Claire Heizler first came to the public’s attention at Lasserre where she held the position of head pastry chef from 2010 to 2015. Since 2016 she has been the creative director of patisserie for Ladurée.
Passionate about pastries from an early age, Claire Heitzler, born in Alsace, chose nonetheless to begin her career with general kitchen training before returning to her first love: patisserie. Whilst serving an apprenticeship with Thierry Mulhaupt in Strasbourg, she quickly made a name for herself and, aged 19, won the title of ‘Best Alsace Apprentice’. Her career has been exemplary: Troisgros in Roanne, Georges Blanc in Vonnas and Jean-Paul Abadie in Lorient. She was spotted by Alain Ducasse who in 2014 offered her the position of head pastry chef for the opening of his new restaurant “Beige” in Tokyo. On the way home, she stopped over in Dubai to take charge of the desserts at the Park Hyatt before returning to Paris for good in 2009 to take up the position of head pastry chef at the Ritz Paris alongside Michel Roth.
In 2010 she joined Lasserre where for the first time she unveiled her ‘sweet suite’, an audacious menu composed exclusively of sweet food. She created a new vision for patisserie within the traditional parameters of a menu, using fruit and vegetables, relying above all on the natural sweetness of the produce so as to never overload the taste buds.
Since 2016 she has employed her talents for the benefit of the internationally-renowned Ladurée. She has naturally tackled the classic desserts associated with the company, Religieuse and Saint-Honoré for example, undertaking a process of updating them in line with current tastes (less sugar, lighter and fruitier). She has also taken on an important project linking taste to the seasons. Her pastries seem simple but demonstrate her precision and total mastery of the basics.
Claire Heitzler is considered one of the most talented pastry chefs of her generation. She was voted “Pastry Chef of the Year 2012” by the magazine Le Chef, “Pastry Chef of the Year 2013” by Gault & Millau and received the prize for excellence for the best pastry chef from Relais Desserts.
Photos © Cécile BURBAN