Today I started with an appointment with the owner of Bread and Roses, an upscale boulanger/patissierie/deli located in the 6th arrondissement. The business is about 3 years old, and is thriving in its very luxurious address. Located a block away from the Luxembourg Gardens, it caters to a fairly wealthy clientele. The owner, Phil Tailleur, is an outgoing businessman who doesn’t have a background in baking. Nonetheless, he is striving to provide serious bread. His bread is all organic and he uses the highest quality of ingredients.
Phil let me tour the kitchen to observe the bread baking. They use state of the art equipment (below), including a mixer that is supposed to really preserve the quality of the dough through very sensitive motion.
I also met the first and only female boulanger (Rebecca) in my travels – she deserves a shout out because she is truly a rare bird. Check out flickr for more photos of the equipment.
My conversation with Phil included a lot of his interesting observations into the business life of a french person. He expressed real frustration with the french system of taxes and labor laws that provide enormous protection for workers but very little incentives to business. He has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into his business, and is selling exponentially more every year, but is strangled financially because the cost of employment plus random fines. He wants to expand his business into an international franchise, but is working on how to create a system that will ensure that the quality remains consistent.
I tried one piece of bread – an organic raisin ficille – and it was delicious. Unfortunately, I did not get a lot of pictures of the bread, nor did I taste enough- so I plan to return next week and do it more justice. But here are a couple of photographs I did get-
Some of the highlights today included a visit to Paul – a patisserie/boulangerie in the 6th arrondissment (St. Germain des Pres) that also sells a lot of prepared foods. Their bread selections were really impressive.
Gerard Mulot, a similar model of business to Paul – with more emphasis on pastry – was also a highlight. Located a block away from Paul, both businesses were rocking. I took a lot of photos – check out flickr for a complete rundown. His speciality is the pain de compagna – he uses a natural levain and no commercial yeast.
I did get to two very famous patisseries – the first is called Dallayou. I had probably one the best desserts I have ever had – it was called a Frivolite and it was described as a creme citron, fraise biscuit breton and guicuauve(?) a la violette. It was to die for. Can we make this at Bouchon?
I also visited a boulangerie called Le Boulanger des Invalides. This little place is owned by a young man named David Hernandez, and the breads are awesome. I am scheduled to spend Wednesday with them – hopefully I can get my hands on some dough!
Another stunning day in Paris – I can’t wait for tomorrow. I am up at the crack of dawn to spend time at a bolulangerie owned by Thierry Dubois. I also I have a tour of Poilane! (check out flickr for more cool photos!)