The pastry chef of the Ritz hotel reinvents the emblematic croissant of France


Surely one thing about France that will never change is the croissant. Soft and buttery on the inside, crispy on the outside, every bite is pure happiness. But what if I told you it could be done same better? The pastry chef at the Ritz Hotel François Perret is shaking up the confident croissant as we know it by offering oblong-shaped pastries at Le Comptoir, his recently opened bakery-boutique.

“I love croissants, but what I don’t like is all the crumbs you put everywhere when you try to eat them. glowing whites as he steps out from behind the counter of his shiny new digs. “One morning, as I was grabbing a croissant and dropping crumbs on my computer keyboard, I thought to myself: we need a new shape for our croissants and pains au chocolat.

His flute pastries taste oddly like the French bakery headliners we know, but perfectly formed, they glide smoothly into your mouth without a crumb spared, making them easier to eat at home but also on the go. And being able to taste some of France’s classic pastries and snacks on the go is something extremely important to Perret.

“What has always struck me is that Paris is a city made for walking. It’s the only way you can really see and experience it. So it makes perfect sense to want to eat or have a snack. as you explore the city – and you might not feel like sitting down every time, ”he says, tossing my creamy drink with thick, sweet caramel curls behind the bar.“ And so in addition to the croissants. easier to eat, we made sandwiches and drinks, like that pastry drink. ”

Not a coffee or a hot chocolate this pure goodness in a cup is actually a dessert to drink. It tastes like a cake with crunchy, gooey bits in the bottom you can scoop out with your spoon, and because it’s French and made at the Ritz by top pastry chef Perret, it’s light and airy with all of it. the gluttony of a real cake.

However, if like me, you are more of a savory dish, you will not be disappointed by the chef. the Caesar. Perret also revamped the baguette-shaped sandwich, experiencing the awkward size of the bread that cuts the corners of your mouth when you try to mash it for a bite, that leaves your lips smeared with fatty butter or mayonnaise. , and that almost always ends with a bit of gooey tomato slipping through the bread and falling on your shoe or worse, your blouse, a thing of the past. The ingredients for the free-range chicken and tomato sandwich, crunchy lettuce and a slightly tangy vinaigrette are neatly arranged between two thin slices of fluffy puff bread so that every bite is equally satisfying.

Also be sure to grab one of Perret’s pains au chocolat for an afternoon snack. “The thing with chocolate breads is that you never have the chocolate flowing through and through,” explains the chef, pointing to the chocolate that oozes on both sides of his pastries. And he’s right – all you want when you bite into a pain au chocolat is taste that chewy, gooey chocolate in every bite.

As the chef explains the idea behind Le Comptoir, customers forming a constant queue – the first customer showed up at 5 a.m. on opening day – quietly crawl inside the interiors. in soothing golden hues, moving along the glass counter, suddenly featured as they catch a glimpse of Perret, as he’s somewhat of a celebrity with Parisians. As we chat, some customers even come forward to ask him to sign a copy of his latest book, which the pastry chef is only too happy to do because for him reconnecting with the locals is vital. .

“Le Comptoir, of course, is for visitors to the city, but more than anything, I imagined it for Parisians who feel they cannot enter the Ritz. So instead of them coming to the Ritz, it’s a way for the Ritz to come to them. That way, they can take a little piece of it with them, spreading some of that wonderful Ritz magic all over Paris. “

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