Meet Peter Louiz

Courtyard by Marriott® Kuwait’s Pastry Chef, Peter Louiz cultivates his cultural legacy with passion. He creates gourmet and sophisticated pastries where Orient meets Occident. Interview.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOU CAREER PATH THUS FAR? HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A PASTRY CHEF?
I grew up in a small town at the Egyptian frontier. My father sold bread in his small shop and my mother was an excellent pastry maker. She prepared sophisticated cakes from recipes that her family passed down from generation to generation. I still remember her kneading the dough and vigorously mixing all the ingredients bare handed. To my utmost enjoyment, I was allowed to help every weekend. It was therefore as early as childhood that my passion for pastry-making was born. Once I finished primary school, I decided to enrol in culinary school. In parallel to my studies, I kept on working in tea parlours to amass professional experience. Once I got my diploma, I was the youngest Pastry Chef of one of the most famous pastry brands in Egypt. I participated in the opening of the American Bakery chain to then become the Pastry Chef of the largest French catering company in Kuwait — which in fact manages all the events of the Gulf’s Royal Families. It is afterwards that I discovered the universe of luxury hotels by joining internationally renowned hotels.
COULD YOU DESCRIBE THE DAILY LIFE OF A COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT® PASTRY CHEF?
The various positions I held in the last seventeen years allowed me to explore numerous aspects of pastry-making and being a Chef. I was truly sensitive to the values of the Marriott® group which puts the individual at the forefront of its priorities. By taking into account the well-being of each colleague, we make sure the client is taken care of in return. I was able to measure the effi ciency of this type of management from my first day in the Marriott®’s kitchen!
WHAT ARE KUWAIT’S PARTICULARITIES WHEN IT COMES TO PASTRIES?
Kuwait is lucky to possess many natural resources. The country has many acclaimed pastry brands. The market naturally refl ects the latest trends, however there is also a specifi c interest for home-made and traditional presentation. This dual aspect is also found in the people’s taste as pastry shops associate modernity and traditional fl avours simultaneously. Dates, halva (a pistachio-stuff sesame mix), saffron, cardamom, cinnamon or even nutmeg are at the core of many recipes.
WHAT IS YOUR SIGNATURE PASTRY? WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS?
In all my creation, I strive to realise the most meticulous presentations while seeking a perfect harmony between tastes and textures. I particularly love making desserts mixing French infl uences and Arabic traditions that I present in a contemporary manner. In the recipe I chose to share in this issue, I use Elle & Vire Professionnel® Excellence Whipping Cream with dates and Osmaliyeh with a typical Lebanese flavour. In my opinion, these are ingredients that cannot be overlooked!
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
I especially admire Chef Samaan Hilal: his work helped me fi nd the right balance between Mediterranean and French traditions and shape my own identity. I also appreciate a lot the work of Chef Peter Gyprgyicsek who creates magnifi cent pieces of sugar and chocolate; as well as the creativity of Chef Gregory Doyen who creates gorgeous combinations of colours. He conceives modern and elegant creations with presentations measured to the millimetre.
WHAT SPACE DO TRADITION AND INNOVATION HOLD IN YOUR APPROACH TO PASTRY MAKING?
I am profoundly steeped in Arab culture and as a result I vow a singular affection to traditional oriental pastries. However, in my opinion it is in French pastry-making — more specifically its classics — that we find the essence of contemporary pastry-making and the origins of all innovation. My reinterpretations of symbolic desserts are anchored in this dual heritage!

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Osmaliyeh à la mode
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Osmaliyeh à la mode

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