"The Architecture of Taste", Pierre Hermé


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Pierre Hermé is widely considered to be the world's foremost pastry chef. He comes from four generations of pastry chefs and bakers; he began his career at age of 14 with Gaston Lenôtre. He went on to be pastry chef for Fauchon and Ladurée in Paris before beginning his own enterprise in Japan. His first boutique opened in Paris, in 2002, and he soon became a sensation as a young pastry star. He is author of several books including Desserts by Pierre Hermé (1998) and Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé (2001), with food writer Dorie Greenspan; and Pierre Hermé Pastries (2012) with Laurent Fau. He wasawarded the Chevalier de Légion d'Honneur, by Jacques Chirac in 2007.

Pierre Hermé is known for eliminating excessive decoration from his pastries and for exploring a "universe" of tastes. He uses sugar or salt in unexpected ways to bring out nuances of flavor. He studies and revises his own recipes. Citing these methods, Jeffrey Steingarten, writing for Vogue Magazine, called Hermé the "Dior" or "Picasso" of pastry—this comparison is often quoted.

In his lecture, Hermé will describe the development of a series of his pastries from an original intuition to the elaboration of specificflavors, textures, and formal manifestations that give each its own character. A guided tasting of the pastries will be part of this event.

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