Meet Julien Boutonnet

Nominated second Best Apprentice of France in 2000, Pascal Caffet Awards laureate in 2004, and Relais Desserts Charles Proust Trophy awardee in 2006, the only thing Julien Boutonnet was missing was the blue-white-red collar of Best Craftsman of France to perfect his record. Finalist of the prestigious contest in 2011, the Chef is one of those whose talent was rewarded during the 2015 edition.
HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THE BEST WORKER OF FRANCE BAKING CONTEST?
When I registered for the contest, I signed up for two years of intense work and constant self-questioning. I was lucky to be surrounded by Olivier Bajard’s team and able to recreate exactly the setting in which I was going to compete on the actual day of the contest. I was thus able to prepare in the contest’s authentic circumstances and repeat my movements to the inch.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY ROUTINE CONSIST OF AT THE ÉCOLE HÔTELIÈRE DE LAUSANNE?
I have always been attached to the principle of paying it forward: it has been the common thread of my entire professional career. Since November 2015, I officiate at the EHL as an Executive Pastry Chef. I manage a team of 12 bakers. A typical day revolves around my different educational duties and the outputs to meet the boutique’s needs, the desserts menu for the training restaurant (Le Berceau des Sens), and the food court which welcomes over 1,500 students at lunch time.
HOW DO YOU RECONCILE AESTHETICS AND FLAVOUR?
I belong to a generation to whom it was taught that aesthetics came before taste. My involvement in many contests and my work alongside great professionals enabled my evolution in that field.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS?
When it is their season, apricot is my go-to fruit. Its sweet and slightly acid flesh offers a sumptuous gradation of colours from yellow-orange to a deep red. Its warm and luminous tints exalt tarts and desserts. I also enjoy working with chocolate and sugar.
WHERE DOES YOUR INSPIRATION COME FROM?
A trip, an art show, a perfume…
Each moment can inspire a new creation!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT RECIPE "COFFEE BREAK" WHICH MADE YOU WIN THE BEST CRAFSTMAN OF FRANCE COMPETITION ?
I love coffee for its character and powerful aromas. In Coffee Break, using coffees from two different provenances (Peru and Ethiopia) creates a perfectly balanced recipe. In technical terms, it is important to monitor the baking of the biscuit, to work well on the texture of the infused cream, which has to be smooth and aerial, and finally to take the greatestest care in realising the crust and jelly.

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