My Paris: Interview with Pastry Chef François Perret

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My Paris: Interview with Pastry Chef François Perret
“François Perret is a taste magician.” — Pierre Hermé  François Perret, executive pastry chef at The Ritz Paris since 2015, has won prestigious awards for his contemporary, feather-light creations. Voted “Best Pastry Chef in the World 2019” by Les Grandes Tables du Monde, Perret says, “There’s sensuality in pâtisserie, it’s the key to all life’s joys — family events, marriages, baptisms, anniversaries. When you punish a child, you deprive him of dessert not pot roast, n’est ce pas?!”  Where were you born?  Viriat, a pretty village in eastern France near Bourg-en-Bresse, 361 kilometers from Paris. It dates to Celtic times. (Birthdate: June 1980) François Perret – Ritz Paris ©Cecile Gabriel With whom would you enjoy a bottle of wine, a Parisian past or present?   In the past, it would definitely be Victor Pouzet, the revered and highly respected knifesmith, who, in 1920, invented the indispensable Econome Vegetable Peeler. Philippe Starck makes a modern version. And in the present, with my wife and two children! I have a collection of fine wines celebrating their birthdays. Vintage advertisement for a vegetable peeler. Public domain. A local you admire?  Vincent Girodet, who I met at Le Meurice where he worked with Yannick Alléno. In 2019 Vincent abandoned his regular job to collect herbs, source unusual products and follow his dream creating a distillery called L’Alambic Parisien.  L’Alambic Parisien. Photo: Mairie 20 Your daily impression of Paris  As I walk through the different quartiers, everything changes. The contrasts are incredible: one minute you’re among chic shoppers, the next it’s Bo-Bo Land! Every Parisian should own?  A Metro Map. 
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Lead photo credit : François Perret at the Ritz Paris. © Cecile Gabriel

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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 It.com, 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 !