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Pierre Herme

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So are these "glaces" better than the famed Berthillon?

Completely different. It's like trying to compare a Dalloyau Opera cake to PH's Ispahan.

I am now the proud horder of 3 liters of Pierre Herme's most popular ice cream flavours.

From the Spring-Summer 2003 Collection, I have

Satine (fromage blanc sorbet, orange coulis, passion fruit sorbet, morsels of sables)

and

Garance (fig sorbet, rasberry sorbet, caramelised cinnamon ice cream)

And from the Signature Collection

Ispahan Sorbet (lychee, rose, and rasberry sorbet)

Gone already is Strawberry, Orange, and Cardomom Miss Gla'Gla - a couture ice cream sandwich - strawberry sorbet swirled with cardomom ice cream, laced with orange sauce, sandwiched between cardomom-perfumed sables.

More later. Too hot now. Must eat ice cream.

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We did a dinner with him about a year ago and he made the best ice cream sandwhiches I have ever had. His desserts are imeccable and his "macaroons" are some of the best sweet pastries out there. If his ice creams are like the real thing then they will be a real treat. Any chance of an American intoduction of his Ice Creams?


Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

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Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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There is a reasonable likelihood I will get to Paris in May and a slight chance for December.

As I understand it, in December no sandwiches only ice cream. In May, both?

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inventolux - there's a chance PH ice creams will hit the States, but no date yet.

VM, Miss Gla'Gla's will start again mid-May.

Current seasonal macaron: Peach Apricot and Saffron

(saffron macaraon, peach and saffron cream, morsels of soft apricot)

Still hot. Must eat more ice cream.

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Inventolux- you had dinner with him?!?!?!? Extrapolate!


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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From the laboratoire:

"For the pastry chef Pierre Herme, the 2003 Autumn-Winter Collection will be full of color and whimsy, dedicated to the concept of 'kawaii'. In Japanese, 'kawaii' means cute, pretty, adorable, and lovely, all at once."

Available 15 September 2003.

Macaron au Marron et The Vert Matcha

(macaron biscuit with chestnuts, cream of candied chestnuts, and smooth cream with Matcha green tea)

Sarah (cakes available in 3 sizes)

(crispy, chewy biscuit with chestnuts, cream of chestnuts, smooth cream with green tea, and passionfruit compote)

Emotion Velours (served in a glass)

(creme brulee with passionfruit, pan-roasted chestnuts, and candied chestnuts, gelee of chestnuts, acidulated passionfruit gelee, smooth cream with green tea)

Aztec (individual and large size cakes)

(shortcrust pastry with granola, orange compote with balsamic vinegar, flourless chocolate biscuit, chocolate mousse with slivers of chocolate with pure unrefined salt crystals)

Surprise Kawaii

(meringue, acidulated orange compote with gingerbread, mousseline cream with lemon, biscuit with almond slivers)

Azur (chocolate)

(ganache with lime enrobed with dark chocolate)

pH3 (3 white chocolate boules per package)

(lemon compote, crispy hazelnut praline; apricot compote, crispy pistachio praline; caramelized baked apple, crispy hazelnut praline)

Emotion Exotic (served in a glass)

(creme brulee with pistachio, pinapples seasoned with coriander and slivers of lime peel, coconut juice with tapioca pearls)

Barbade (chocolate)

(ganache with Tonka beand enrobed in dark chocolate)

Sacristan raisins et amandes

(puff pastry with caramelized sugar, blond raisins, and almond slivers)

Will post more details later - hard to choose but my favourite of the collection - pH3.

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Is there something not astonishing about a collection of pastries using "collection" in the sense of a fashion house? Food is rather ephemeral, certainly the meal we consume is more ephemeral than the clothes we wear, have cleaned and wear again, but chefs have tended to present new ideas as revolutionary and not as passing fashion and dishes that are well received tend to become classics that stay available in a restaurant's repertoire--at least up until nueva cocina. One can only hope that Hermé is documenting his desserts as well as Adria is documenting his dishes.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Is there something not astonishing about a collection of pastries using "collection" in the sense of a fashion house? Food is rather ephemeral, certainly the meal we consume is more ephemeral than the clothes we wear, have cleaned and wear again, but chefs have tended to present new ideas as revolutionary and not as passing fashion and dishes that are well received tend to become classics that stay available in a restaurant's repertoire--at least up until nueva cocina. One can only hope that Hermé is documenting his desserts as well as Adria is documenting his dishes.

I think that borrowing this page from, say, the fashion industry, is a good, smart move. It is refreshing and inspiring to see Herme roll out a whole new line of desserts for the season; in addition, he tags it with a general theme or concept, perhaps, a color, and an ineffable 'emotion' that may conjure associations with memory and our other senses, apart from taste. Ah, but you say that it's really just cake, isn't it?

As for whether a dish is a passing fashion, or potential classic... I think the best chefs, the ones who constantly push their own limits, and by extension those of their peers, tend not rest on yesterday's achievements, and are always well into the next idea. You won't see La Cerise sur le Gateau at Herme's shop today, just as Ferran Adria has implied that 'foam' is dead, a thing of the past.

The epitomy of spontaneity and the pursuit of change, for me anyway, is Pierre Gagnaire. Known to change and redirect his dishes in the middle of service, he has strong feelings with regard to that fleeting, temporary, and ephemeral quality that haute cuisine, and food in general is capable of. By drawing analogies to other art forms, primarily jazz, Gagnaire seems to approach each plate as a unique entity, and taking into account every possible variable, one that could never be recreated. Hence, he has come to avoid the recipe- the standardizing and codification. In his case, the lack of a record is quite regrettable.

Not to take the issue too far away from pastry (which, in the interest of consistency, cannot afford the spontaneity of Gagnaire) and Herme... I too hope that he is documenting his work of the last couple years. And, as he has done with his first book, I hope he eventually shares it with the rest of us!


Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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Michael, are you sure he longer sells the Cerise sur le Gateau cake?

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I've only been to Herme's shop 3 times during a trip in July, 2002. I found the metaphor with the clothing collection quite amusing. If the new items are as superb as the things I tasted, then I welcome the new desserts! And it was one shop in Paris where the sales staff was courteous and patient.

I wish they would open a branch in San Francisco.

Roz

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I long for photos of his new work. Do they resemble what he's published or has he raised the bar?

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Does he have a web page? I haven't been able to find one.


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Oh, loufood, we/re going to be in Paris on September 15th.....Will

this be in all shops? I shiver at the thought of the line! but am

already trying to make my decisions!

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Bux, oh yeah, PH documents his creative process. He talks about the often very emotional inspirations for the pieces.

Michael, Lesley's question was right on - actually PH does still have La Cerise sur le Gateau in the shop - it's one of the classics. 5.50 for an individual portion or 50 euros for a cake that serves 6 - yeah, I know that seems weird - the price difference - but I'm told the deco on the whole cake is amazing - that one you should order ahead.

Roz, you are so right about the patience of the PH staff! I can't tell you how many people - myself included of course - have a million questions for every single thing in there! But you never feel rushed by the staff - or following clients - I suspect because they know they'll behave the same.

Sinclair, oh you bring up my guilty secret - I'm such a luddite - I have photos but I don't know how to upload them yet. I will try to post some soon. Some of the new work does resemble previous collections - layers in glass, etc. - but I really feel that so many need to be photographed well cross-sectioned too - like pH3's - which look just like white chocolate balls - but seriously layered interior. And then there's the texture and taste. I'm crazy for the lemon compote/hazelnut praline - smooth white choc, crispy praline, contrasting acidity - addictive balance - thank God they're a little bigger than bite size.

Moby, no web page - yet.

Paula, just one PH shop on rue Bonaparte. Are you thinking of the address on Vaugirard? That's only for special order pickups. The line is really not that bad if you hit it on off hours! I've been there a few times with no line and when there is one it moves pretty steadily. Decisions? Just get one of each. Seriously. That's what my friend Alexandra - think younger, hipper Auntie Mame in Dior - did for me - to educate my patisserie palate. It's shocking that most prices are only about 5 euros per individual portion - so that's what? Like 50 euros? Do it! An indulgence everyone should take at least once in their lives.

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gallery_6338_526_1104177553.jpg

You asked for it - you got it - almost. Photos and descriptions on my blog here. If I can find the time - and a more stable connection - I'll post the rest directly.


Edited by LKL Chu (log)

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I'd like one in each flavor, please!


Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly....MFK Fisher

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I'm on a borrowed conection so can't spend much time writing about my visit yesterday to Pierre Herme's shop on rue Bonaparte, so here's the next best thing, a few pics I took.

SD

I just had a few of the above as dessert.Delicious,of course and beautiful looking but paris abounds with many boulangeries that don't cost as much.

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I loved the mini-kougelhopf which was to be found at the rue Bonaparte shop. It is not located with the pastries behind the counter, rather on the shelves for self service next to the checkout. They had big ones boxed up and ready to go, and if I'd known how great it was I would have gotten one.

_MG_7670.JPG

This was delicious too, I didn't catch the name, since a friend picked it out.

_MG_7675.JPG

We tried one each of the macarons over several days. My favorite was the caramel. They were so good that when Loic went back to Paris for a meeting, I sent him back to get another half-dozen of just that flavor.

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That looks like the "Mille Feuille 2000." Delicious.

gallery_17945_895_169555.jpg

Herme's Kouign-Aman are incredible. I ate one almost every day during a two-week trip:

gallery_17945_2441_139845.jpg

(I used his recipe in "La Patisserie...")


Edited by Melange (log)

Formerly known as "Melange"

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Wow those look amazing. As someone who has tasted the ones from the shop, do the recipes in the book produce similar results? If so, I have got to get that book.

As far as the macarons, they really are fabulous. Yesterday I went on a search for something that would measure up in Lyon.

_MG_7785.JPG

Neither even come close to what we got from Herme. They have completely recallibrated my inner macaron reference. I carried these for a long time so they were knocked around a bit, but survived.

_MG_7704.JPG

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The sheen on that hazlenut/white truffle macaron is gorgeous.

The Kouign-Aman from the book are very similar to those in the shop. He doesn't suggest it in the book, but use salted butter.


Formerly known as "Melange"

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It looks like I will have to be going back to Pierre Herme's again! for kougelhopf, Mille Feuille 2000, and a Kouign-Aman. What a chore... :rolleyes:

I had an Emotion Mahogany from the Vaugirard shop last week and it was heavenly. Layers of mango, lychee compotes and caramel marscapone, topped with little coconut "dacquoises". It was one of my most incredible dessert experiences. It's expensive but it's still 7 Euros expensive rather than 50Euros - an affordable treat. I was tempted by the ice cream but 24 Euros (for 1 L) crossed the line for me.

On the other hand... I was not impressed by their macarons. The ganache filling was dense and excessive, overwhelming the delicate biscuits. I was excited to try them and we bought a selection - rose, passionfruit, wild rose with chestnut and olive oil. As I'm writing this I realize I really did choose some of the wackier flavours. Maybe I should have stuck with the caramel, chocolate, vanilla varieties? Of course my husband is from Saint-Emilion, the home of the TRUE macaron so I'm lucky I even got to taste these bastardized Parisian versions. :wink:

I've been on a patisserie/chocolaterie in Paris for the last couple of weeks. What a great city for a dessert tour!

A la prochaine,

Lisa

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They've been discussing the perfect Macaron in the Pastry and Baking forum Here for the last 2 1/2 years. With the lastest being a conference on the science of macarons with Herve This. It's a beautiful thread.

Maybe I should have stuck with the caramel, chocolate, vanilla varieties? Of course my husband is from Saint-Emilion, the home of the TRUE macaron so I'm lucky I even got to taste these bastardized Parisian versions. wink.gif

:laugh::laugh:

One of the reasons that I loved the Hermes macarons as compared to the sad, dry versions (now I say this in comparison) being produced at Bernichon and Tourtiller here in Lyon was the ganache, which in my opinion was just right and struck a beautiful balance in the Herme versions, especially in the more simple flavours. I was not too impressed with the rose flavor either.

You're right about the delicate biscuits of Herme. The meringue in the macarons at Tourtiller was crunchy and hard, after reading the scientific info given at the colloq, most probably contained too much sugar in the ratio and were clearly overcooked (color beginning to brown). Bernachon, just sort of 'eh' although still perfectly proper macarons in their own right. Just not as good as Hermes. Both macarons here in Lyon had hard areas in the center which were not present in the Herme macarons. The weather here is beautiful so we can't blame it on anything like that - unless they were selling stale macarons...

Lisa, tell us about the macarons in St. Emilon - overall experience? I would love to know how your husband describes the perfect macaron.

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The sheen on that hazlenut/white truffle macaron is gorgeous.

The Kouign-Aman from the book are very similar to those in the shop. He doesn't suggest it in the book, but use salted butter.

Kouign-Aman, as the rather un-French name might suggest, is a Breton pastry and in Brittany, salted butter rules.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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