Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Thierry Busset

April 23, 2011

Interview with Thierry Busset
August 27th, 2009 admin

Theirry_Busset8.26.09 050

CinCin | Vancouver

My interview with Thierry Busset turned out to be more like an afternoon conversation of two plus hours that had us talking not only about him and his macarons, and the people who he has worked with over the years in France, England and in Canada, his role as the Pastry Chef at CinCin and his love for being creative.

What is your role at CinCin? Please describe in detail.

I am the head pastry chef and I create all the desserts with the help of my assistants who I oversee, from A-Z including the dough, jam and syrups. 90% of pastry is produced in the kitchen in the restaurant.

I create 7-8 desserts daily and I create the dessert menu so that people could pick 4 or 5 that they would like to have. I try to showcase what is in season, hot or cold and most of all create balance. The waiters are educated on the desserts so that they are able to describe and sell them to their customers.

Where did you do your training to become a Pastry Chef?

I did my apprenticeship for two years in Riom in Auvergne, France where I was born, in a patisserie shop and then I moved to another pastry shop in Roanne, where the chef was a member of the Relais Desserts. In the kitchen there is the Relais & Chateaux, in pastry there is the Relais Desserts. You’ve got one chef who is a member in each city in France, maybe two in Lyon, two or three in Paris –Pierre Herme is one of them. I stayed there for two years. I moved to Auberge du Pere Dubise, a two-star Michelin in Talloire, on Lake Annecy. I moved to London and worked for the Rioux brothers at Le Gavroche and I was working with Gordon Ramsay and Stephen Terry.

How long have you been involved in the restaurant industry?

25 years in the pastry business in total, however in the beginning I spent 5 years working in a pastry shop and then 20 years working in the restaurant industry.

Where did you work prior to joining CinCin?

I worked at Le Gavroche in London (this is where many famous chefs worked as well including my friend Gordon Ramsay) for 2 years, then 7 years for Marco Pierre White, , including his role as pastry chef of The Restaurant in the Hyde Park Hotel, which was awarded its third Michelin Star during his tenure.

I went to Amsterdam after and worked at The Grand Hotel, a place where Albert Roux was a consultant, and one of my best friends, Stephen Dougherty, was the chef. Stephen was one of the chefs who helped Albert Roux get the third Michelin star at Le Gavroche and helped open a lot of restaurants for him. I then went on to Ireland, Belfast, the Caribean and then Vancouver.

What are your favourite three desserts that you make?

1) Apple Tart – fruity not much sugar

2) Lime Mouse Cake –merang, cream, lime juice and zest

3) Chocolate Truffles – ganache rolled in plain chocolate

What do you most love about being a pastry chef?

Creativity, I enjoy working with ice carvings, working with sugar I can create flowers and animals, working with chocolate and cake. I like being artistic and enjoy working with my hands.

Have you thought about competing in a pastry award comptetition?

One day, I would like to compete in the M.O.F. (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) in France, it is a competition Patissier Award that is held every 4 years and awards 4-5 winners.

What tips would you offer young pastry chefs just getting started?

Patience is the key, learn the craft slowly, be artistic, must have the eye, have a strong mind, know what you want to achieve. Keep learning, find the right teacher and you must listen.

What cities do you like for culinary travel?

For food (not pastry) my favourite places are Italy, Spain, France, England and Melbourne, Australia.

What are your goals and dreams as a pastry chef?

To open my own French pastry shop and this is currently in the planning stage along with Jack Evrensel, we are going to open this shop together in Vancouver after we secure the location.

I love your Coffee Macarons, tell me what inspired you to create these?

The macarons have existed for the last 200 years, a biscuit from France. I was inspired by Pierre Herme who is a French pastry cheg and makes these macarons moist. They are French meringue with a ganache cream sandwiches between 2 macarons. Theirry_Busset8.26.09 041

Which wine would be best paired with your Coffee Macarons?

Any red wine would be the best, port or grappa would be good too. Amarone would be good with the chocolate macarons.

What do you consider to be the five must have ingredients in your pantry?

1) Butter

2) Vegetables (tomatoes)

3) Cream

4) Coffee

5) Chocolate

Who are some of your mentors? What have you learned from them?

1) Bernard Sicard – worked 2 years as apprentice in France

2) Joseph Pilati – finished learning in pastry

3) Albert Roux + Michel Roux Jr. –learned the restaurant side

4) Marco Pierre White – learned to be consistent, how to do business

5) Christopher Marquant – he was a Pastry Chef in France who is now in Boston – I learned a lot from him.

If you weren’t a pastry chef what do you think you’d be doing?

Something artistic, I would be an architect or a wood carver.

Stay tuned for Part 2 as we go behind the scenes with Thierry into the kitchen.



May 15, 2010

Times Colonist

Saturday, May 24, 2008

D’Arcy Ladret, who supplies several local restaurants with desserts and cakes, shows off some of his baking including chocolate cupcakes with rosewater, butter cream icing and a wedding cakes with handmade sugar flowers.
CREDIT: Debra Brash, Times Colonist
D’Arcy Ladret, who supplies several local restaurants with desserts and cakes, shows off some of his baking including chocolate cupcakes with rosewater, butter cream icing and a wedding cakes with handmade sugar flowers.

His look is more Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols than culinary star Wolfgang Puck, but while D’Arcy Ladret bears a vague resemblance to the late bassist from the legendary punk band, his dreams and talents align much more closely with those of the kitchen guru.

Like Vicious, Ladret is tall, thin and plays bass — but unlike Vicious, Ladret can actually play and is on stage at least twice a week playing with one of three local bands. His heart, however, is definitely in the kitchen.

Following that call, Ladret opened Sugarboy Bakery, his first solo food endeavour. Since November, he’s been supplying restaurants like the Mint, Pig BBQ Joint and Le Café Chocolat with desserts and cakes from his tiny 300-square-foot kitchen.

For a guy who hits the stage regularly, Ladret is modest and quiet.

“I got into cooking to back up the fact I was a musician and would probably never make any money with that,” he joked during a chat at Le Café Chocolat, the Saanich eatery that sits above his commercial kitchen.

The truth is, however, he might not have had a choice.

He got hooked when he started washing dishes at Sooke Harbour House as a 15-year-old. There he was introduced to the complexity of food, nuances he’d never noticed and pairings he would never have considered.

“The flavour combinations just blew me away,” he said. He soon realized that until then he hadn’t been eating “real food,” he said.

He also got to know Peter Zambri, then one of the restaurant’s key chefs and now chef-owner of Zambri’s in Victoria.

“He introduced me to so much about food, what it means and not just the flavour combinations,” he said.

“He showed me how it can change your life, you know, kind of like you are what you eat.” That philosophy, which is currently driving the slow-food movement and the emphasis on fresh, local and organic food, was drummed into Ladret’s head. It is the cornerstone on which his bakery is built.

“I go back to what I learned at Harbour House. I don’t cut corners anywhere, I use real everything and try to get as much stuff locally as I can,” he said.

For instance, right now he won’t make anything with strawberries or raspberries because they are not ready yet on the Peninsula.

“To me it’s great to see the cooking world going that way, because it’s been so ingrained in me,” he said.

That was the idea, according to Sooke Harbour House owner Sinclair Philip, who remembers Ladret as an easygoing, upbeat kid who was highly creative and enjoyed working with a team that loved to experiment.

“It is a good, conducive environment for experimentation and working with high-quality ingredients, where they have a lot of autonomy to develop,” he said. “And [Ladret] did some very creative and interesting things.” One of them remains in the restaurant’s arsenal of unique dishes.

“We serve a lot of edible flowers, and one of the first things he came up with on his own was making a sorbet with day lilies and we still use that,” he said.

Zambri, who counts Ladret as a good friend, says when they first met the young man was “just a big, lanky, interested kid.” “I don’t think he knew much about food before he knew us, but when he realized the energy there was in a kitchen I think that attracted him,” he said.

Indeed, from washing the dishes and slowly learning bits and pieces, Ladret would go on to take the cooking course at Camosun College before apprenticing at Sooke Harbour House.

He worked as pastry chef in Whistler at the Bearfoot Bistro before leaving for Lucques in Los Angeles.

After four years in California, he returned home and went back to Sooke Harbour House before heading out on his own.

Zambri says Ladret’s experience and education has provided a solid base from which he will grow.

“He’s gone from being a dishwasher to where he is right now. I can’t take credit for anything he’s done other than providing a bit of a spark,” he said.

“He saw our attention to detail, our passion and he was looking for somewhere to put his passions.” “Now he’s starting to get his grounding, he has a great foundation and it’s now about experimentation,” Zambri said.

“It’s all about solidifying some good ideas and making them part of his repertoire and then carrying through.” Ladret’s focus on desserts, and in particular cakes for events, comes down to what he calls a knack for marrying science with creativity.

It’s also about being a little edgy.

“There’s a lot of old-fashioned cake-making going on out there — I like to think I cater to the more ‘out there,'” he said.

And he still loves incorporating interesting flavours and flowers in his work.

It probably helps smooth things over with his rock and roll soul as well.

– – –

Essential Ladret

Name: D’Arcy Ladret

Age: 31

Status: Single

Born: Beausejour, Man.

Raised: Sooke

Education: Camosun College, faculty of culinary arts

Sweet or savoury: Savoury

Favourite dessert: Crème brulée, vanilla-flavoured. “I don’t eat dessert — I’m around it all day — but I will order brulée to see how it’s executed.”

The name Sugarboy: “When I worked at Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler a French waiter who was kind of annoying started calling me Sugarboy and it kind of stuck.”

Favourite ingredient: Vanilla beans. “I can’t get enough. If there’s a woman walking by with vanilla perfume I go nuts.”

The bands he plays with: Southern Urge, Double Diamond (a Neil Diamond tribute band) and Fineas Gage

Fresh: Everything at Sugarboy is made to order; he asks for 48 hours’ notice. A menu is on the website