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Cheese Hazelnut Nicolas Lambert so good #19

Figs and hazelnuts by Nicolas Lambert

Figs and hazelnuts by Nicolas Lambert

He comes from a family of boulangers from Epinal, France, but he decided to go for pastry. At only 21 years old and under the tutelage of Philippe Tort (Pâtisserie du Musée, of Epinal), Nicolas Lambert became the youngest winner of the National Festival des Croquembouches. He continues his career alongside great masters such as Sébastien Bouillet of Lyon, Christophe Michalak at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée (Paris), and Jérôme de Oliveira at Intuitions.

In 2015 he started working under the orders of the chef Fabrice Vulin of the restaurant Caprice at the Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong. The French restaurant is classic and inspired by seasonal products. The desserts are aligned with Vulin’s guidelines and, as head of the dessert station, Lambert is also responsible for a wide assortment of petit fours and anniversary cakes. ‘I try to teach my pastry chefs that if they have done a good job they deserve to be praised, but if something has not reached my standard of quality I also show them the correct way to learn and be better. It is necessary constructive criticism,’ he adds. The sweet menu is very varied, but what is never missing are soufflés, rum babas, desserts based entirely on seasonal products, a chocolate dessert, and a house dessert in the shape of a raspberry, which in winter becomes a blackberry.

At Caprice, he enjoys the creative freedom he did not have in the past, when he worked in shops where creations had to stick to packaging and a longer commercial life. The immediacy of consuming a restaurant dessert allows him to experiment with softer textures, ice cream, and sugar decorations. When faced with a new creation, he reasons, first seeking the correct balance of flavors through three textures: crispy, creamy, and the presence of the texture of jam or fruit confit, like in the figs and hazelnuts dessert. However, if the arrangement of the elements on the plate is not adequate, it will not achieve the desired effect in this game of textures. The second step is, then, to study the visual design of the dessert.