Friday, May 09, 2014

Pierre Herme et Moi by Solidad Bravi

About a week ago I went to a book party celebrating a collaboration of 2 of my absolute Parisian heroes -TOP patissiere Pierre Hermé and TOP bandes dessinée artist Soledad Bravi on their cookbook Pierre Hermé et Moi at HQ Pierre Hermé.

I've told you about the wildly sophisticated French comic books/bandes dessinée in the past. Soledad is a witty, fun artist of the genre. Plus she's illustrated quite a few Hermé's macaron boxes, lucky girl.
So their book together is a joy to behold
The drawings are amusing. The recipes are not intimidating.
There are wonderful little secret tips from the Maitre chef himself in the corners as if he was whispering in your ear.
The drawings are comme d'habitude adorable, enticing.
We tasted these delights from Pierre Hermé et Moi.
Yes, PBers, there are authentic PH macaron recipes in the book for caramel and for olive oil macs plus l'Ispahan, la tarte à la rhubarbe, le cheese-cake, le sablé à la noisette.
Camille is Hermé's right hand man and top in-house patissiere. He creates whatever Pierre dreams up and sketches ready to taste in this divinely Zen dreamy kitchen/cuisine.
Pom, pomme, pommes - a Granny Smith combo of confit of apple, chopped fresh apple topped with a dollop of Granny Smith ice cream. Have your apples 3 delicious ways.
Pierre Hermé, Solidad, Camille pose for les bloggeues..
What does the world's top pastry chef do to blow off steam between creating babas et tartes? Voila.
This table must be where future PH collections of infiniment caramel or citron are voted on. One would be inclined to conclude quite a lot of tasting goes on at this table. Hmmm...
Everyone is chatting and mingling while your Paris spy grabs a few shots and fantasizes...
A perfect backdrop of serenity for the creative mind to work in. Why does my studio not look like this? Because I am a chaotic mess and have no interns to tidy up. All applicants will be considered carefully PBers.
A perfect bouquet sits beside Coco Jobard and Pierre's beautiful Ispahan book. If you can name of these flowers do tell.  I was mystified. They look almost like origami paper flowers...
In the stairwell heading out
The Ispahan rose sculpture from the Rue Bonaparte shop window. Note above the reflection. Everything in PH HQ is visually stimulating in a quiet way.
For at least 8 years I have been looking closely at Pierre Hermé's pastries to paint them and then eat  them (to get to the full essence natch). I'm ever fascinated by their colors, textures and geometry.
I'd never tasted passion fruit till the Mogador macaron and now it's my favorite flavor - acidic, exotic and perfect when combined with milk chocolate. This is his invention.
Naturally I've wanted to meet M.Hermé. I've been introduced to him in crowded settings many times.
The book party was the first time we actually got to chat. He speaks perfect English by the way.
I admired the design of his kitchen.
"It's by Patrick Jouin".
"Ah the guy who designed Christophe Michalak's Choux stand near the Eiffel Tower. (This designer could reinvent the paper bag if he put his mind to it- brilliant).
Then Pierre asked if I'd like to see the garden. It was raining cats and dogs out but I said sure and we stepped out on the balcony.
"Oh is it by the guy who did the wall gardens at musée Branly?"
"Yes, Patrick Blanc".
PBers, I am changing my first name to Patrick toute suite. Anything is possible then.
Meanwhile do look at Pierre Hermé et Moi. I wonder if they will do an English version..miam miam


  1. Your French ' Word of the Day ' is so fitting for your post today ! Just loved every bit of it. The white flower looks like a Hydrangea / Hortonsia head to me..

  2. 'notamment'/in particular
    A lovely setting isn't it, PH HQ.

  3. Fantastic experience for you, combination of passions! Love the book AND it's great to see more of your art. Afraid I couldn't qualify to be your tidy intern~not that talent, papers seem to fly all over the table & whole room! From Chez Moi dans le Maine, R

  4. Always love a post when your art is them all..You have been studying pastry for years..
    And drawing and painting for years..
    Ta of them..
    The book looks super cute..and the garden designer..very cool..
    There is no reason on earth why you could not design macarons boxes.Any chef would be lucky to have you.

  5. The book looks delightful! With the drawings you've shown, it seems it could pass as a "learn French while you cook" as well. Pierre looks as if he enjoys what he makes, but then, why not? I concur that the white flower is a type of hydrangea.

    1. All BD comic books are the BEST Fr lessons IMHO. They are in the vernacular and full of slang.

  6. Pierre must think you're a genius to recognize the designers' works!!!! Certainly, Moi, I think you're a genius because no one ever remembers the designers!!!

    1. Wholeheartedly agree with you, Jeanette!

  7. You are one lucky girl - those headquarters look stunning & delicious. Can't imagine why he doesn't have you illustrating his macaron boxes - your watercolors make them look even more irresitable than they already are. Received my Mai letter and so love it.

  8. Received my much anticipated May letter. Loved it. Cannot wait to hear my friend's reaction when she receives hers.
    I bought a couple of french cartoon books in Paris for my 12 year old grandson. Did not look closely. He will get them when he is older.

    Love this post - your drawings always delight. Marilyn

  9. Janice C2:26 PM

    Carol/Patrick, wonderful article today, thanks for your creativity

  10. Chef Ann2:42 PM

    What an amazing experience for you! He is my hero too!

  11. I had to smile ..reading F Smiser's comment..
    Jacques grew up with Spirou.. so he has bought many new ones for our boys to read here..
    Last week Max picked one..and picked a few pages to read..

    He said :" Nana ..why is that girl naked"?
    Well I did what every other nana would do taken by surprise.. and laughed out loud because of the WAY he said it:)
    So cute..
    I wonder if they will from now on search for those pages:)?

  12. Oh yes, we'll need an English version of this book. Or I'll have to head to Alliance française for those French lessons! ;-)

  13. Fabulous! Oh and the flower is fabulous and it is a hydrangea.

  14. Louisa7:46 PM

    And it's Teal blue too

  15. I love her illustrations - and the photos of the food :)
    You're watercolors beat everything, though!

  16. Gorgeous! Lucky you to be there! I don't know if you saw my post on my first venture into making macarons (a few days ago) -- I have to say that while ours turned out very well and beautifully, I have new found respect for those who must make hundreds of these delicacies every single day!

  17. They take time, but so worth it

  18. He he I read "goo-ometry" re tasting pastries!

  19. Oooh, what an experience. What a beautiful place PH has to work in, and create those wonderful flavours for us- it's all so stylish. I adore that Ispahan rose sculpture.

  20. I will volunteer to clean up you work space....just to see Paris again! Your watercolors are so amazing! Interns you say......I am afraid I have no art experience...I teach health...not much need for that! Ha Ha!


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