10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019
Who or what inspired you to study pastry?
I grew up in the business. My aunt had a restaurant in France.
On Wednesdays we had no school so I’d spend that day
at the restaurant from the age 12 or 14. She needed help so
I joined her. I did a couple stages, first in the kitchen
then pastries. I had to switch to pastry I liked it so much.
I did two more years apprenticing and completed my military
service at the president’s house in Paris.
SC: What is your philosophy on pastry?
SR: I prefer pastry because it is chemistry and math; an exact
science. There is no measurement, no regiment in culinary.
Pastry is less forgiving. People in New York are very difficult
to please. You can play around with traditions and use your
imagination and technology to come up with something new.
Dessert is the last memory you have of a restaurant so it
has to be good. Sweets make people happy.
SC: What do you enjoy about your job?
SR: What I love about this place is freedom. It’s great
for me and my team. You have to keep your team interested
since there is a lot of repetition in the kitchen. You don’t
want to get bored.
SC: Who are your mentors? Who are your peers?
SR: Pierre Hermé, he
changed the pastry world in the 90s. Ferran Adria, I love
his philosophy on cooking. Some of my peers are Johhny Iuzzini
and Sam Mason.
SC: What are your favorite desserts?
SR: Ice cream!
SC: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
SR: Executive pastry chef in my own pastry shop. My wife’s
from New York. I met her in LA. She does wedding cakes and
we just moved to Westchester.
SC: What do you think of the development of dessert bars?
SR: I think they’re
great but don’t know if people would go on a regular
basis. I think they’d probably go because they’re
interested in different aspects of the pastry industry. I
do want to open my own one day, but don’t have a concept
SC: What are other trends you see on the horizon?
SR: Pastry is becoming extravagant right now. I think it will
come down because of what’s happening in the world.
People are spending more time with family.
SC: Where did you get your pastry training?
SR: In France the apprentice spends one week a month in class
and three weeks in the kitchen. We learn food cost management,
philosophy, techniques…you learn on the job.
SC: What are your favorite pastry and kitchen tools?
SR: Spoons, to taste, sauce, quenelle. To make quenelles you
need to find the perfect spoon that’s deep enough to
make them round and fat. Not long.
SC: What are your top
three tips for dessert success?
SR: Color, texture and
flavor. When the plate comes to the table, the color and look
of plate attracts people’s attention, then they reach
for the spoon and realize the texture and flavor.