I’m Not a Perfectionist

I like attention to detail more than the pursuit of perfection. 

Pierre Hermé

My Best: Pierre Hermé
“What is your motto?”
page 5

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Every Day, I Try Very Hard

Every day, I try very hard to make the best cake I can.

~ Pierre Hermé (1961 – )
French pastry chef,
named World’s Best Pastry Chef 2016
by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy,
appointed Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2007
~

Musings and Impressions
Pierre Hermé is a giant in the world of patissérie, the king of sweets. I am a big fan.

I got this quote from the November 25th FT Weekend Magazine, a “Q&A with pastry chef Pierre Hermé” by Hester Lacey. Two other responses struck me from this interview: 

Who was or still is your mentor? 

[Gaston] Lenôtre will always be my mentor. He gave me the values I still work with today: attention to detail, work well done, the handing down of knowledge. He showed me what quality is and how to achieve it. Every day, in my life as a pastry chef, I think about him. 

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

Talent is the most important. But ambition is a good support. Génie [genius] is made of 80 per cent–even 95 per cent–work and 5 percent talent. You need both.

I had the good fortune of meeting him last December at a bistro in Paris. There was an air of bashfulness about him. I was bowled over by this and his soft-spoken ways. You can find him in my Boxing Day piece, On Boxing Day, Oysters, Champagne, and a Brush With a Star.   

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On Boxing Day, Oysters, Champagne, and a Brush With a Star

Paris, December 26, 2016

THE best kind of holiday mornings are those where you sleep in, disappear under the sheets, and proclaim to the sun, “You aren’t going to wake me up, even if my alarm isn’t.” Our morning dawdled, fitting for one still gripped with jet lag, and the other who hardly caught deep, meaningful winks of sleep the entire week on account of the mad hours passed at the pastry shop over a Yuletide season of endless customers seeking good eats and and even better sweets. Continue reading