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Visiting Pierre Hermé's Pastry Shop in Paris (page 2 of 2)

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Pierre Hermé is the king of French pastry. His tiny boutique in Paris is so successful that people stop to ask why there is queue. See what's inside!
Page1  2  

The famed white-truffle-hazelnut macaroon with lightly toasted Italian hazelnut in a thick white truffle ganache. An almost aphrodisiac combination.

This one must be second favorite - the Passion fruit macaroon filled with milk chocolate.

You forgive everything to a shop like this. Sure, the wait is long and you wouldn't come back just for the staff's smiles. And the pastry names can be somewhat tacky 'Velvet', 'Symphony' etc ... The small booklet describing the year's collection makes for fantastic reading, complete with a very interesting interview of Pierre Hermé. But it looks like it's been done by two teenagers cooking up a fanzine in their bedroom, with an out of color 'FETISH' written in gothic on top. The reader is almost surprised the booklet doesn't sell rubber overalls. But happiness is in the pastry. You quickly forget these small false notes and rush home to feast on these delicacies.

I have all of Mr Hermé's books. If he had more telegenic looks, was less humble and spoke English, he could be a major celebrity chef overnight. But Pierre Hermé is a modest man and he does not seek celebrity. Apart from a boutique in Tokyo, he has only two tiny shops in Paris.

There is something historical about shopping at Pierre Hermé. This is a man at the top of his art. When he goes, we'll only be able to reproduce his old recipes but it's unlikely somebody will invent new ones at his level before long. I mean, most pastry chef use recipes that haven't change for a century and most bold new combinations they try just don't work.If, a century from now, somebody asks me 'What did you do in your time?' I'll answer 'I once tasted Pierre Hermé's pastry in Paris'.

Pierre Hermé
www.pierreherme.com
72 rue Bonaparte or
185 rue Vaugirard
Paris, France

Also in Tokyo at the food mart in the entrails of Isetan in Shinjuku and 3 other locations. Not as big an assortment but better service than in Paris - not a surprise.

Notes: Pierre Hermé is pronounced [py-air air-meh], not [peeeee-err her-mee]. Rue Bonaparte is named after Napoleon, seen as a hero in France. Don't try to discuss his historical merit with the French unless you want to praise him. Pierre Hermé is in the Rue Vaugirard shop and looks like two professional wrestlers but is a very nice man and a true artist.

Published 13/02/2007
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42 Comments

  • #1
  • Comment by Anna
  • on: 27/02/2007
Does any of his books have a macaroon recipe? If so which one? I've
been practicing and practicing with the recipe I have, and although
they are delicious, I still can't get them to come out perfectly
shaped.
  • #2
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 28/02/2007
Anna, the book you want is Pierre Hermé's book  PH 10,
a huge tome explaining in great details all of Pierre Hermé's pastry
he made in the last 10 years. Hence the name. It contains extremely
precise recipes of all of his macaroons, including the White Truffle
Hazelnut Macaroon.
For a more affordable yet very comprehensive book designed for us home
chefs and pastry enthusiasts, I'd go for Un Amour de Macarons by Stéphane Glacier.

Finally you can take Lenôtre's most popular pastry class - 'Macarons'. Unfortunately all of the above require a command of French. I hope this helps!
  • #3
  • Comment by Anna
  • on: 04/03/2007
I will look for the books. I'm not entirely fluent in French, but know
enough to communicate/read etc. I still think that the Lenotre class
would require full fluency, but I may look into it once I'm more
comfortable with my French. Thanks for the info!
  • #4
  • Comment by kid
  • on: 24/02/2008
Also in Tokyo at the food mart in the entrails of Isetan in Shinjuku and 3 other locations. Not as big an assortment but better service than in Paris - not a surprise.And my ass, it is chicken ? (french expression)
  • #5
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 26/02/2008
Yes in Tokyo they have great Pierre Hermé shops, but they don't let you take pictures! Well, actually I snatched a few. Also in Paris the pastry is much cheaper than in Tokyo. But I love them Tokyo food marts!
  • #6
  • Comment by Deborah
  • on: 18/03/2008
How can I buy PH10 - PÂTISSERIE PIERRE HERMÉ in the US? Do you know?Thanks.D
  • #7
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 18/03/2008
Deborah, I think you can buy it on Amazon.com, otherwise just buy it on Amazon.fr which is where I got mine.
  • #8
  • Comment by shana
  • on: 04/05/2008
Yumm, sounds great!
  • #9
  • Comment by Ahmad
  • on: 09/05/2008
Out of all the posts on your website (believe me i've seen them all, some a few times too!) I love this post the most. I dream of one day being able to taste such amazing pastries.

Love your site!!
  • #10
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 11/05/2008
Ahmad, I'm sure one day you'll be able to visit Paris, and them Pierre Hermé will be yours!
  • #11
  • Comment by Carole Wydetic
  • on: 30/06/2008
I loved your article on Pierre Herme, that would be the
first place I would visit if I went to Paris. I love desserts.
Thank you.
  • #12
  • Comment by waleed
  • on: 04/07/2008
hi chef pierre herme i hope you are fine , just i,d like to tell you ,you are the master @ the pastry , i am very proud of you ,if we have a kind of people like you the pastry will be allways fine , i,ve graduated as an assistant pastry chef from al kafaat institution in lebanon in 1996 but i dont have a big experience because i did not work all the time , & i am interresting to hear from you haw can i emproove my self , if you can give me some advices about a sites to have more knowledge & to be a good member in this big family ( the pastry) & i will ask you about the passion fruit maccaron haw to do it .i hope one day to meet you & to get a corsses with you.
thanks for your coorporate.
thanks for your coorporate.
  • #13
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 06/07/2008
Carole, thanks for visiting and hope you'll get to visit Pierre Hermé and Paris soon!
  • #14
  • Comment by Amy
  • on: 04/08/2008
Wonderful pictures!
May I ask, which of Pierre Herme's books do you think is the best (of course, all of them!!)? But I was wondering for a more specific answer. Secrets gourmands (is there an englsih version? )or would it be Patisserie of Pierre Hermé (English/French Edition)?
  • #15
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 12/08/2008
Amy, I am not sure which of his books are available in English, but the ones to get first are the Dictionnaire des desserts and Dictionnaire du Chocolat, which do not contain much of his own recipes but are some of the best books in print on desserts. For Pierre's own desserts, get Plaisirs sucrés and Secrets Gourmands. Have fun!
  • #16
  • Comment by Lubna
  • on: 10/09/2008
Oh! I missed all the fun when I was in Paris. I should have read this page before I went.
  • #17
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 11/09/2008
Lubna, you'll have another chance to visit Paris I hope, it took me many visits to find out about this and you will do it already next time you arein Paris. Have fun!
  • #18
  • Comment by Deborah Morgan
  • on: 06/10/2008
I am opening a small macarron shop in Bangalow NSW Australia and wanted toknow if I can import you macaroons?

Can you please advise if you can assist with this or if you already have a wholesaler in Australia that I can contact.

I have vistited your shop in paris and absolutely believe that the Australian palat is ready for Pierre Herme's macaroons!!!!

I look forward to your response.

Regards,
Deborah
  • #19
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 06/10/2008
Deborah, if English is not your first language please ask somebody to translate the article title, they'll probably be able to deduct that, unfortunately, I am not Pierre Hermé.
  • #20
  • Comment by Julien
  • on: 11/10/2008
Deborah, you can contact me by email in private. I export macaroons, calissons, cannelé and many other pastries and French confectionery to Europe. I am based i Paris and I have no clients in Australia.
Regards

Julien
  • #21
  • Comment by Shirley
  • on: 15/11/2008
I had to treat an emergency patient for a painful tooth and she was flying to Paris for an important meeting so she begged me to treat her problem even though it was after-office hours and I was tired. But I did it anyway and she was so grateful that she promised a treat from Paris when she returned. Guess what? She got me a box of macaroons from Pierre Herme. I didn't know what to expect until I bit into the first one..heavenly!! So I had to Google it of course and here I am. Thank you for your article; now I know where these divine treats came from!
  • FX's answer→ Shirley, no surprise your patient has teeth issues if she knows about Pierre Hermé. I guess you'd like more patients would buy your silence about their sweeth tooth with boxes from Paris!

  • #23
  • Comment by Rina
  • on: 05/01/2009
It's macarON not macarOON.  Just an FYI.
  • FX's answer→ Rina, thanks for the FYI but I think I'll stick to my guns for now. It's macaron in French all right, but  in English it is macaroon:
    mac·a·roon    NOUN:    A chewy cookie made with sugar, egg whites, and almond paste or coconut.

  • #25
  • Comment by vic
  • on: 20/02/2009
although white-truffle-hazelnut macaroon is not my favourite but I have to agree with you that PH desserts are the best~~!!
I see that you know quite well of his cook books so I want to ask whether you know if there is a recipe for his vanilla tart or Ispahan in any of his cook books?

thank you
  • FX's answer→ Vic, yes all of his pastries including Ispahan are in PH10, a very expensive cookbook meant for pastry chefs.

  • #27
  • Comment by vic
  • on: 20/02/2009
Thank you so much for the answer but sadly this book is only written in French right?
Is this the only book which have the vanilla tart recipe?
what about La Pâtisserie de Pierre Hermé and Desserts by Pierre Herme?? would they be a better book to buy if its for home baking?
  • FX's answer→ Vic, if you are serious about baking, you need to read baking recipes in French - it isn't all that hard. Otherwise any books by Pierre Hermé is a worthy investment, so do by those you find in English.

  • #29
  • Comment by donna d
  • on: 28/02/2009
hi... am in paris and just watched a cooking show where pierre herme was one of the featured segments... showed his shop and him designing his "collection".  i googled him and found your article.  can't wait until monday (hopefully one of the shops is open) and i'm going to buy macarons.. i really enjoyed your article.

merci
  • FX's answer→ Glad you had a good time!

  • #31
  • Comment by donna d
  • on: 01/03/2009
well... i went to pierre herme on rue vaugirard at around 2:30pm today, Sunday. i was served immediately and selected a 7 pack sample.   they were good... i ate 2 immediately, i admit it, chocolate w/carmel.  don't know what i was thinking though, they are REALLY sweet.   Have never had anything like them, certainly not like our new york city macaroons.  would savor the remaining macarons.

merci
  • FX's answer→ Thank you.

  • #33
  • Comment by LC
  • on: 14/05/2009
My sister and I plan part of our Paris trips around tastings of French macarons and, hands down, those from Pierre Herme are our absolute favourite!  Every bite is an experience and they absolutely look like jewels!  

I remember a Sunday in Paris with my sister's family.  We bought a boxful of these little jewels (about $50... but worth every penny).  We decided to walk to Jardin du Luxembourg to enjoy these.  My sister, my niece and I were taking our time savouring each and every bite.  We left our treasure to my nephew and brother-in-law for about 5 minutes, and when we came back, we saw my nephew devouring them like they were mini-burgers!!!  LOL...  It was great that he appreciated how gorgeous they tasted... but it took him seconds to finish a handful of these precious macarons!
  • #34
  • Comment by Bruce of Oz
  • on: 02/01/2010
Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu, FX-san!!  (that's "Happy New Year" in Japanese, in case you are tired of hearing it in French, German, or English...).

The enchantment of French Macaroons first cast its gossamer spell upon me during a visit to Tokyo last year, when a friend invited me to sample some she'd bought.  They were exquisite. And I am sometimes hard to please! She guided me back to the shop the next day, where I enthusiastically bought another small box.  But I will need to check with her whether it was Pierre Herme outlet; I recall the shop perfectly, I just can't "see" the signage in my memory. How silly of me, to have probably tasted Pierre Herme and not quite realized it ^_^.

By chance, I found a French Macaroon recipe published by a top chef (who, conveniently, happens to be French) here in Sydney, so I finally took my first foray into macaroon baking the other day.  My Lady and I gave them an acceptable pass-mark, but I'm going to practice more to elevate them to my "May Be Served To Guests" standard, ha!

Your article - and naturally, your photos! - will, as always, inspire me onwards!  Have you ever tried making macaroons yourself, FX?

Hontou arigatou gozaimishita!  (thank you SO much!)

kindest regards    B

  • FX's answer→ Hello Bruce, thanks for your message! Yes indeed, Tokyo is the only place outside France for serious French pastry. Baking  macaroons is highly technical and might lead to some disappointments if you compare your initial results with those in a professional bakery. But try by all means if you like the fun of it. Most macaroon today are made in factories. There is a macaroon course at Lenôtre pastry school in Paris (not for bakers, just for serious enthusiasts) but I've never taken it.

  • #36
  • Comment by Veron
  • on: 05/01/2010
I so agree with you, no one can match the level that Pierre Hermé makes his pastry. Every flavor is well thought out. I couldn't even finish my Laduree macarons.
  • FX's answer→ There are a couple pâtissier in Paris that make things of a similar level but I don't think they do macarons, which are now becoming clichés. The day you find macarons at truck stops will be the day they stop having any pretense of smartness.

  • #38
  • Comment by Beth
  • on: 20/04/2010
Macarons have got to be the most overrated food stuff in the world ... well, at least to me. They're good, but I don't think the hoopla is justified. Pierre Herme is top notch though.
  • #39
  • Comment by Dorothy Waters
  • on: 08/05/2010
Purchased the mararons in Paris and they are delicious.  Brought them home and would like to know how long they keep and if you can refrigerate or freeze them? The presentation is amazing.   Thanks
  • #40
  • Comment by Agathe
  • on: 09/02/2011
Hi, I haven't had the pleasure of experiencing a taste of the great Herme's macarons, but I was wondering if there is a course I could take run by your establishment. I work for a charity where we finance ourselves by making cookies and chocolates to sell, and it would be a huge inducement for our underpriviledged children if we had your macarons (or at least a close version of them) on our list of products.    Thanks.
  • #41
  • Comment by Cheryl S.
  • on: 26/02/2011
Great post and loved the photos.
I was wondering if you have ever tried any of Herme's "Isiphan" creations. They look provocatively delicious.
I am planning a trip to Paris in the next month and Herme's is the first place I run to after dropping off the luggage:)
  • #42
  • Comment by Begoña
  • on: 15/03/2011
Pronto me voy a ir a Paris y gracias a esta información me voy a pasar por la pasteleria, no me lo pienso perder

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