June 7 at 38 Rue Cambon, a stone’s throw from the historic Chanel flagship.
It marks the primary everlasting retail outpost for Perret, who joins a thriving and aggressive panorama that features native stars corresponding to Pierre Hermé, Cédric Grolet and Christophe Michalak. “I’ve been wanting to do that for some time, however it was a query of discovering the fitting time, the fitting place and the fitting method. I believe that now, all the pieces is aligned,” he mentioned.
The 750-square-foot boutique will operate on a click-and-collect foundation to restrict waste and keep away from disappointment. Along with contemporary produce, it’ll function a present retailer with objects like dessert wines and cake-scented candles.
Voted Finest Restaurant Pastry Chef in 2019 by Grandes Tables du Monde, a company grouping the world’s greatest eating places, Perret has been head pastry chef on the Ritz since 2015. He’s made a reputation for himself together with his intelligent trompe-l’oeil desserts primarily based on classics like marble cake and madeleines, detailed in his cookbook “French Pastry on the Ritz Paris.”
His new enterprise marks a change of method: all the pieces has been designed to be eaten on the go, from the flaky millefeuille, which is available in a sensible finger form, to his newest innovation: milk-based drinks blended with floor biscuit or cake. The so-called “boissons pâtissières” are available in three flavors, embrace a vegan possibility utilizing oat milk.
“This can be a metropolis for strolling, and a rustic well-known for its pastry, so why not make a cake-based drink? That manner you’ll be able to have your cake as you stroll,” he mentioned of the concoction, which is sort of a couture model of a brownie milkshake. “It makes the Ritz extra accessible. Paper cups and straws are uncommon for this home.”
Although the lodge was closed from March till August final 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic, the tempo hasn’t let up for the chef and his staff. In the course of the first lockdown, they devoted in the future per week to baking desserts for hospital employees, whereas Perret additionally posted common cooking movies for his 277,000 followers on Instagram.
To coincide with the discharge of “The Chef in a Truck” final June, he opened a pop-up on the entrance of the Ritz with choices together with his French tackle American specialties like cheesecake and s’mores — suppose chocolate ice cream wrapped in a layer of crunchy chocolate and marshmallow, then caramelized with a blowtorch.
The recipes grew out of his expertise assembly native producers and restaurateurs in Los Angeles as he ready to arrange a pop-up food truck. A associated e-book, “The Chef in a Truck: Travels From the Ritz to the Open Highway with an Award-Successful Pastry Chef,” is scheduled for publication this fall.
Perret has additionally been growing the menu for Le Comptoir, which is designed to make the Ritz extra accessible to locals at a time when vacationers stay scarce within the French capital. Whereas afternoon tea on the Salon Proust would ordinarily set you again at the least 68 euros, a croissant right here will value simply 3 euros.
“The concept is that folks can take away just a little piece of the Ritz to take pleasure in at dwelling,” Perret defined. “In a manner, we wished to present again the Ritz to Paris and its folks.”
Certainly, the lodge could also be acquainted to many working within the busy neighboring enterprise and purchasing districts, however it stays inaccessible to most — and it doesn’t get extra unique than the Windsor Suite, with its breathtaking view on Place Vendôme, the place Perret organized a personal tasting of a few of his new creations for WWD.
Le Comptoir’s star product is the madeleine, the small shell-shaped sponge cake that writer Marcel Proust elevated right into a metaphor for vivid reminiscences of childhood.
Perret’s are available in seven flavors, together with chocolate, raspberry, ardour fruit and salted caramel, with distinctive colourful glazes and fillings. The desserts will be saved for 5 days at room temperature, making them excellent for gifting.
“The little madeleines have been fairly a problem for us, as a result of the thought is that they hold, which is totally the alternative of what we do normally,” Perret mentioned. “This can be a cake that’s designed to journey, that you would be able to take throughout the Atlantic — in actual fact, I hope folks do.”
They’re available for purchase individually, at 3.20 euros apiece, or in packing containers of 5, eight or 12, priced from 19 euros to 40 euros — the peach packaging charmingly illustrated with drawings of the lodge’s founder César Ritz, his legendary chef Auguste Escoffier, and Perret himself, signaling his new function as public ambassador of the lodge.
“I like the graphic design as a result of it’s enjoyable and playful, they usually put a drawing of me on the field. It’s fairly one thing to be pictured subsequent to Escoffier,” mentioned the pastry chef, elevating his eyebrows.
A tall man with an understated humorousness, Perret is savvy in relation to his public picture. Earlier that day, he climbed up the winding staircase to the highest of the Vendôme Column and took an image of a madeleine juxtaposed with the Eiffel Tower.
“Some individuals are uncomfortable with social media and TV, however I believe it’s hyper vital as a result of I need folks to eat my merchandise. For folks to know they exist, it’s important to talk,” he reasoned. “The documentary has undoubtedly had an influence. It’s boosted me and motivated me to go even additional.”
The whole lot about Le Comptoir has been designed to be welcoming, together with the truth that the doorway is on Rue Cambon, reasonably than the extra imposing Place Vendôme, dwelling to the town’s prime jewelers. “We’re very a lot conscious that the Ritz is usually a little intimidating for some folks,” Perret mentioned.
Likewise, his creations are designed to attraction to the best quantity. Whereas Hermé has known as Perret’s extra upscale tackle the madeleine, served within the eating places and tea room on the Ritz, a “masterpiece,” the chef normally likes to deal with not more than two or three star substances in every recipe.
“A cake must be comprehensible,” he mentioned. “Once you eat a cake, you don’t suppose. Your palate does the pondering. It has to pop within the mouth. To attain that, it’s important to hold it easy. Some folks don’t know when to cease — they make desserts with seven totally different flavors in them. I can’t stand that.”
He’s significantly enthusiastic about his newest creation, the “brioche au lait en neige”: French toast topped with egg white mousse, caramel sauce and toasted almonds. “That’s what I name a cake,” he mentioned, displaying a luscious picture of the dessert on his cellphone.
As eating places nationwide stay closed, and the lodge struggles to fill greater than a smattering of its 142 rooms and suites, this food enterprise guarantees to be a helpful new income stream, and one the Ritz hopes to export to different international locations ultimately.
“I really feel fortunate to work for a home that regardless of this troublesome interval has determined to speculate and put together the longer term, reasonably than freeze all the pieces. It has determined to write down a brand new chapter of its historical past and take a danger by opening as much as the road,” Perret mentioned. “It’s an entire new expertise.”