Add: 60 rue du Faubourg Poissonière, 75010 Paris
Tel: 01 42 46 10 45
Hours: [Tue-Sat] 12~7pm
Price: €3.50~6.50/individual pastries, €120 or 260/pastry lesson
Tasted on: Mar 2014
Christophe Michalak, the head pastry chef at Plaza Athénée since 2000 (and until the luxury hotel went under renovation at the end of last year), is one of the top high profile pastry chefs in France. He has published a dozens of recipe books, hosted “Le gâteau de mes rêves” on Teva, been the judge on “Qui sera le prochain grand pâtissier“, yadi yadi yada. Naturally, he generated quite a buzz with the opening of his very own Michalak Masterclass in September 2013, a combination of pastry boutique, atelier, and classroom. This cool video is its best intro, do watch it.
The boutique area itself is quite small, with a concise display of pastries at the counter. What you can find: Les Fantastiks (an in-between of tart and cake, freshly made in the morning using seasonal products), Les Kosmiks (verrines in various flavors, more on this later), Konfifruits (confiture), and a few other miscellaneous products (even branded pencils and badges).
Here is a sneak peek of the atelier space. Sleek, isn’t it? The classrooms are upstairs so I didn’t get a chance to see them, but the pictures on Masterclass’ website are certainly looking very nice. It costs quite a fortune to attend one of these classes though, with the regular lesson priced at €120, and a Michalak lesson priced at €260 – but hey, that’s what you’ve got to pay for some private face time with a celebrity.
As for me, I can only afford the takeaways.
On this first visit, I tried two Kosmiks (€6.50), which are verrines designed to be easy to eat. Michalak has stripped the pastries of their superfluous decorations and left only the essentials – flavors and textures. I wasn’t so impressed by the looks of these, but both Kosmiks I tried were actually cosmically good! Charming variations in textures and balance in flavors, plus they are super light as the recipes use less sugar and less fat.
Kosmik poire-marron: an association between pear and chestnut.
Kosmik pistache-pomme-coing-abricot: pistachio, green apple, quince, and apricot.
I also tried a Krok Diabolik (€3.50), financier flavored with orange blossom water. Liked the flavor, but the texture was a bit too doughy for me.
The product display at Michalak Masterclass might not look as alluring as that of a traditional pastry shop, but the taste, wow. Now I just need to organize some kind of a get-together so I can buy one of the larger-sized Fantastiks to share…take a look at these photos on Masterclass instagram, aren’t these Fantastiks just fantastic?