Short of wine and cheese, little is as tied to France as pastry and in Paris, the options are legion. In between simple, everyday neighborhood bakeries all across town are the haute outposts for some of the country’s most beloved talents – many with multiple shops to their name.
So with such cultural value bestowed on sweets and the savoir faire required to make them, you would think (or at least, I always thought) there would be a one-stop shop in the city to access a variety of them. I adore Jonathan Blot’s cakes at his bakery-tea salon called Acide but it’s in Batignolles (17th arrondissement) and not a quick trip from my home. Pillowy Madeleines by Gilles Marchal are truly divine but I’ll only indulge if I find myself in Montmartre where is sole shop is located. And as much as I love the tartes, chocolates and financiers of Hugues Pouget at his boutique Hugo & Victor, it’s clear across town.
Creating a central location for some of the best treats the city has to offer was the abiding mission of Julie Mathieu and Muriel Tallandier, editors of the pastry bi-monthly magazine Fou de Pâtisserie (for which I am a contributing writer!). Building on the insight that most Parisians are like me – pastry-obsessed but realistically unlikely to spend the time racing around town to collect their favorites. As unbelievable as it may seem that a spot like this didn’t already exist, it’s because of logistics and image-preservation.
Pastry chefs may develop corners and stands in department stores like Galeries Lafayette Gourmet but the staff and branding are entirely their own. Since so many have been featured in the Fou de Pâtisserie magazine or have contributed recipes, tips, and baking stories, the editors have developed close relationships with them – relationships built on trust.
Lucky for us, the result is a small but elegant shop on rue Montorgueil (known for its commerces de bouches) with signature desserts and limited edition creations from chefs like Hugues Pouget, Christophe Adam, Philippe Conticini, Cyril Lignac, and many others.
Métro: Sentier (3) or Etienne Marcel (4)