Chambord/Paris, France — He is one of France’s finest pastry chefs, Sébastien Gaudard. It is one of the most elegant castles in all of the land, the majestic Chambord Castle, the brainchild of Francis I, the French king who brought the Italian Renaissance to France. It was only logical and magical that the two should meet. The pastry chef, whose latest boutique and tea salon are located in Paris just across from the Tuileries Garden, created a unique pastry using the forest honey gathered at the castle at the end of the summer. The result, the Rûche which is the French word for beehive.
The pastry is shaped like a beehive and is filled with the castle’s honey, nougat glacé – a fine French dessert — almonds, hazel nuts, roasted pistachios, Amarena cherries from Italy and candied fruits from Corsica all sitting smartly on a biscuit. Pearly sugar straws, bees and flowers in almond paste give the beehive effect. All in all a prestigious, historical and gourmet collaboration.
Meanwhile the pastry is currently available in Sébastien Gaudard’s boutiques in Paris, the afore mentioned shop across from the Tuileries Garden, and another on the gastronomic street of rue des Martys in the capital’s ninth arrondissement. The house of Gaudard was established in 1955 by Daniel Gaudard, Sébastien’s father. The tea salon on the Tuileries Garden is sweetly nostalgic with its black and white floor tilings and pastries and chocolates and candies and teas and all of the generous sweet and savory offerings.
It is a great place for a typically Parisian breakfast of tea or coffee, juice and breakfast pastries. But don’t miss out on the savory offerings for his croque monsieur, the addictive inside out French grilled ham and cheese but just so fabulously different, was voted the best in town. The house’s origins in Lorraine are evident in the house’s hearty Lorraine pâtés, meat pies and quiches. And this all in a special part of Paris with the Louvre, the arcades of the rue de Rivoli and the elegance of the rue St. Honoré, just waiting to be explored.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette