On a wood tray that’s simply been set on a marble tabletop inside the luxurious F. Scott Fitzgerald suite on the Ritz Paris resort, lies a trio of lengthy, slim, oblong-shaped pastries that look vaguely acquainted.
Tightly gathered, accordion-like pastry sheets fold neatly onto themselves, resembling the sting of a closed e book. One oozes a crimson berry jam on each ends, one other is likewise stuffed finish to finish with chocolate. All three sport a sun-baked, caramel colour tan and have a flaky attraction.
However none are instantly identifiable from inside the traditional French pastry repertoire.
“We put loads of thought into this,” says Ritz Paris pastry chef François Perret, who’s giving a preview of his new assortment. “The recipe has stayed the identical. It’s nonetheless crispy and tender, nevertheless it’s simply way more sensible to eat. So we determined to maintain the identify.”
That identify, could be the croissant.
Perret’s reinvention of probably the most iconic of French pastries, the croissant, is a component of a bigger mission on the Ritz Paris resort that features the opening of a brand new luxurious, gourmand pastry store; an try and modernize dessert tradition in Paris; and the “democratization” of the gourmand expertise together with the luxurious Ritz model.
As a result of when the Ritz Paris Le Comptoir opens on rue Cambon a couple of streets over from the primary resort entrance at Place Vendôme, it can open, much less as a sit-in tea salon (there are solely 5 tables) and extra as a takeaway boutique, the place clients can purchase gourmand croissants, sandwiches, madeleines and strawberry cheesecakes at cheap value factors, to-go.
“France is the temple of the pâtisserie, and we’re in a metropolis that was made for strolling. I assumed it simply made loads of sense to develop desserts you could possibly eat whereas strolling by Paris,” he says.
That’s the place the reimagined, rectangular, cigar-like croissant is available in.
In the course of the lockdown in Paris, when the resort was closed and he might flip his focus solely on the opening of the boutique, Perret’s new morning routine was to seize a croissant and occasional and sit down at his pc to test on his emails. He shortly realized what many a French workplace employee learns early of their desk life.
“There have been crumbs in all places, on the keyboard, on me. It was carnage,” he says. “I mentioned to myself, ‘there needs to be a neater solution to eat this.’”
Together with being a extra moveable model of the croissant, Perret’s model was additionally developed to cut back as a lot crumb wastage as attainable. The trade-off is a barely denser texture, for a extra user-friendly format. With the longer, rectangular form, his ache au chocolat does what few conventional pains au chocolat do: include a beneficiant quantity of chocolate with each chunk, finish to finish. And simply because the traditional croissant has advanced from a crescent, half moon to the up to date diamond form it’s as we speak, Perret says his model is solely an adaptation of contemporary client habits.
With the brand new menu, Perret may also introduce Parisians to an idea Individuals know properly, however that’s nonetheless comparatively unusual in France: les boissons pâtissières or dessert drinks. The trio of flavors is described because the drinkable, takeaway type of his signature desserts—madeleines, marble cake, and “barquette” caramel.
They too are supposed to be sipped whereas strolling leisurely by town, or on the Jardin des Tuileries a brief stroll away.
And whereas it might be assumed that the concept to open a takeout pastry store is the results of the pandemic, Perret says the idea predates Covid-19 and was extra influenced by his quick stint spent in Los Angeles in 2019 the place he shot the Netflix collection The Chef in a Truck.
In two weeks, Perret was given a crash course on the LA avenue meals and dessert scene by locals like Teddy Vasquez of Teddy’s Purple Tacos, Courtney Cowan of Milk Jar Cookies and Jason Neroni of The Rose Venice, earlier than he opened his personal pop-up promoting desserts out of a meals truck.
It was in LA that he got here to know the tradition of avenue meals and the pleasures of consuming together with your arms.
“I realized that consuming together with your arms makes you extra related to your meals,” he says. “It’s utterly totally different from consuming with a spoon, which comes between you and the plate. While you eat together with your arms, it’s way more symbiotic.”
However whereas consuming together with your arms and consuming from a takeaway cup could also be commonplace in North American tradition, as Marc Raffray, normal supervisor of the Ritz Paris factors out, Le Comptoir was conceived first with native Parisians in thoughts. And that features these of extra modest means than the standard Ritz clientele, he says.
“Our objective is to make it accessible, all whereas staying trustworthy to the Ritz picture, however with out giving the impression that it’s solely accessible for the ultra-rich.”
Worth factors for single pastries, muffins, drinks and sandwiches vary from 3 to 13 euros.
The edict falls in step with a brand new imaginative and prescient and technique for the resort. That’s, to revitalize the model and endear the resort—which in its heyday was frequented by Marcel Proust and Coco Chanel and was the middle of Parisian social life—to locals as soon as extra.
“The thought is that folks can take a little bit of the Ritz dwelling with them,” says Perret.
A click on and gather station will enable clients to select up pre-orders for the house, the workplace or to share with household and mates. And Perret revisited his signature madeleine recipe served on the resort’s Salon Proust to create a travel-friendly sponge cake that stays contemporary for as much as 5 days.
Although the primary boutique has but to open, the Ritz is at present purchasing for a second Paris location. The thought is to develop Le Comptoir into a world model with places world wide, in addition to in luxurious department shops and airports.
Ritz Paris Le Comptoir follows the lead of different luxurious motels reminiscent of Le Meurice and the Mandarin Oriental Paris, which even have standalone takeaway pastry outlets.
Le Comptoir opens June 7 at 38 rue Cambon. France is ready to reopen to vaccinated US vacationers as of June 9.