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PARIS — Sébastien Gaudard, a 33-year-old who has a way with mille-feuilles, is the latest chef to throw down his oven mitt in the so-called Paris pastry wars. And he’s got a secret weapon, besides his boyish good looks: He doesn’t limit himself to sweet.

“I’m using pastry know-how to develop salty creations,” Gaudard says, showing off his delectable spinach and corn tart, eggplant dip mille-feuilles and a comté cheese and potato sabayon.

This story first appeared in the December 11, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

All are on the menu at Delicabar, his new 70-seat eatery that opened last month at the hip Left Bank department store, Le Bon Marché. “It is not a restaurant, it’s a chic snack place,” Gaudard explains. It’s certainly in a fashionable location — only steps away from such brands as Prada and Yves Saint Laurent.

Compact, frenetic and ambitious, Gaudard trained on the baking world’s front lines. He worked for eight years at Fauchon, including three at the elbow of Pierre Hermé, a celebrated chef who also struck out on his own with signature pastry boutiques in Paris and Tokyo.

For his debut eatery, Gaudard enlisted interior designer Claudio Colucci to create a space that is childish and futuristic at once. “I wanted to create an oversized and playful environment,” he says.

Of course, making his tarts, sabayons or mille-feuilles is hardly child’s play. He offers to share a recipe for his favorite green tea tart — but it runs on for two pages. Gaudard makes it easier, however: All his pastries, chocolate bars and a special chocolate paste sold in a toothpaste-like tube, are available for take-out.

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