Tell us about your Ladurée journey.
In March 2013, I joined the international team charged with making sweet products in the Laboratory in Morangis (91), taking up the role of Assistant International Sweet Chef.
After spending 3 years in Morangis, I moved to the Nyon Laboratory in Switzerland in February 2016, where I was promoted to Pastry Chef.
My experience as Assistant International Sweet Chef was essential in making the move to Switzerland.
You were given the opportunity to be a big player in the opening of several new laboratories: tell us a little about that.
I was given the chance to participate in the opening of several new Patisserie Laboratories across the world.
I worked on the opening and/or reconfiguration of Laboratories in Qatar, Monaco, Thailand, Panama, and Canada.
Working with so many different nationalities was an extremely enriching experience. Our partners are always very invested in and interested by the knowledge we’re giving them. It makes for a fascinating cultural experience.
In Qatar, we reorganised a pre-existing Laboratory as well as launching the patisserie range in Qatar Airlines First and Business Class. We went from making 150 cakes a day to 1800.
I worked on opening a Ladurée terrace in Monaco – I was brought in to advise on placement of the viennoiseries range, and the ice creams – neither of which had been sold in Monaco before. There was already a Laboratory there, but it only made macarons and pastries.
For the opening of our Corner+ in Thailand, I requested that I be accompanied by another pastry chef from the Morangis Laboratory – this gave him a fantastic opportunity to see all the ins and outs of an international launch.
All of our openings follow the same procedure: we make contact with the partners to discuss the reorganisation or structuring of the Laboratory. Then we decide what we need in terms of ingredients, materials, and personnel (recruitment and training). We source the ingredients either in France or in the country itself, and carry out lots of taste tests – we need to make sure that there is continuity in the quality of our products, using the Paris flagship model as a base. We work to ensure that we offer the same product to our clients all over the world. We have a set of house rules that we apply internationally, and we train our partners in Ladurée techniques.
My biggest challenge so far was opening the Laboratory in Panama. At the time, I didn’t speak very good English. But as it was quite a hands-on job, I managed to get by and everything worked out well.
I have been given the chance to do many placements all over the world to audit different Laboratories or to participate in special events such as weddings and VIP birthdays.
Each experience has been very different, but all have been incredibly enriching.
How do you transmit our French savoir-faire to international partners?
Pastry-making is a manual job, and anyone doing it will have the same set of base skills that they learned in their initial training.
French patisseries are the most famous in the world. Because of this, many international schools actually teach French techniques.
Our partners often have a good base knowledge of French patisserie techniques, so our role is to refine these in line with Ladurée’s specific savoir-faire.
Our recipes are all created by the research and development teams, so all that the pastry chefs need to do is apply their knowledge to making these products.
What do you think of the opportunities we offer our partners in terms of national and international mobility?
The more ambitious you are, the further you will go at Ladurée, be that nationally or internationally. There are no limits.
We have branches on five continents, which allows for lots of wonderful opportunities and fantastic progression.