Interview with le “Roi des Éclairs”.
The sweet journey of a “Pâtissier” different from any other. So Christophe Adam begins to tell his life. A long journey that from his native Bretagne, led him to become one of the stars in the pastry (and not only) worldwide. From the prestigious Le Gavroche in London, to the Hotel Crillon in Paris, up to the long years spent in the “temple” of the Parisian pastry, Fauchon (with important assignments, from Head Pastry Chef to Creative Director), a series of increasingly formative experiences, combined with his passion and his endless imagination, have contributed to the success of Christophe.
Known all over the world for his famous Éclairs, since 2012 he created a new concept of pastry: L’Éclair de Génie, in one of the most fashionable neighborhoods of Paris, Le Marais, where you can find all the infinite variations of éclairs, together with many chocolate products. Since then, L’Éclair de Génie has started its international journey, with over twenty “Shops” and “Corners” present as well as in Paris, London, Moscow, Milan, Vancouver, Tiblisi, Hong Kong, and also in Japan and in Quatar.
Do you think Christophe stopped here? But nothing at all, of course! His volcanic creativity led him in 2017 to open his first restaurant, the Dépôt Légal, near the Gardens of Palais Royal.
International prizes and awards, numerous books, television appearances and philanthropy are other aspects that characterize this eclectic and incredible character.
Once again, with her interview, Daniela Barone guides us in the knowledge of a man who can well be considered a paradigm of the excellence that iBESTmag never ceases to research. We therefore thank the “Roi des Éclairs” for the time he wanted to dedicate us and let’s listen to his words.
Merci Christophe de nous avoir donné cette interview!
Q) Your éclairs are fantastic, with exquisite flavors and colors. Is it a new way of understanding the valuable and mythical in the world, French Pastry ?
A) Pastry is above all a real notion of taking pleasure that provides happiness! One only has to look at the number of magazines, books and television shows on the subject such as the French program “ Qui sera le prochain grand pâtissier?” on Channel France 2, to realise how widespread the interest for pastry is in France. The new generation of Pastry Chefs are constantly reinventing this field and that’s great!
The most important quality for pastry Chef is creativity and the challenge for those new talents who come from Michelin-starred restaurants, is to make their spectacular creations accessible to the consumer. Some of the biggest Chefs are proposing pastry like juwels, accesible for everyone: the French love amazing desserts!
Q) In your Éclairs de génie Boutiques in Paris, the éclairs enclose soft interiors with unusual and exquisite combinations of tastes. You have created your own style. Can we consider it a contemporary way of interpreting the pastry with new flavors, and colorful and modern shops environments in which to taste your specialties?
A) Yes of course .The pastry is more and more artistic around the world, especially thanks to Instagram! Directly from our sofa, we have access to everything is done in the pastry industry on the other side oft he world, that’s crazy! Today, the competition between the pastry Chefs is different. However, for my part, I’m more focused on the taste of my products than the artistic aspect, proposing creations made with good products.
Q) You are originally from Finistère in Bretagne, how much does your country of origin inspire your creations and the choice of ingredients and flavors?
A) I’m fan of salted butter caramel that remind me my childhood, so I like to use that savour in my dessert.
Q) Your Pastry Art has also arrived in Italy with the two stores opened in Milan, have you found synergies with Italian pastry chefs?
A) Not really for the moment, but of course we try to adapt our creations to Italian taste and culture, with our special ‘Eclair Panettone for example.
Q) For the preparation of a mousse or a chantilly or chocolate cream, are there your own secrets ingredients to make your exquisite and special sweet products ?
Q) Can you give your advice to young pastry chefs ? How important is it to be creative? And how much does the study? Are there also young apprentices in your kitchen laboratories ?
A) The most important quality for pastry Chef is creativity and to propose tasty products, to be very patient and work hard, never give up. Of course we have many apprentices in our laboratories because we want to help the new generation to find their ways and to have a job.
Q) You have opened a new gastronomic place,’ the Dépot Légal ‘in Paris, a living place open non stop for 4 important times of the day: breakfast, lunch, tea time and aperitif and where to taste delicious things. How did you get this fantastic idea?
A) Besides the Éclair de Génie shops, I wanted to open new concepts such as my first restaurant that I opened last year downtown Paris, called “Dépôt Légal”. In this place, I wanted to create a special atmosphere in the spirit I use to like and discover throughout my different travels: a convivial and generous place, opened all day long, where you can nibble and drink good products at any time of the day.
The idea was to offer savory creations and pastries according to 4 special time of the journey: for breakfast, lunch, teatime and after work. In short, any reason is good to savour a gourmet treat, to rest on the settee or stay at the bar to spend a good time.
Q) So much effort, dedication, passion, but in your opinion : can it happen ‘ to be natural born pastry chef ‘? 🙂
A) This is very personal, each person is different, some indeed are natural born for pastry but some have to choose a way at school, without being dedicated for that cursus on the beginning, but then they learn to love their new practice after years.
Q) Are you interested and do you like to taste sweets from different cultures? The name of one in particular?
A) Yes I love. I travel a lot as part of my professional life, I will regularly see our partners in Japan, Hong Kong, Moscow, Italy, Georgia but also in Qatar. So I take the opportunity to discover the local cuisine, I am very curious and gourmet. I’m quite a fan of the Yuzu lemon that I put in my desserts.
Q) Your first perfect pastry cake ? Can you tell us what were your feelings?
A) Come on, I’ll say my first éclair that caused a sensation, of course! Fauchon had asked me to create a éclair for New York’s Fauchon House. Citrus lightning covered with orange icing. This creation was not at all unanimous and was rather criticized, no one believed it, and finally it was a real success. So I created other lightning: pink, blue, red, yellow, green, purple … The flashy colors have become my trademark. We had to dare at the time to make ultra-colorful pastries while we were booming macaroons in pastel colors.
Q) Can you choose an éclair to dedicate to us ..?
A) Yes, I have to wink at Italy, I would say : l’éclair au Panetone 😉
Tets and Interview © Daniela Barone/iBESTmag – Images courtesy of Christophe Adam