Experience: Behind the Scenes with the Best Food Critic in Paris, Pierre Yves
Duration: 3-4 Hours
Location: Paris, 8 arrondissement
Language: French, English
During lunch—which will include an appetizer, a first course, a main dish, and dessert, each with wine or champagne—you will have the chance to become a food critic yourself. Learn what to look for in each dish, how to judge the service, and how to rate the bread, the coffee, the wine. You will hear, off the record, some secrets about the very exclusive world of haute cuisine— the kind of insider information you never dreamed you would hear about certain chefs and restaurants. You’ll live, for a little while, the life of a food critic, experiencing a side of gastronomy that is usually only seen by professional critics, enjoy an exceptional meal, and meet a chef that everyone’s talking about.
Bonus: You’ll receive the chef ’s own recipe (top secret!) and a copy of Pierre Yves’ guide to the best restaurants in Paris.
Frédéric began his career working with the famous French pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre. At the age of 26, he won the Meilleur Ouvrier de France distinction, making him the youngest French Master Baker in history. He then had the honor of baking for the Prime Minister in his official residence. In 1999, he and a colleague opened five bakeries of their own and began providing bread and pastries to the finest Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris. In 2011, the two partners began yet another venture, opening a high-end bakery concept. Their first store opened in 2011 in Taiwan, and two more, in Japan and Paris, opened in 2012.
Join Frédéric in the kitchen of his award-winning boulangerie to learn about the fascinating history of the croissant and the baguette, as well as the rules and standards for baking them. He will show you how baguettes and croissants are made and explain how the chemical interaction between the flour and his fermented starter is the key to their lightness, their tender centers, and their crisp, flavorful crusts.
The starter leavening, meticulously prepared according to a centuries-old French tradition, is the essential ingredient of the authentic baguette, and the key to the unique textures of the croissant. You’ll explore the different types of flour used (whole wheat, rye, white, buckwheat, spelt). A great deal of effort goes into transforming the grains into the material that bakers use to create their works of art. Frédéric selects only the finest wheat, sourced from mills that still operate in the French ancestral tradition. Next, you’ll try your hand as a baker’s ap - prentice. Finally, you will, of course, sample a number of recipes, including the award-winning pastries and confections that have earned Frédéric his reputation.
Pierre Yves is the creator of the magazine Cuisine et Terroirs, co-author of a number of books on gastronomy and the French art de vivre, and host of a program on gastronomy on Gourmet TV, Pierre Yves is also the founder of a publishing house, which produces an annual guide that sets the standards for Parisian fine dining. His Guide Lebey, widely read and appreciated by French connoisseurs of fine dining, has become the bible of Parisian gastronomy.
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