The New Bakers Dozen

The The Bakers Dozen: FRENCH BAKER - NY CITY
By Pascal STOLTZ on Monday, February 14, 2000 - 06:08 pm: Edit


i'm a french baker living in Strasbourg.
I intend to settle in NY City; I'm looking for any help/info.

I'd be glad to get infos or contacts where i could get some.

Thank you,

Pascal STOLTZ - Strasbourg FRANCE -

You can contact me at :

By tj on Monday, February 14, 2000 - 07:19 pm: Edit

dear baker, prepare yourself for a culture shock.

By momoreg on Monday, February 14, 2000 - 09:01 pm: Edit

oh, here we go...

By Yankee on Sunday, February 20, 2000 - 04:16 pm: Edit

Hey TJ, Howard Stern is on the air in Alsace too, so what culture shock?

By pam on Sunday, February 20, 2000 - 06:11 pm: Edit

pleeeeease, don't get him started thank you

By tj on Sunday, February 20, 2000 - 06:17 pm: Edit

dont worry, i wont...

By tj on Sunday, February 20, 2000 - 06:19 pm: Edit

i ment culture shock in a positive way...i love NY.
i think NY is probably the best place for any food lover/chef/baker to be ,from all cities in the USA

By tj on Sunday, February 20, 2000 - 06:23 pm: Edit

by the way...
any one of you guys visited payard?
did you eat anything in his shop?
if you did ,how was it?(i dont meen the food,just the pastries).
seems that every body says its great, i wonder if it is just P.R. ......or not.....

By momoreg on Sunday, February 20, 2000 - 06:39 pm: Edit

I went there about 2 months after he opened, and I was wearing my chef whites. I ordered 2 items, and they comped me 3 more, just because. I was particularly impressed by that. His pastries look like a picture, but they tasted bland. I was surprised by that.

By Yankee on Sunday, February 20, 2000 - 10:41 pm: Edit

Payard was out here for a demo a few months back to promote his book. It was a great demo and he was very focused and professional. The chef at my girlfriend's restaurant worked for him years ago. When we mentioned this to him, he didn't seem too interested. Two days later, Payard showed up for lunch and stayed for hours to talk with him. This obviously speaks more for him than his food. He did mention at the demo that if he could change one thing about his place it would be the size: much smaller next time. I tried a year ago to get to his place, but my only free time was on Sunday. Thank God for H&H. (Pleeeease, relax. :) What's the big deal?)Did anyone forward information to help this guy out?

By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Monday, February 21, 2000 - 04:17 pm: Edit

tj, what does P.R. mean? and yankee, what is H&H?

By Yankee on Monday, February 21, 2000 - 06:37 pm: Edit


PR is for public relations. A great PR company can make a not so great client look like a star. That's why tj was asking if Payard's products were any good because Payard markets and promotes himself and his shop so well. H&H is a bagel company in NYC. Best bagels, no PR necessary:)))

By W.DeBord on Monday, February 21, 2000 - 07:05 pm: Edit

Do any of you have his cookbook? I only recall trying one of his recipes which was a train wreck. Any thoughts, likes or dislikes from his book??

By tj on Monday, February 21, 2000 - 08:00 pm: Edit

very very very interesting to read what you guys say about payard.
i realy wanted to but never visited his shop ,only saw all the PR and web site ,etc.
momoreg, is it realy bland what you had ?
do you remember what you ate ?
also , i wanted to order from his site some of his chocolates, just to check them out.
i guess i should not bother now.....or should i?

By momoreg on Monday, February 21, 2000 - 08:12 pm: Edit

Of course you should! The items I tried were all mousse and bavarian cream-based pastries, lined with joconde. I know one of them was pistachio; I think that was my favorite. The rest were unmemorable. I can't say anything about the chocolates--didn't try them. I'd go back there, even with the disappointment of my first visit.

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, February 22, 2000 - 08:12 am: Edit

I never had exposure to what was happening in the pastry arts as far as competions. I dropped out of baking from the late eighties to the late nineties. Where have you all gotten such great impressions of Payard from? I know he was named best pastry chef a couple times and has a reputation, but has he published much in the way of recipes for everyone to follow him to know how skilled he is?

I missed it, while I was gone.

I bought his book to learn who this person is that is so admired. His book does not inspire me. Although he says he simplified his desserts for housewifes. Where should I look to get a better feel for his talents?

By momoreg on Tuesday, February 22, 2000 - 09:42 am: Edit

Here's a link to his website:

By Yankee on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 02:08 am: Edit

Yes, Payard's book is geared toward the home chef, not the industry. I've worked through some stuff, mostly the petit fours. He said he just wanted to produce a book that would give people a set of basics to work with, which I think it does, but that's about as far as it goes. But that's his target market. Nothing earth shattering. (Certainly nothing as earth shattering as "foaming.") Again, I'll always go back to Roux and my old notes. I was really more impressed with Payard as a professional and his attitude towards the industry. He is very hardcore and old school about one's dedication to the business. Again, did anyone help out that French guy with a NYC referral? You get what you give.

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 08:15 am: Edit

I'd like to help, but the ball is in someone elses court. I'm not familar with N.Y..

Does he have a book more geared toward professionals?

By Yankee on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 12:47 pm: Edit

Not that I know of. But, you may want to check out the Richemont Craft School book series. The Richemont school is "the" pastry school is Switzerland. I took a few of their basic courses, and they smoked anything I had at the CIA. Their books are geared towards professionals are are used at the school as text. They are full of old and crusty euro style things, but they provide a great starting point for recipe testing, development and troubleshooting. All of the books provide ratios, as well as recipes. So, if you have a recipe that is not working, you can check the ratio to see if you may be off somewhere. They also provide a lot to technical info on how to work with a variety of products. Big investment, about $125 each, but well worth it for the long haul.

By tj on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 02:51 pm: Edit

what does "foaming" meens?

By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 03:29 pm: Edit

I can answer about Payard getting help. His success is only due to his work as a professional. I know his parents pastry shop in Nice and I took my first pastry classes with his brother Charly. They all have the same way of working, looking for perfection. We talked a lot about his brother with Charly, I wasn't even thinking about moving to the US at the time, and he was telling me how his brother was going to the top and that he was about to open a pastry shop in New York, but that he was a little scared because he could only borrow money on his reputation and that meant he had to stay at the top in order to keep these loans going.
I read PAYARD's book but didn't buy it, it was too much oriented towards the housewife.
I like hearing about his success, it makes me think of is family in France, they are so proud of him.

By Yankee on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 11:18 pm: Edit


Yes, I could not agree with you more about Payard.


Check back a few months in Food Arts Magazine. There are these two guys with a restaurant in Spain. Their big thing is to foam sauces, both savory & sweet. I got a flyer in the mail from JB Prince last week that was promoting the book and a bunch of foaming tools (whips, blenders and whipped cream cans). The book is a bit creepy. The cover shows a close up of the face one of the guys looking back out at you. I really don't get it. Can anyone one out there explain it to me, besides being just great PR?

By ramodeo on Thursday, February 24, 2000 - 11:47 am: Edit

I read that article in Food Arts and it didn't do anyhting to make me want to try foamed anything. My impression was of foaming being presented as the new "new thing" in the food universe, and it sounds like the stuff from Prince is a part of another well organized PR campaign, perhaps?

I thought the food world had finally stopped chasing after new just for the sake of new.....

By W.Debord on Thursday, February 24, 2000 - 10:41 pm: Edit

Yes, I read it silly!

By tj on Monday, February 28, 2000 - 04:25 pm: Edit

i still dont think i uderstand this foaming...
do you meen taking sauces and whipping them? how does it apply for desserts? do they foam creme anglaise? or fruit sauces? how does this work? or is it all nonesence?

By momoreg on Monday, February 28, 2000 - 05:59 pm: Edit

They foam anything you can imagine, and they use seltzer canisters. I believe the name of the restaurant in Spain is called el Bulli (if my memory serves me), and they got a big write-up in Food Arts.

By tj on Tuesday, February 29, 2000 - 02:34 pm: Edit

any one ever tasted this staff? sound realy bad to me...why would you change a texture of a souce that you work hard to get to a specific texture?
sound quite idiotic to me

By tj on Tuesday, February 29, 2000 - 02:37 pm: Edit

look like some chefs will force them self to come up with "inovations" just for the sake of making something new ,even if it is idiotic and sensless.
i dont see this as a way to get to be in the spot light....or may be i am wrong and this is the perfect way these days....

By Yankee on Wednesday, March 01, 2000 - 01:42 pm: Edit

You could look at it this way: These guys came up with this idea of "foaming." Good or bad, original or not, they managed to get a book out about it, a big piece in food arts, a promo deal with JB Prince, plus who knows what else. What's it all mean? Fifteen minutes of fame and lots of money. Period. I can't find fault with their business skill. As my accounting professor said on the first day of class "Cash is king." A passing fad it may be, but these are the times we live in. An average chef can really do well for themselves with one silly idea and a great promoter. This "foaming" thing is a great case and point. I just have the feeling, that after a long day of "foaming," these guys just kick back and laugh about it. I know I would.

By tj on Saturday, March 04, 2000 - 04:49 pm: Edit

i have very little respects for chefs like that...i know the breed.these are clever business men first , cooks second at best.
people who twist the profession to get a buck and laugh all the way to the bank are nothing more than hustlers, wanna` be chefs....
i will consider and respect sensible inovations in food prep.but when you start to play with food like an idiot and push it down to your ignorent customers like it was the next hot thing since the invention of the wheel, and magazins put you in the spot light ,this is when i get realy angry....

By Yankee on Sunday, March 05, 2000 - 09:17 pm: Edit

I get angry about stuff like this too, tj. But what can you do about it? Fads come and go, and the weak one's get pushed aside quite qickly. These guys will go down faster than Madonna at an NBA All-Star game. I think it's just best to laugh at them, but learn something from them too. We all have to be able to "hustle" in some situations to help our careers. The better your products, the less "hustle" you need, and the longer the line of customers at your door. I mean really, I love to read Pastry Arts & Design, but I usually puke when I see some of the "chefs" who get featured. The people I know who have been "featured" have a PR group working for their restaurant. As a sucessful business person, you have to understand the need for PR at a certain level. But you are right, it doesn't mean you can cook, period. Ask Martha Stewart.

By tj on Monday, March 06, 2000 - 12:51 pm: Edit

i respect the importance of pr.
how ever, the methods of gaining fame are sometimes questionable in my mind.
i took a look at the article about this foaming .more then it is idiotic ,it is bizzar to me.playing around with souces like that is plain stupid.whats going to be next? running my sauces through my whipped cream machine? or maybe charning them a little in my ice cream machine?
you see what i am getting at? there is no end to ways you can distort good preperation just for the sake of inovating.but eventualy you will more then often have a product in your hands that is purly stupid and makes no sence, at least to may be its all about money after all....

By Claudia (Claudia) on Tuesday, March 07, 2000 - 10:02 am: Edit

Don't make ear food. (it's a chinese saying for food that exists only for the ooohs and ahhhs.)

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Tuesday, March 07, 2000 - 04:48 pm: Edit

You know, these foaming guys may be "one hit wonders" with a great PR team. And if they get away with it, shame on the media for being led around like idiots by that PR team. It's disheartening that those are the ones who get the attention, but that IS the way it is.

As I see it, most people in this profession will fall into one of two groups - the one that includes the "foamers" who are out for attention and fame and big bucks now, no matter what the cost to our industry, and the other group that includes those of us who are driven by our love for food, our love for what we do and our desire to always put forth our best effort. I am proud and perfectly content to be in the second group.

When my husband and I started seriously considering opening our own place, my mother, a small business professor, sent us a bunch of recent magazines for entrepreneurs. It was unbelievable to us how much these magazines focused on the "start a fast growth business(preferably a dotcom) and plan your exit strategy from the begining" type of entrepreneurs. There was very little information directed at the small business that is meant to be a part of one's life for the long term. We certainly plan to grow our business, but mostly we want to have something that will support our family while we get to do what we love - provide the best food we can to our customers.

What I'm trying to say with all this rambling is that these foaming guys are probably just one more indication of the same attitude as the get rich quick and sell out entrepreneurs. Quality of product only enters into their minds if it immediately affects the bottom line. They may get rich and have every material possesion they ever wanted and retire at 35, but I still wouldn't want to be them.

By Panini (Panini) on Tuesday, March 07, 2000 - 05:12 pm: Edit

I understand exactly what you are saying and I agree with you 99%. Its a fact that money makes the world go round. The 1% I don't agree is, I've always geared my business towards acquisition.Operating manuals,clean books,SOPS etc. The day you sell your business is your payday. This gives you even more freedom to do what you love.
Right now, I know I'm a thorn in the side of one of the big franchises. If they were to walk in today and offer me the right price without non compete, I'd throw them the keys and say keep the car! And start over avoiding all the mistakes I made the first time around.
Just my 2 cents.

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Tuesday, March 07, 2000 - 08:52 pm: Edit

Panini -
I don't think we would ever turn down such an offer either, especially if it allowed us to do something we loved just as much or more than the original operation! We never plan to ignore a good deal. :-)
As for gearing a business toward aquisition, I think there's a difference between setting up a business with the express intention of building it to a peak and getting out at just the right moment, and building a solid business that is a steady, growing income producer for it's owners over the long term, which would be attractive to buyers as well. As for operating manuals, clean books, etc, I guess I always considered them necessary for any type of business I would run (not just if I intended to sell the business). Maybe I'm being naieve, I know you've got a lot of I just dreaming?

By Panini (Panini) on Wednesday, March 08, 2000 - 07:07 pm: Edit

See! There I go again, I cannot speak with my fingers, I need my hands!
I agree with your phylosophy on business. I probably practice the same. Everything I do each day is done with my family in mind. Our business is our family. Its a long term investment and when I'm done and old , if my son does not want it he can sell it. Our kids and family should be our priorities in life.
I know of a guy that started a .com. buying groceries and delivery.Last year he posted 750,000 in sales, 1,300,000 in losses and sold his business for almost a BILLION $.
I guess what I was trying to say was ,If one of these get rich quick characters came to me,I'd sell in a NY minute.
You'd also be suprised how many small businesses are flying by the seat of their pants. I know you run a well organized business but there are a lot of people that get a great idea and quit their jobs,start a business and fail because the do not have their sh-- together.
Hopefully we'll be talking business till were old .Good Health and Good Luck

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