Vogue Magazine has described him as the “Picasso of Pastry”; Pierre Hermé, born in Colmar, the fourth of a generation of Alsatian pastry chefs is regarded as an unrivalled maestro in the field of world pastry preparation and was awarded the title of Cavaliere delle Arti and Legion d’Onore in 2007.
From his youth onwards he displayed an aptitude for what would become his profession and lifetime’s work. At the age of 14 he was a student of Gaston Lenôtre, then ten years later he went to Fauchon, where he would stay another 11 years: then off again to perfect matters at the luxury French cake company Ladurée. Finally he parted company with all the master chefs and in 1998 opened the latest concept store, in Tokyo, of Pierre Hermé Paris: and then a luxury supermarket and ‘Chocolate Bar’, in 2002, at number 72 in Rue Bonaparte in Paris, which was the first of a series of prestigious and mouth-watering shops.
Undisputed master of macarons, like all the Hermé geniuses he has attained excellence through extravagance: he never sets foot in a kitchen, but studies desserts and designs new ones in his atelier, then shares out the instructions to his collaborators who turn them into reality. He says of himself: “I cook in my mind. I imagine things and then I write them down. Then, with my colleagues, I try the first stage of cooking, I taste what we’ve prepared and decide if it works or not.”
Permanently on a diet, fighting a battle with his weight, he never misses out on his daily ration of macarons. At peace with his outline.
Paris, October 2016