Can you tell us about your shop and what you wanted to create?
I believe that your career’s success begins at the moment when you can fully express yourself. This shop represents precisely what my wife and I want to produce. Our conception of it revolves around sourcing, products, and values that are important to us. We wanted to make simple, sincere things, without any pretentiousness. To try to showcase all that our products have to offer and be satisfied with what we are selling to people.
You have chosen to sell 100% homemade products. What is the reason behind that choice?
We made several choices and 100% homemade was one of those choices. We don’t use any colourings or additives either. Nothing that we don’t have control over, the origin of which we don’t know. Nowadays, there has to be some kind of traceability so that you can be familiar with the product. How can you sell something to a customer without knowing where the ingredients come from?
Why have you chosen to use Lescure butter?
Lescure butter is synonymous with quality. Many so-called “French” butters are made from milk that comes from all over Europe. It would be crazy to use milk from another European country when there are farmers doing extraordinary work just near our dairies.
How do you share your values with your team?
I strive to make them highly aware of flavour. With Vincent [Vincent Cabel, Executive Chef at Zest, editor’s note], it’s much easier because we’ve been working together for five years now. We’ve got a relationship that’s no longer hierarchical, it’s more like I’m his “professional dad”.
Why is your brioche called “Nicolas”?
Our “Nicolas” brioche is called that simply because it was derived from a recipe that Nicolas Boussin [Executive Pastry Chef at MDLE, editor’s note] gave us. I modified it slightly and updated it to suit my production and please my customers. I like that it has a name and that there’s a story behind it. When our customers ask who Nicolas is, we can tell them the story and it makes for even more pleasant interaction with them.