Yesterday I went to the opening of the next big thing in the world of the bread and baked goodness. Gontran Cherrier: the 31-year-old Parisian, 3rd generation baker, hit author of 8 cookbooks and passionate, innovative entrepreneur has just opened his first shop front on the chic Rue Caulaincourt in the buzzing quartier of Montmarte. Gontran is onto a seriously good thing with his unique way of reinventing classics, successfully striking a balance between tradition and innovation, and taking the art of artisian boulangier into the future.
Talking about the future, the French are not big fans of change. If you relocate the office coffee machine, they will strike about it. If you swap the gruyere for goats cheese, they might not eat it. So… it takes one brave, clever and creative cookie to introduce change into something as sacred and intrinsic to every day French life as bread.
I never used to eat much bread before I lived in France, now I just cannot escape it, let alone imagine not eating it. Not only is it served with every meal by default- but it’s always so darn good! Parisians will queue outside a boulangerie on a Sunday morning for 20 minutes while it’s snowing a blizzard and minus 4 degrees- just to get good bread, and on that note, I have a feeling my next busy chez Gontran will be greeted by a massive queue. A queue of enthusiastic Parisians, tourists and expats who appreciate his innovative menu of French classics with a twist, friendly international staff, totally reasonable prices and the buzzing ambience in the beautifully designed, gorgeous hausmannien shop itself (designed by Franz Potisek) where you will find his daily selection of gorgeous breads and pastries such as:
- Green rocket juice, red paprika or black squid-ink bagel buns
- Baguettes- traditional or wholegrain
- Country bread- cut and ordered by weight/kg
- Bread with black molasses, ginger and coriander seeds
- Bread with chick pea flour, black olives, candied lemon and herbs of Provence
- Red miso rye bread
- Savoury tart of celeriac puree, broccoli, chestnut, endive and almond oil
- Savoury tart of fennel, broccoli, chicken, pepper crème de comté, olive oil
- Savoury cheese tart of parmesan, Comté, red onion, lemon, pepper, and thyme
- Tartine baguette with pâte à tartiner- chocolate caramel or caramel vanilla
- Brioche infused with fleur d’oranger
Seasonal (for Christmas):
“La couronne de pain”- a wreath of 8 combined buns with 4 flavours- wholegrain curry (for foie gras), chick pea and lemon (for oysters and seafood), nature/traditional (for meats and charcuterie) and of course chestnut for the cheese board!
Coming up (À l’Épiphanie):
Gontran will share the recipe with me for his signature ‘Galette des Rois’ – a Traditional french sweet pastry eaten after Christmas and in the month of January- made with almonds, pistachio and cadied lemon. Yum!
If you’re in Paris- here’s where to find the shop. Anywhere else in the world, don’t despair- I have no doubt that a Gontran Cherrier Boulangerie will be opening in your city in the near future!
Gontran Cherrier Artisan Boulanger
22, rue Caulaincourt
Tèl : +33 (0)1 46 06 82 66