Philippe Conticini and La Pâtisserie des Rêves Part 2…

06 Feb 2014
2 min read
Philippe Conticini, master of French patisserie and pioneer of sweet cuisine, tells FOUR about La Pâtisserie des Rêves and his plans for the next chapter of his life, in light of La Pâtisserie des Rêves opening in London this week…
La Pâtisserie des Rêves

“What is key to each pasty is the perfect harmony between the seasoning and flavours and the realisation of joyful emotions”.

I met Thierry Teyssier years ago and our minds came together to create La Pâtisserie des Rêves. I undertook the task of recreating French classics into modern masterpieces, which is not a small feat. The Paris-Brest took me three months to perfect, the coffee éclair took me two months, the tarte-tatin took me six months, but in the end I had recreated what I remember each patisserie to be from my childhood memories – beautiful indulgence. Thierry took control of the universe that surrounds each patisserie.

The Grand Cru Vanille is my favourite pastry from the La Pâtisserie des Rêves. It really is a beautiful patisserie with a thick layer of vanilla, white on the outside and black on the inside. I don’t make my patisseries very ornate – everything that makes them beautiful is organic and in the flavour. The Grand Cru Vanille is incidentally one of our top two sellers. The other is the Calisson, which recreates the shape and layering of the traditional calisson sweet from Aix-en-Provence but as a pastry, which indulges in the idea of indulgence. What is key to each pasty is the perfect harmony between the seasoning and flavours and the realisation of joyful emotions.

In London we are going to recreate the universe of La Pâtisserie des Rêves but obviously from within a very different culture and context. So there are some pastries that have been tried and tested that we are going to bring to England. We’re not approaching these English pastries with timidity – they’re full of flavour, pride and really hard work. I’ve been visiting England a lot to watch and talk to the masters of my favourites, the Victoria sponge cake and the treacle tart. I engrossed myself and reworked them with an abundance of respect for the recipes. When I asked English people to try them I was so nervous, it was unbelievable.

Above any commercial success, I just hope with all my heart that the English will enjoy La Pâtisserie des Rêves. I would be really and truly sad if they didn’t. What’s vital for me is that people like what I make, each pastry being an expression of myself.

In Five Years’ Time

The next five years hold a lot for me. First of all there’s La Pâtisserie des Rêves, which needs to develop organically and hopefully be successful. I also write at least one or two books per year, which encompass the 30 years’ worth of my culinary philosophy that I want to spread and pass on to young pastry chefs and the public. I want to share the idea that patisserie is beautiful and that it touches people. I guess I just hope that in five years’ time I’ll have learnt a lot and will have continued to evolve.

La Pâtisserie des Rêves

43 Marylebone High Street,

London W1

Take a look at Philippe Conticini’s chef profile.