From modest apprentice in a small provincial pastry shop, he has become, at 34, one of the most renowned pastry chefs in the profession. Nothing however, seemed to predispose this young man from...
From modest apprentice in a small provincial pastry shop, he has become, at 34, one of the most renowned pastry chefs in the profession. Nothing however, seemed to predispose this young man from Picardie to what the French appropriately name the “métiers de bouche” or in other words, the culinary trade. Coming from an Italian family, he knew only rigor and an overwhelming need to succeed. As a child, he wanted to become a drawing artist, an indication of his already well-developed artistic sense; not being able to enter the Beaux-Arts, he becomes professionally active.
“When I started at 15, I understood in a flash of lucidity, that one could give a lot of happiness with very little. You cannot be a pastry chef without being generous and loving food; my craft makes it possible for me to express myself through my creations; then, the desire to bring pleasure to others subjugated me”, he recalls.
At 16, he begins a collection of culinary reference books, which he continuously improves on. He also develops his memory for flavours, an essential tool for the master pastry chef.
“I imposed constraints on myself; life fashioned me”, he admits.
Graduating first of his school, he decides to learn his trade by travelling the world and its cultures.
1991-1993: London and Brussels with Hilton
1993-1995: Nice at the Negresco Hotel (2-stars Michelin)
1995-1997: Paris at Fauchon
1997-1998: Kobe in Japan to open a pastry shop
1998-1999: New York as a consultant for Pierre Hermé
1999-2000: Return to Paris at the famous Maison Ladurée
Summer 2000: Pastry Chef at the Plaza Athénée Hotel (3-stars Michelin)
2005: Winner of the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, (World Pastry Cup), he reaches his childhood dream and promises himself to transmit his knowledge to become the deserving ambassador of French Pastry.
2007: Launch of his first book “C’est du gâteau!” (Éditions Plon)
2009: Christophe Michalak has entered the famous guide Who’s who
2009: Coach one of his closest collaborators, Jérôme de Oliveira, who win the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie (World Pastry Cup). Hotel Plaza Athénée is the only hotel in the world with two gold medals!
2010: Pastry chef star of the show Master Chef on TF1. Launch of his second book, “Les Desserts qui me font craquer” (published by Plon Editions).
With his usual humility, Christophe Michalak adds: «It’s not reaching the top that’s important, it’s to remain at the top».
Every day, this eternal lover of fooddevelops his desire to surprise us and to revisit the great classics of pastry. We owe Michalak scores of desirable sweets such as the Religieuse au caramel beurre de sel, the Peach Melba Macarons or the famous Marshmallow Love Bears!
He goes on adding: “I dress-up my cakes as a couture designer would dress women up; the beautiful and the good are one and the same! The absolute joy of catching a glimpse of the sheer pleasure and anticipation in the eyes of clients has no price”
Sensitive and passionate, he decides to create trends but, above all, he decides not to follow them. Christophe likes to repeat this mythical quote from Bob Kennedy: “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”