“Since chocolate is getting rarer and our world is very industrial, I think our artisanal and crafty profession might disappear in 15 years”. This disturbing reflection, not altogether implausible, belongs to Amaury Guichon, one of the protagonists of so good #19. This young chef of French origin is one of the most sought-after professionals today, in demand by schools around the world who want to hire him to experience his art and style. Therefore, he is someone who speaks from the knowledge of a world which is increasingly globalized and mechanized.
There will be those who will interpret these words as apocalyptic, but from so good .. magazine we accept them as a warning of a possible future scenario in which craft must find its place in the face of increasingly invasive technology.
For this we dare to point out some fundamental characteristics that could help combat that prophecy. The first has to do with the product, which must be special, or it won’t be, because a standard product of reasonable quality is already offered by the industry in supermarkets at a cheaper price. Therefore, what comes out of the workshop must be exclusive, special, personal, and different. This is where artisan tools come into play, the possibility of personalization, the increasingly valued concept of what is “recently made”, the freshness of raw materials, and immediacy in the service. On this playing field, artisan pastry will always have an advantage, since it can be adapted to a particular client.
And to the extent that an artisan pastry product is special, it needs to be explained. The customer should know that the chocolate on the cake that they are taking home is noble, that the cream is cream, that the pastries are natural and made with the best butter. This is where a professional and friendly service is essential, giving it another edge away from the almighty industry. And then there is authorship, the signature, the non-transferable seal of a creator, like with any work of art.
Chef Guichon concluded his reflection by saying that he hoped that his hypothesis would not be fulfilled, of course. Well, to reinforce that desire, it would not hurt to take care of the product, reaffirm that unique character, and explain its attributes to the client. And pastry will not only survive, it will be enviably healthy. Here’s hoping.
Editorial of so good #19 [read the summary]