"des Gâteaux et du Pain" chez Claire Damon
"des Gâteaux et du Pain" chez Claire Damon
The clarity and sincerity
To make an apple chausson (pie), it takes 7 days，which the dough is spread, extended, folded, swept, turned, everyday there is a fully manual operation in order to get this extremely layered and crispy dough. I don’t know how others make it, at least this is the way I work. The true luxury is the beauty of the things and the time we take to make them.
— Claire Damon
『要認真地、 非常認真地對待我們做的這一行，但是不要把自己看得那麼重要。 』
—— Claire Damon
Fauchon, Ladurée, Bristol, Plaza Athéné, these prestigious names have built Claire Damon’s virtuosity and precision. She has made her “Des Gâteaux et du Pain”, namely “Cakes and bread”, into an equally prestigious premise. Stepping in the shop in the 15th district of Paris, Boulevard Pasteur, the display windows radiate sun shine and sweetness that would melt your heart and your eyes.
TOL: What is your state of mind when you make patisseries?
CD: First of all, there is one thing that is common for all the patisseries, it is essentially about sharing the love of good food, for the pleasure. My state of mind can come from different inspirations, it can come from an exhibition that I saw, someone I met or a landscape, actually all my cakes show the way I see life. It is very direct in the taste. This is quite straightforward, quite powerful.
TOL: DO you mean that one can easily identify the ingredients when tasting the cake?
C.D: Not necessarily. I have two ways of working the ingredients. One way is the essence, for example, for the cake “Absolute lemon”, I wanted to work the essence of the lemon. To do that, we worked on the lemon, the juice, the zest, we were working a lot on the cooking. That is the first way. The otherway can be an overall work. For instance, one of the iconic creations of the house is the dessert “Kashmir”, it has this global note, like a perfume, the saffron is blended with dates, oranges, and vanilla, but what is interesting is the overall note, which gives this special sensation.
『苦艾青青』糕點 / Vert Absinthe
TOL: What is the source of your inspiration for the decorations and toppings?
CD: I’ve always thought decoration as the last step. My inspiration comes from life. For example for the Green Absinthe cake, in spring in the morning near my grandparents and my great-grand parents’house, to go to the stream below the domain, there is a path where the scent of wild mint and many wild plants emerges. In addition to all of that, I wanted to transcribe the sounds and colors on it, to deliver fullness and appeasement. I also added angelica, because it comes from my home. When you bite in and taste it, it will make a sound, which is very similar to the sound of someone walking on grass. So, the design comes naturally: the color, the taste and the sound. It’s something very simple: a few chunks of angelica, some elder flowers, because there are also many elders in my region! What I like is the elegance of things, and not the overload.
TOL: What are the criteria of elegance according to you?
CD: Simplicity, no unnecessary ado, beautiful curves, beautiful colors. Something quite pure, something that needs to be appetizing though.
『點絳脣』糕點 / Lipstick Griotte
"You must take our job seriously, very seriously, but you should not take yourself too seriously."
- Claire Damon
『純正檸檬』糕點 / Absolue Citron
TOL :In your cakes, we can see a lot of colors and it is full of serenity.
C.D: Really? Actually, it was involuntary at first. One morning at the end of January, with my team, we were putting cakes on the shelves, then we took a step back to see how it looked, there was an almost monochromatic range: yellow, orange, darker orange, lighter orange, bolder orange, it was still a uniform color range, so at the beginning I thought it was a problem. I returned to the office and I thought, this is not possible. Why do I have the same color range there? Since I do not work the appearance first, it was not a willing effect. Then I realized that it is because I respected the seasons, so in January and February, we have lemons, oranges, grape fruits, saffron, then exotic fruits like mango, passion fruit, pineapple, all these fruits are yellow or orange. I finally told myself this is not so bad, we will accentuate it, we will keep working on these monochrome ideas. In fact, people need sun in winter, so nature provides us fruits that have the color of the sun, like yellow, orange, they are incredibly lively! I’ve realized that it is very coherent throughout the year. It means that in spring, it is very energetic, that’s when the first wild mints arrive, the rhubarb, angelica, lime. So nature brings atone to spring: green.
Nowadays, everybody wants answers immediately, and nature stops us, there is a rhythm of season, there is a rhythm of nature, there is nothing to do about it!
To make an apple chausson (pie), it takes 7 days. Not because there are days of rest, it really needs 7 days during which the dough is spread, extended, folded, swept, turned, everyday there is a fully manual operation in order to get this extremely layered and crispy dough. I don’t know how others make it, at least this is the way I work. The true luxury is the beauty of the things and the time we take to make them.
香橘卡里松杏仁糕 / Calisson Mandarine
TOL : In your shop, I saw an uncommon French toast.
C.D: I like things that are a little more gourmet, so I make it differently. I cut brioche into cubes, then soak them in a crème brûlée mixture, with cream and vanilla, then I shape them and cook them for about forty minutes to get them well colored and very soft. Children love it. It’s funny, because I think it’s a taste that will remain in their memory, our French toasts might be to them like the madeleine was to Proust.
TOL: For you, what is the quality that makes a good patisserie chef?
C.D: Sincerity! This is the first thing. It is doing this job with a lot of heart, and a willingness to share a pleasure. In other words, doing with generosity, benevolence and care! Without sincerity there is no soul, in the professions of arts and craft, it is this additional soul that always makes the difference.
Recently, I got this wooden ball. It is a beautiful object, a game called “Boulingrin” that my mother gave me. It reminds me that “life is a game”. I also would like to have this “vanitas” painting, it’s a skull on a table, (for example in the Vanitas by Philippe de Champaigne). Everything is vain, whatever happens, we know the end. We do a lot of things out of vanity, it is what often guides us. So for me, it is a call to order: be careful, all is vanity, you must keepyour safe-control.
Des Gâteaux et du Pain Pasteur
63 boulevard Pasteur 75015 Paris - France
電話：01 45 38 94 16
Horaires d'ouverture :
|Lundi||09:00 – 20:00|
|Mercredi||09:00 – 20:00|
|Jeudi||09:00 – 20:00|
|Vendredi||09:00 – 20:00|
|Samedi||09:00 – 20:00|
|Dimanche||09:00 – 18:00|