Present at Taste of Paris thursday 17th may.
Christophe Michalak has almost as many Instagram followers as Jean Dujardin or Sophie Marceau! He is one of the most well-known head pastry chefs in the industry and with his rock’n’roll creations has made the discipline “cool”. His accomplishments? Shaking up patisseries at palace hotels, adding a new spin to cakes from our childhood and incorporating a good pinch of humour into the most traditional desserts.
He comes from Picardie and nothing predisposed him to becoming a food professional. As a young boy, he wanted to be a designer but unable to go to Art School, he entered employment. He carried out his apprenticeship at a modest local patisserie but his hunger to succeed gave him access to the leading names: Le Negresco, Pierre Hermé, followed by Ladurée. In 2000, he was appointed head pastry chef at the Plaza Athénée (where he remained until 2016 when he left the palace to invest all of his time in his brand).
“When I was starting out at the age of 15, I had a moment of lucidity: I understood that it only takes a little to give a lot of happiness. “ Generosity and indulgent flavours have become the hallmarks of this disrupter-in-chief. In 2005, he won the Patisserie World Cup. In 2012, he wrote and presented the first TV programme on pastry cooking: “The cake of my dreams”. In 2013, he was on the judging panel for the France 2 programme “Who will be the next great pastry chef?” and co-produced and co-hosted “In a chef’s shoes”. He created his cookery school “Michalak MasterClass” the same year, where creations were on sale, but it was only in October 2015 that he opened his first patisserie in the Marais. His brand positioning is a natural follow-on to his career up to now. He pays tribute to French pastry classics but with a new spin, adding a fun, rock’n’roll twist. Fans can find his signature cakes there (salted caramel Religieuse, the Baba, Millefeuille by the metre and more) along with his work on patisseries of the future, lighter, with less fat and less gelatinous. And because of his dislike for boundaries – and even though he’s a pastry chef, he is also passionate about cooking – he opened Café Michalak in March 2017 with a savoury selection created with his delicate touch.