For those of you who find the idea of pastry making a terrifying prospect, fear not. EHL’s patisserie experts, Julien Boutonnet and Julien Gradoz, have joined forces to create their definitive guide to easy pastry with an innovative twist. Their recently published book, 'La Pâtisserie à l’EHL: 60 recettes sucrées et salées', (‘Patisserie at EHL: 60 sweet and savory recipes’) is a delight for all baking fans, whether seasoned professionals or beginners, as it sets out to demystify the science of modern pastry.
Modern pastry-making demystified
The two Juliens have award-winning years of pâtisserie experience behind them, both as pastry chefs and as teachers. Together they impart the tricks and trends of traditional and modern pastry to students at EHL in their preparatory year.
Their recipes are irresistible and impossible to get wrong, because in order to address future hospitality professional (many lacking in culinary training), the chefs have aimed to simplify their pastry instructions in a creative way. The recipes are not only fool-proof, but also low in sugar and fat, sometimes even lactose and gluten-free, combining deliciousness and balance to meet the expectations of today's consumers.
The Juliens have above all been inspired by the flavors of their French childhood and the joy of sharing, which makes this book perfect for holiday celebrations and feast days. They favor ease and also originality, choosing to present savory versions of some French classics that some purist may find surprising. However, sweet or savory, all the recipes include one essential ingredient: pleasure!
Interview with Julien Boutonnet & Julien Gradoz
1. How did this pastry book come about? Who is it aimed at?
Our aim was to write a book based on traditional, easy-to-follow recipes – but with a twist. Both timeless and innovative, the book also showcases EHL culinary expertise and what is taught in our classes. Our desire is that amateurs and professionals, in fact anyone vaguely interested in pastry making, can get some joy from trying out the recipes.
2. How have you managed to balance out the traditional with the innovative?
Today’s tastes have evolved towards a more conscious way of eating, especially when it comes to sugar consumption and allergies, so we felt we had many new dimensions to include in a traditional pastry book. For example, one chapter is dedicated to great French pastry classics revisited with a savory touch. And in general, we have made a point of including low-fat and low-sugar recipes to follow current trends. We have tried to expand tastes and styles with simple desserts where the emphasis is on sharing and conviviality, so there's a certain practicality to the finished result.
3. Does the book have a pedagogical orientation?
The book’s motto is “share, teach, inspire”, so yes, we have been motivated to share the pedagogical orientation and objectives. It is meant to reflect what we are used to doing in class. It has been designed to be easy to follow: each recipe with a small sketch to fully understand the design of the cake, plus the clearest possible explanations. The book features a step-by-step basic pastry recipe chapter at the start that fully explains the fundamentals of the pâtisserie business.
The fact that our recipes are made with novice pastry students in class should reassure any beginner to dare start baking at home without too much fear or fuss. The book might even inspire amateur bakers to follow a professional path in the art of pâtisserie. Our wish is to extend EHL's culinary expertise from the classroom to bookstores, and who knows, maybe inspire other chefs to teach, write and share their know-how too.
4. Why is Andros Chef the main sponsor of your book?
Andros has always been driven by the desire to highlight fruit from large orchards. Andros, like us, has a curiosity for nature and for making use of the flavours it conceals. Together we share this same passion for perpetual research and discovery.
"ANDROS CHEF" was born from this quest: to provide the widest range of 100% natural fruit ingredients, but also to make the raw materials and unique know-how available to professionals like us. The partnership between Andros and EHL illustrates this natural rapport between recognized expertise and teaching excellence. We are very happy to have been able to collaborate with them.
5. What have been the challenges in putting this book together?
Firstly, how to present these recipes in an easy, accessible way that engages the amateurs and doesn’t offend the purists. Secondly, finding the right publisher, the right photographer, and the right partnerships. Next step, to get it translated into many languages!