While we were closed after Christmas, I conspired with a talented carpenter named Beau Stacy to create new shelving behind the counter in the bakery inspired by pastry shops I had seen in Paris. I so love and admire how much the French have contributed to the world of pastry. For me the patisseries and boulangeries throughout Paris create an atmosphere that elevates the pastries to an even higher art form. Every detail matters. That is what I strive to achieve at the BonBonerie for our enthusiastic customers.
So today I was searching through some of my old French pastry cookbooks. I found an old Lenotre cookbook that I vividly remember seeing way before I had ever crossed the ocean. I can recall being truly stunned. It was as if I had seen a Van Gogh for the first time. But the best part was that it gave me the recipe to create that very same work of art. We are now a long way from those inspirational pages and create our own masterpieces, but as I Ieafed through those tattered pages, I could see that none of those pastries were out of fashion. The only trend that needed to be followed was to make it great by using excellent ingredients and perfect technique.
The names were wonderful as well. Imagine a pate choux creation filled with custard and covered with a paper thin layer of caramelized sugar called a puit d’amour. That means a well of love. How about knowing that to say you would like a chocolate éclair means you want to order a chocolate lightning bolt. There is a funny two tiered cream puff like creation covered in a chocolate glaze called a religieuses which was reminiscent of a nun in her habit, thus the name.
I soon lost track of my original mission which was to seek a color to paint my new shelf that would pay homage to those glorious palaces of pastry in Paris, instead I began to see that for me being able to construct these same edible artifacts is what sent me over the fence from fine arts to pastry in the first place.
So if it was necessary to have a theme to reopen The BonBonerie with this year it will be that we don’t have to look very far from our French inspired roots to find something wonderful to make for you. I hope that my beautiful new shelf behind the counter will also help to create an inspiring atmosphere to enjoy them in.