Paris, France — Just when you thought one of the gourmet capitals of the world couldn’t possibly come up with something new in terms of a food shop, it does. Nestled onto a quiet street in the 9th arrondissement in a neighborhood known as the New Athens in reference to the Greek architectural style of its town houses and buildings, one finds a new gourmet venue devoted to exceptional butter cookies similar to shortbread, known in French as sablés. The shop is called Château Sablé which could translate as sand castle and is fittingly located in a neighborhood known for its artistic venues but also gourmet food shops. The pastry chef Thibault de Chastenet who spent the first half of his career as an artist now creates myriad cookies, and each one is a work of art. They come in all sizes — individual, for two, party sized (for 10)— and are made with exceptional, sourced and seasonal ingredients.
The artist turned pastry chef has transformed his art gallery and studio into a boutique in which a glass window separates the pastry kitchen so visitors can watch the cookie making in action. It is a surprising encounter of tastes and textures with the dough being made with the finest of ingredients including AOC (Protected Designation of Origin) butter from Charente. Eight different kinds of cookies are on hand varying with the seasons, current offerings include lemon-ginger, pear-chocolate, chocolate-hazelnut and our personal favorite chocolate-praline. And it should come as no surprise that his butter cookies are works of art in and of themselves.
« Season after season I try to offer a variety that is audacious and creative. My approach is both fun and a tribute. Because I would like to give back to butter cookies their full notoriety, to magnify them, by putting them in tune with seasonal fruits and by creating works of art that can be savored, » said Mr. de Chastenet
And noble they are. An elderly, elegant woman in a perfect chignon came into the shop with her sturdy food shopping cart, to pick up what appeared to be her daily bag of his plain cookies which actually you can enjoy during a single tea time or anytime. French butter cookies or sablés are generally made with flour, butter and sugar and sometimes egg yolks which are beaten together until a dough with the consistency of sand is obtained. They are somewhat similar to Scottish shortbread.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
28 rue Labruyère
75009 Paris, France
Tel: + 33 (0)1 53 20 90 02