My Paris: Interview with Éric Kayser

My Paris: Interview with Éric Kayser
We all remember waiting in line, during the 1990s, at 8 rue Monge (5th arrondissement) for Éric Kayser’s sublime sourdough bread, hot and crumbly, straight from the oven. “Great bread can only be made if the philosophy, values and basics are right. Our bakers rely on these every day,” he says. Not only that, but in 1994, Éric Kayser invented the Fermentolevain machine whereby liquid levain/sourdough can be kept at a constant temperature making it easier to use. This was the cornerstone of Kayser’s success – his mission to create bread with a creamy interior, all the flavor of cereal and dried fruit, and an excellent shelf life. Today there are Éric Kayser bakeries in Paris, throughout France, and around the world. Don’t miss his bread of the month – because you’re worth it. In May, it’s a sunny, golden Pain de Maïs, made with corn flour, punctuated with crispy corn kernels. (Price €4.) “With its slightly sweet crumb, it will go perfectly with your sweet or savory meals. This bread’s made with leaven, followed by a long fermentation. It’s been the signature of Maison Kayser for more than 26 years. A ray of sunshine on our tables!” he says. In a recent interview, the fifth-generation baker shared his favorite Paris addresses. Pain au maïs. Courtesy of Maison Kayser Where were you born? In Lure, a pretty little village of just 8,000 inhabitants, in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, eastern France. What are you most proud of in terms of your own achievement? I’m thrilled at having been able to transmit the love of good bread to so many people. I’m happy to say that the ancient art of bread-making is experiencing a global surge in popularity as consumers discover the deep satisfaction of freshly baked bread. It’s not fattening; it’s what you put on it that is! From “The Bread Book” by Éric Kayser

Lead photo credit : Eric Kayser

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !