Hi, my name is Rob, I’m Italian, I’m in my early 30s and I live in Cannes, France, since February 2011.
After my business studies, I worked a few years in Italy, then accepted a position as product manager in a big IT company in the French Riviera, where I discovered my passion for pastry.
The passion grew quickly so much that I decided to study on my own and in July 2013 I finally got a French diplôme de pâtissier (CAP)! 🙂
It all started with macarons.
These small French pastries that come in hundreds of flavours and colours, halfway between a meringue and a biscuit, changed my life.
I had noticed that every single pastry shop or boulangerie here was selling them. I had never seen them before in Italy nor anywhere else, so I was reluctant: “They are just coloured meringues, what’s the big deal?”, I used to say.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. As soon as I tasted them, I started to love them. Crunchy on the outside and stunningly soft on the inside, they soon became a favourite of mine.
But all good things come at a price. And for macarons it was about 1,50€ per piece! 😀 A price that prevented me from eating as many macarons as I wanted, and I simply could not accept this fact! 🙂
That is why I decided to take a pastry course for amateurs in Cannes at Lenotre, one the best pastry shops in France, so that I could learn how to make macarons by myself at a lower cost!
I had never done pastry before (except for some muffins with a powder mix in a box), but I loved the experience.
The chef taught us at once the most important thing of all:
Pastry is chemistry. Everything must be weighed carefully and recipes must be followed step by step. If ingredients are added in a certain order and at a specific temperature, there is always a reason.
That was like a revelation to me: if all I need to do is weigh and follow a recipe, pff, I can do that, and well too!
Actually, macarons are not the easiest thing to make, but I was so impressed with my beginner’s results that I felt encouraged and wanted to learn more about pastry.
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried recipes taken from the Internet or from cheap pastry books for grannies: they just don’t work. They are too approximative and never explain the underlying why.
I felt I needed something different with a more structured and methodical approach. That is why I bought on Amazon “On baking”, which is a massive textbook used in American pastry schools.
The book is amazing: it explains everything step by step, from the origin of flour to the assembly and decoration of big wedding cakes.
Every week I try to “experiment” a new recipe/technique and I share the result with friends or colleagues at work (letting the others get fat is my own way to avoid getting fat).
Why this blog?
I opened this blog to keep track of my progress from complete beginner to World Champion (I’m definitely not there yet, but it’s better to set the bar high!). 🙂
The road to pastry is long, but it’s paved with good intentions! What counts is to enjoy the journey, and I certainly am! 😀
I will try to share on this blog everything I learn, recipes and tips, so that anyone can benefit and maybe become passionate of pastry like me! Enjoy!