Baker Pascal Rigo, the founder of San Francisco’s La Boulange, just got back from the International Baking Expo in Paris, where he was researching new ideas for pastries and breads. Here, he shares where he found pastry inspiration.
Poilâne “I baked here when he I was in Paris. It is a very sweet place. They also have these addicting little butter cookies called punitions, I must have eaten 50! That’s probably why I loved it so much. The decor is cool too. The top of the walls are painted with a series of old school baking scenes of shirtless bakers.” 8 Rue Cherche Midi, 33/(0)80-062-7014, poilane.com
La Grande Epicerie de Paris “I call this place Whole Foods on steroids. It’s an incredible grocery store with a mind-blowing selection of incredibly fresh dairy, breads, cookies, chocolates, meat, seafood. Even the packaged croissants are delicious.” 38 Rue de Sèvres, 03/(0)14-439-8100, lagrandeepicerie.fr
Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac “Cyril Lignac is very well known in Paris (image above). We sampled a lot from his bakery. He makes delicious breads and pastries, particularly their baguettes and kouign amann.” 24 rue Paul Bert, 03/(0)14-372-7488, cyrillignac.com
Du Pain et Des Idées “This was one of my favorite places, not only for their incredible product and beautiful authentic decor, but because of the story of their baker, Christophe Vasseur. He was an executive who decided to quit corporate life and become a baker. He eventually became one of the top bakers in Paris and took over this amazing boulangerie. They are known for their pain des amis, a rustic sourdough that is one of my favorite breads that we make for La Boulange on special occasions. We also tried an apple chausson (apple turnover), escargot chocoat-pistache (chocolate pistachio roll), and mini paves, which is basically bread dough stuffed with a variation of veggies, cheese or meat.”34 Rue Yves Toudic, 33/ (0) 14-240-4452, dupainetdesidees.com
Ladurée “From packaging to display, floor to ceiling, Ladurée is a beautiful, beautiful place. Everything is ornate, detailed and perfect. They are most famous for their macarons and just as beautiful as the store.” 75 Champs-Elysées, 33/(0) 14-075-0875, laduree.fr