Friday, March 08, 2013

William Lamagnere - Chef Pâtissier

Jeudi 7 mars William Lamagnere - Chef Pâtissier
Yesterday I had the special treat of visiting chef patissier William Lamagnère in his 'labo' or laboratoire as French patisserie kitchens are referred to. We met at the Mont Blanc tasting. William's Mont Blanc creation was magnifique.
William has been the pastry chef at la Cloiserie des Lilas for 6 years, a divine brasserie I hope to visit soon. Previously he worked at Laduree
We were cloistered in a tiny kitchen sou sol(in the cellar. One doesn't want to imagine summers down there with the hot oven/ fore blasting). Here William and his assistant turned out hundreds of desserts for the daily lunch service + gougere as an amuse bouche for starters. This is ganache de noisette
To go on the tartelette au Graduja noir.
Watching William work close up was daunting. When you bite into a supremely delicious dessert you rarely give a thought to its preparation. The stages it went through to reach such perfection.
I don't think I'll ever eat another dessert lightly again. Pastry chefs are artists of precision in the kitchen.
All senses are at work, not just taste, but color, design, scent of course, even architecture is a consideration.
The multiple layering of flavors is key in French pastry. Mostly you're not aware of the  subtlety involved. The finished tartelette au Granduja.
Next up preparation for the Saint-Honore au pamplemousse et baies de goji. Here William cuts the thin leaves of pastry that are the base of this dessert. Or perhaps he's toasting it with his torch or...I lost track and my kitchen French is not up to snuff.
One of Williams tricks and he has many up his sleeve..is to take two flavours of whipped cream (one a special non-acidic Chinoise grapefruit with a touch of goji berries) the other plain cream and put them together into one pastry sleeve.
Out comes a two-sided cream you might not even notice as you're chomping down but the flavours would subltely announce themselves to your tastebuds...
Here a closer view of the two-sided, two-flavoured whipped cream. William was very generous with tastes/goutes in case you're wondering...though there were a number of pots of ganache in the sink I would have loved to have gotten my hands into...
Almost done. The little puffs nesting on top are filled with cream au pamplemousse then dipped lightly into a hot caramel sauce with a touch of pepper (I think..)
Desserts change daily FYI.
Enfin the finished Saint-Honore au pamplemousse adorned with fresh fruit and goji berries.
Simply glorious no? Though not so simple in the creation.
A Big Merci to William Lamagnere for letting me observe yesterday.

34 comments:

  1. What an extraordinary opportunity for you to be able see him at work like that. And great for us too. It all looks very delicious. We'll be staying quite close to the restaurant later in the year- I might need to check out his work in person!

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    1. It has a very nice atmosphere...I wanted to show more
      Perhaps another post soon..

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  2. Incredible! This post was better than watching a cooking show. And I'm just trying to imagine the mix of flavors....with pepper on top!

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    1. Funny William has done cooking shows...quite a few teasers on Youtube to get you salivating as I was looking on yesterday

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  3. I almost got lost in your images, such precision and intricate work shown by chef pâtissier Lamagnere, chapeau! I am intrigued by the two different shades of cream coming out of those pastry bags, wonder of physics in my eyes. I am sure if I tried, they'd start to mingle in unwanted ways.





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    1. Precision is the key word.
      Yet I could see William was having fun throwing powdered sugar on the pastry leaves, painting the gougeres, cutting up the leaves of feuillette almost like paperdolls.
      Very hands on satisfying work.

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  4. Chef Lamagnere seems to be quite an artist. His imaginative creations are beautiful...but I am sure also perfectly delicious.

    Does he make some of these pastries every day? Or perhaps the sweet pastries differ daily? I would hope that Chef would stay inspired to greatness six years on.

    xo

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    1. different desserts every day of the week at La Closerie
      ! ! !

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  5. Most people just put the two icings in the bag..I always thought what a mess mine would be..His idea is genius:)

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  6. You already probably know, but just in case: La Closerie des Lilas is of great historic importance. Hemingway associations, Stein and Toklas lived in the neighborhood, etc.
    Those pastries are gorgeous enough to be of historic importance too!

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    1. Ah ha...I should have guessed. that was their neighborhood...some blocks down La coupole and la Select...
      Thanks Judith

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  7. La Closerie des Lila's is one of our favorite places. I dearly love the tartare. The best in Paris and therefore the world! Thanks you for letting us see the inside work. Jeannie

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  8. O`la la, what an Artist!

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  9. How wonderful to have been allowed in the chefs kitchen and being able to follow the process from beginning to end, and the question I'm sure we all want an answer to, were you given a few samples to take home with you ?

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    1. Yes I was given many many small samples that added up to a lot.
      I was mostly looking through a small window - the pastry kitchen is small enough with two people working in it.
      I think the entire staff at Closerie came down to take a look at me!
      Many bonjours yesterday morning ahem

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  10. OK, this confirms it. This is the best blog there is about life in Paris. One day it's farm animals, the next it's city nights in the rain, the next it's in the basement with a pastry genius. You never know what you're going to get but it's always fun, fabulous, and freaking awesome.

    Merci mucho!

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    1. You are wonderful Vivian.
      You win a FREE subscription and a free trip to Paris with lunch at La Closerie!

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  11. Anonymous11:19 AM

    Exquisite! I am dreaming of your life Carol!
    Cheers,
    Chef Ann

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  12. Anonymous11:20 AM

    I am trying to take off some extra pounds before Paris, but I am putting on weight just from looking at your pictures!
    Jane

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  13. Anonymous11:33 AM

    Carol, thank you for the wonderfully sweet adventure. Went to William Lamagnere's blog. Even though it's in French, what a treat for the eyes (and taste buds)!! He's even on YouTube. Magnifique! Merci!
    Mary

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    1. Yr so very welcome
      A very nice down to earth guy...a Breton in fact

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  14. Wow. What a treat, Carol. Grapefruit cream... ganaches, layers - what art and wonderful watching amongst the artists! I love France and French pastry chefs! I need to get to La Cloiserie to taste, you know how to tempt, don't you?

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  15. Anonymous4:24 PM

    yeah! The bar has brass plaques for Hemingway, Beauvoir, and a few others I can't remember. Can you imagine how beautiful it will be when the lilacs bloom?

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  16. Accidentally added chili powder to apple pie once, (instead of cinnamon) and was surprised what a nice "accent" it was~ now I include chili pepper (lightly) all the time.

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  17. All I can stay is "be still my heart!" These look fabulous and I can't even begin how marvelous they taste! It's probably a good thing I'm far across the pond!

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  18. Now this is just mean. ;) NO food in the house and kind of starving if think about it. Now I am. So off to the store. Great post!!

    Happy Intl Woman's Day CG. You're one amazing lady, CG. So admirable.

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  19. Oh my goodness what a job you have. It doesn't get better than this.

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  20. Works of art! The chocolatey tartelette has my name on it, I'm sure.
    And loving your iPad mini photos, by the way - seems to be a great multi-purpose toy.

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    1. iPad mini is NOT a toy
      It's a tool and a very useful one.
      The computer is gathering dust deservedly so

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  21. Simply gorgeous YES. OMG how I would have wanted to just keep eating those little chocolate delights. yumm they look soooooooo good. Lucky you. :)

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    1. I just had little tastes of each ingredient as it was in process Cris. Then William invited me back next day and surprised me with the tartelette over coffee and minardises..
      Miam!

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  22. Good God, those all look delicious! He's an artist of a different sort. Lovely!

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  23. This is really art, of a very tempory nature, but saved for the future thanks to your post!

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