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French Pastry Meets Japanese Technique for Easter

by | Mar 25, 2024 | Uncategorized

Paris-Tokyo: A Sweet Love Affair:

French pastry chefs and master chocolate makers get busy around Easter, wowing everyone with their special desserts and chocolate sculptures. 

What some visitors to France don’t know is that many young Japanese chefs and pastry makers come to Paris to study. Some stay and open shop, mixing their Japanese culture and attention to detail with their culinary skills learned in French pastry classes. 

One pastry maker I met here in France is a young lady from Yokohama named Yuka. After studying art in Tokyo, she studied French pastry in Japan and in Paris. Today she creates beautiful made-to-order cakes for her Parisian clients.

Last year she created a birthday cake for me covered with Spring flowers. The details were fantastic: for example, each marzipan flower had tiny dew drops on them. This year I asked Yuka to make me something original for Easter. 

She created 4 individual baby chicks that the Japanese call “Piyo Piyo” – Japanese for “Chirp Chirp”.¬†¬†Each is handcrafted and has a different expression (see the photo above). The inside is made of chocolate, and the outer covering is marzipan or almond paste.¬†

Bravo to Yuka for blending her Franco-Japanese creativity! You can find her website at les-pastilles.com.

Below is an example of her interpretation of a typical French pastry, the macaron, in the shape of an Easter bunny.

Japanese Pastry Chefs in Paris:

All these pastry chefs blend the  Japanese aesthetic with classic French cake recipes. Or the reverse: they use Japanese ingredients like matcha, sesame paste or yuzu flavored cream, or red bean paste in classic French pastry shapes. One example would be a sesame-flavored French Eclair!

Here are just a few of the Japanese pastry chefs who have opened shop in Paris: 

Sadaharu Aoki Рhis pastries look like jewels and are infused with Japanese ingredients 

Mori Yoshida Рa specialist in reworking French pastry classics. His shop in located in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris, not far from the Eiffel Tower.

Patisserie Tomo – is specialized in “Dorayaki” which are very light crepe cakes with cream. They also offer workshops if you would like to learn how to make French-inspired Japanese¬†pastry.

Japanese Chefs in Paris:

Pastry making is not the only culinary discipline where the Japanese excel in France. Around 12 chefs from Japan have studied classic gastronomic French cooking here and have stayed to open very successful restaurants. 

Here are just a few of the chefs and their restaurants:

-Katsuaki Okiyama at “Abri

Kei Kobayashi at “Kei

-Shinichi Sato at “Blanc”

Kosuke Nabeta at “Sola

Kaori Endo at “Le Petit Keller” and at “Irasshai

Some Japanese chefs in France have earned Michelin stars:

Takayuki Nameura at “Mont√©e” in Paris

He says he uses Japanese but also French techniques in his cooking.

Kazuyuki Tanaka at “Racine” in Rheims

He blends his aesthetic sense with French technicity.

…and there are others outside the capital in Lyon, Nice or Cancale.

Conclusion:ÔĽŅ

Many Japanese chefs have opened top restaurants in France where they blend French recipes and techniques with a Japanese sense of aesthetics. In the last few years, numerous pastry chefs from Japan have successfully blended their Asian culture with classic French pastry making.

They find the technicity of French cuisine challenging and an opportunity to add to their repertoire of techniques acquired in Japan. Both cultures seem to have an attention to detail and technical mastery as common traits.

And now you: Did you realize there were so many Japanese chefs in France? Send me an email and let me know!

Are we following each other yet? Come on over and say ‚ÄúHi‚ÄĚ on Instagram and Facebook

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