Chef Amaury Guichon on Trends and Inspiration in Patisserie

Calm down readers; we know you’ve been waiting and it’s finally here! The rumours are true. Yes, it is not over until we say it is. The next lineup for the highly anticipated Asia Pastry Forum 2017 which is created and hosted by The Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia is none other than the Instagram-famous Chef Amaury Guichon.

Butterkicap had the opportunity to sit down with the chocolate architect to talk about all things sweet and delicious last week. The insatiably creative Amaury Guichon retraces back his love affair with pastries and chocolate to the table. We can tell you that after one bite and one look at his creations, our world has never been the same.

What makes him so amazing? Where does he get his inspirations from? Read down below and let him mesmerise you in the world of patisseries!

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?

Throughout my life, I have always known I belong to the food industry. Although initially, I did not know exactly which field and it was always changing. When I was 11, I wanted to be a bread maker, but three years later, I joined a cooking class.

That was the turning point when I discovered how much I love I working with my hands and the excitement over creating something. Somewhere along the way, I drifted to pastry, fell in love and became the youngest executive pastry chef in Paris at 21.

Being a chocolatier and pastry chef, which one captures your heart more?

It is a difficult choice to make. Both are alike and similar in many ways. With chocolate, it focuses more on the artistic appeal. You have to make sure the sculptures look elegant and hold the weight. On the other hand, pastry can be really intense.

Chef Amaury Guichon

Being a chocolatier and pastry chef, which one captures your heart more?

It is a difficult choice to make. Both are alike and similar in many ways. With chocolate, it focuses more on the artistic appeal. You have to make sure the sculptures look elegant and hold the weight. On the other hand, pastry can be really intense.

Each component has a scientific explanation behind it, and you have to make sure there is a right balance between the flavours, texture and aesthetic. Despite being a little overwhelming at times, I genuinely enjoy and love making pastries. So, if I were to choose, I’d pick pastry.

Chef Amaury Guichon

Everyone loves your Caramel Tiger Donut and Pompon Saint Honore Rose Raspberry to name a few. Where do you get the inspiration for your creations from?

I get my inspirations from everywhere I go – nature, museum expositions, designs, arts and all. In terms of flavour, I personally, am not a fancy chef who chases crazy flavours out of the box, such as chocolate and pepper or wasabi. Instead, I bring out the best out of the so-called ordinary flavours. It’s straightforward, evergreen and heavenly luscious.

However, texture is something I love to study and play around with. One flavour can taste so much different when it’s baked, froze or fried. Each and every different texture will open the possibility of some flavours to seep in. In short, texture balances the dessert in the way your mouth will love it.

 

What is your favourite creation?

I love the chocolate clock – layers of robust coffee cremeux, coffee financier, rich coffee mousse and a crisp chocolate sable. Every layer speaks of different textures and a beautiful complexity to the mouth. Every intrinsic detail is handled with so much care, and that is what makes it so special.

I also love Tropical Baba! It has a light lime baba soaked in passion fruit infused rum syrup, nested in a beautiful tropical-hued thin layer of chocolate and topped with coconut flavoured whipped cream and exotic compote.

  

Chef Amaury Guichon

Chef Amaury Guichon

Chef Amaury Guichon

 

What would you say is the current trend in the pastry industry?

I believe that the high-end pastry is taking over the world today. A pastry that is so beautiful and elegant that you can’t seem to have the heart to eat it. Social media plays a big role in the trend, but there are always two sides to every coin.

Everyone started to imitate one another, and it’s becoming difficult to stand out. In my case, I do get inspired from here and there, but I stay true to my design and path.

Talking about trends, there is a purvey of sugar-free desserts in the market recently. Do you think you can make a world-class dessert without sugar?

I think it’s great that a lot of people are working to cater to different dietary requirements, but I am not one of those people. For me, dessert means more than just food – it takes me back to my childhood memories. But when you start to substitute, the taste and feeling portrayed will never be the same.

Scientifically speaking as well, sugar makes a pastry so delicious. Therefore, removing sugar will take most of its essence. It’s either you eat a pastry, or you don’t, there’s just no in between.

What piece of advice do you have for a home cook who wants to start their career in this industry?

My piece of advice for you is to pack your bag and leave for the home of world-class pastries, France. Do an apprenticeship and shadow prominent chefs for two years. You will have a taste of the real industry, and you’ve got the opportunity to learn from the best chef there is.

It gives you a valuable work experience in the industry that prepares you for whatever is ahead of your path. Along with that, accomplished professional may also consider masterclass for something fresh and hone their skills and creativity.

 

Chef Amaury Guichon

Baking can give a 50:50 result. What are the common mistakes people make when baking?

Frankly speaking, all mistakes can happen in the kitchen, especially when it comes to pastries. Think about it; you have to mix the dough, proof the dough and soak it in 60 degrees Celsius just right for it not to be moist enough without being soggy.

There is so many steps and rules that mistakes can just happen anywhere along the way. But humans are bound to make mistakes, but the most important thing is just to learn from it and move on. Having a good memory really helps though!

Many people have read and tried replicating recipes, but most of the time, it didn’t turn out quite the same. Why so?

Of course, it is challenging to replicate a creation perfectly. Your creation is your baby, and you have a bond like no others. One may get close, but it will never have the same bond as what you have.

Besides, ingredients also play a significant role because there will always be a difference in its component from different suppliers. Gelatin from various manufacturers may have the same amount of bloom, but the result it provides will still be different.

What is your favourite dessert to eat? Or a dessert you don’t like?

Ironically, I am not a big sweet tooth despite being a pastry chef. However, I can never resist a bite of the Rum au Baba. It’s hands down my favourite. On the other hand, I am not a big fan of the Millefeuille because most of the time it’s drying and just too complicated to eat.

You’ve missed it once; you wouldn’t want to miss it twice! In that case, you should follow and like Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia on Facebook to keep yourself updated for their next Master Class!

They offer you the rare opportunity to learn the best of the art of pastry in an intimate setting with the best master in the field. Your skills will be finely honed through the hands-on practice of the best pastry technique, tools, and ingredients. Basically, it’s living the pastry dream. So what are you waiting for? Follow them now!

P.S: In case you’re wondering, we did get a taste of his oh-so-wonderful pastries you feel so guilty to bite (well, we still did it). The experience? Spot on – Just as amazing as you would expect it to be. If this is not enough, I took a picture with him too! Be right back, got to hang the photo in my room.

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Regina Wiriadinata
Regina Wiriadinata

Hello there, pleasure to meat you.. oops, I mean meet. Hunger tends to get the best of me, which happens almost 24/7. You can probably find me at a gelateria, holding triple scoops of gelato in a cone. Please donut talk about my diet because I always end up with a slice of cake at the end of the day.

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