This young pâtissier is forging his personality in the trade in prestigious Parisian establishments such as Pastry Sthorer and Épicerie Hédiard, in institutions such as Maison Ladurée, and alongside such influential pastry chefs as Christophe Michalak. The truth is that Yann Menguy grew up dreaming of patisserie because of very important people like the latter, a figure from the generation before his, that has changed the ideal of pastry chefs. Today Menguy feels as though he is part of a new generation that continues to make French pastry shine through his daily work that can be seen in La Goutte d’Or.
What does the opening of your first pâtisserie mean to you?
It gives me a new vision of the pastry profession as a whole. Nevertheless, before I arrived here, I had gone through an intense itinerary that began with discovering in-shop patisserie, and the bases of the trade in the Patisserie Sthorer and the Épicerie Hédiard, both in Paris. I continued to enrich my knowledge about raw materials and coordinating work teams in three-star restaurants in Switzerland and Upper Savoy. And, more recently, my experience teaching Christophe Michalak’s masterclass and creative work within Maison Ladurée, both as a creative chef in France and internationally, have given me the opportunity to see different visions of patisserie beyond the French border, like the one that exists in Japan.
What are your main challenges in La Goutte d’Or?
As the owner, I have to put into action daily my hard-working team, my ninjas, my gouttes d’or. They are basically my boutique manager, Julia Menguy; my pastry chefs, Élise Malot and Enrico Bozzi; and my apprentices of l’École Ferrandi and of the ENSP (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Pâtisserie).
How would you define your establishment?
A pastry coffee shop, (I love coffee, a world as wide as that of cocoa), gourmand, modern and seasonal. La Goutte d’Or differs from the Parisian competition through a true identity pastry, creativity is the slogan.
I think it is important not to fall into excessively sugary creations… However, you need to find a middle ground because the consumption of pastry is still a moment for pleasure
What are your most emblematic creations?
Specialties, such as our Madagascar vanilla cake, Mont Blanc and vanilla flan, a creation that I love because it comforts everyone. Some ingredients that also form part of our identity are some raw materials such as pecan nut and yuzu. We change products as often as possible, depending on the season and the demand of our customers. This means that we change one or two creations per week, keeping the classics of our menu.
How do you work the flavors into your creations?
I look for simple and readable flavors, people want well-made classics. But where we really break the schemes is when we work with combinations such as mango, sobacha popcorn and rice pudding, or Ricard-orange blossom, where there are no limits and we try numerous combinations.
As for the level of sweetness, I think it is important not to fall into excessively sugary creations, something I learned with Christophe Michalak and I continue to work this way. However, you need to find a middle ground because the consumption of pastry is still a moment for pleasure.