After a long-awaited North American debut, Paris' L’Éclair de Génie has finally opened its first Vancouver location in the heart of downtown. At 1210 Robson Street, the internationally-famed bakery is the mastermind of pastry chef Christophe Adam, who has opened over 20 locations around the world.
Essentially a light choux pastry-shell filled with delicate flavors of custard cream, de Génie's éclairs stand out for their diverse and creative flavors (of which there are 257), and for their perfect consistency and texture. Having traveled as far as Japan, Hong Kong, Milan, and Moscow for his career, we sat down with chef Adam ahead of his public Vancouver opening for a few questions about his travels and his home city of Paris.
Paris is known as one of the top food cities in the world–if not the best for fine dining. What are your restaurants of choice in the City of Light?
First off, there are lots of restaurants in Paris... If I had to choose, the first one might be La Table in Bercy (a neighborhood in the 12th arrondissement of Paris). Second one would be Saturne; it's just in la Bourse, near my laboratory. It's a young restaurant with a very nice kitchen.
Do you have a favorite Parisien bakery besides your own?
Oh yes – I'm a big fan of nice bakeries. My favorite would be Benoît Castel's la Pâtisserie Boulangerie.
With so much traveling under your belt, what cities do you love?
Vancouver? (Laughs). I travel a lot, I love Japan. Not just Tokyo but all of Japan, especially Kyoto.
How do you like Vancouver?
It's nice, it's better than Paris when the sun is out, when the weather is nice. Every time I come here, the weather is great like today... although I know that's not usually the case.
What's the inspiration behind the "I ♥ Vancouver" éclair?
I love the maple flavor, I love putting maple in cake, in a lot of different French pastries. I just wanted to create something with maple, and a Canadian city was a perfect fit.
And lastly... which one of your flavors do you recommend we try first?
Without a doubt, the No.1 caramel beurre salé (salted caramel and mascarapone cream).
Follow up with more mind-blowing desserts from Singapore's Harry Potter-themed Platform 1094: