In France, he is written about in magazines. In Japan, Pierre Hermé is a national star and, much to the delight of the British, his macaroons have now crossed the Channel. As for all the other foodies, they can place their orders online!
Pierre Hermé is to pastry making what Marc Jacobs and Christian Louboutin are to fashion, and he has actually been a member of the prestigious Colbert committee since 2008. Like a couturier of pastries, he draws his cakes on blank sheets of paper, adds arrows with a few words of explanation and there it is. The cake having been imagined, it is up to the pastry cook to reproduce the drawing exactly as the master has conceived it. A master who, as in a game, constructs and deconstructs his creations with the skill and precision of a silversmith, introducing an identical ingredient into each cake: the pleasure of taste. With a totally new concept: new collections of cakes every season. And now, a range of macaroons created each month, just for that month.
Pierre Hermé has been manipulating sugar and chocolate like nobody else for thirty-five years. As a shy fourteen-year-old, he joined the kitchens of the great Gaston Lenôtre, where for more than ten years he learned the basics of this delicate and rigorous profession, subsequently becoming chief pastry cook at Fauchon, in charge of a team of thirty-five people – at the age of only twenty-four. Then he left to present cookery demonstrations in Japan and was showered with awards, including Pastry Cook of the Year in 1996. After a year spent at Ladurée, during which he perfected his macaroons, he met and formed a partnership with Charles Znaty and the two of them created Pierre Hermé Paris. Their first shop opened in Tokyo in 1998, followed by another in the 6th arrondissement of Paris in 2001. The success of his magical macaroons and melt-in-the-mouth cakes was immediate: the address was passed by word of mouth, almost in secret, for fear the success might be fleeting if too widely known. More shops opened in Paris, more sales outlets appeared in the most fashionable neighbourhoods of Tokyo, followed by Osaka, Strasbourg and London.
The Hermé family have long been bakers and pastry cooks in Alsace, and Pierre represents the fourth generation of this line. So it is only natural that he has established his factory in Alsace. It is there that all the macaroons and chocolates that will adorn shelves throughout the world are now made.