‘Freshness is everything – a pastry should be eaten not too long after it’s made, we do everything on site and we produce desserts all day long’. With these words, Patrice Demers defines not only the activity that he develops in his store in Montreal, but also a whole philosophy. It is the value of freshness, of immediacy, of freshly baked goods, of what is assembled in front of the customer, ‘we cook financiers, cookies, scones a few times every day, we fill our choux à la crème to order…’. Chef Demers returns to the pages of so good.. magazine to show us up to four different creations, which gives an idea of the variety of products he offers daily to his customers. And all with an idea of service more typical of a restaurant than a conventional pastry.
A bit different
Before opening the shop 4 years ago, I worked for 15 years in restaurants, doing plated desserts. Because I never worked in a pastry shop before, our approach at Patrice Pâtissier is a bit different than a classic pastry shop. We have about 40 seats where customers can eat their pastries with coffee or tea. At noon, we serve lunch during the week and brunch on weekend. We also always have 3 plated desserts that customers can eat at the shop all day long. Because freshness is everything, and a pastry should be eaten not too long after it’s made, we do everything on site and we produce desserts all day long: we cook financiers, cookies, scones a few times every day, we fill our choux à la crème to order…
Our best seller is the individual kouign amann. On the weekends, all seasonal fruits desserts are quite popular.
‘People appreciate that our pastries are not too sweet, that the offer changes with the
seasons and that they can see us working in the kitchen.’
Most of our customers are really open-minded, they like to discover new ingredients, try our new creations. We have a lot of regular customers that we see every week and more and more people coming from out of town to discover our shop. People appreciate that our pastries are not too sweet, that the offer changes with the seasons and that they can see us working in the kitchen.
I like to think manual craftsmanship will always be important. I’m really happy to see some chefs bringing back more rustic desserts where taste is more important than the look. We are very lucky to have access to all these new silicone molds and these new ingredients, but we have to be careful to follow our own voice and not only what’s trendy.
Social Networks are amazing tools that allow any chef, anywhere in the world, to see what other great chefs are doing. They are also a great way to promote our business and show what we have to offer. On the other hand, we have to be careful – not because it’s shiny and colorful, it’s always delicious…
‘Chefs need to be open-minded and acquire some certain knowledge to be able to create something personal.’
Chefs need to be open-minded and acquire some certain knowledge to be able to create something personal. For me, it was travelling around the world and eating in restaurants, visiting farmers’ market. Reading books about pastry, cooking, food history. Meeting other chefs and exchanging ideas. Finally, nothing replaces hard work and practice and, eventually, we slowly discover our own voice.
Less and more
Because we have greater knowledge about how ingredients react together, and can access more products, I think it’s now possible for pastry chefs to make desserts that are still really delicious but less sweet and more balanced. Lots of customers are more and more concerned about what they are eating, so we need to adapt our recipes as much as we can without sacrificing flavor.
You will find these creations with recipes at so good #20