The next time you plunge into one of Pierre Hermé's macarons, know that you're enjoying a delicious bite made by the world's best pastry maker 2016, a title given to him by The World's 50 Best Restaurants.
Pierre Hermé is to the macaron what Louis Vuitton is to the handbag. His dexterity with this most intricate of indulgences has seen him become the world’s most famous patissier, and his penetration of the global luxury goods market is comparable to Vuitton and his peers with nearly 50 eponymous boutiques across the world.
It was here Hermé’s obsession with the pastry world’s most fiddly and time consuming preparation began. Over his career Hermé has redefined the macaron, pioneering new techniques and creating daring flavour combinations including Pedro Ximénez and raisin; olive oil and vanilla; and fig and foie gras.
Born in Alsace, France, Hermé started his career at the age of the 14. At just 24 he was heading pastry production at upscale Parisian food merchant Fauchon, where he remained for over a decade. In 1997, he played a key role in turning France’s Ladurée pastry business into a global brand.
In 1998 he struck out on his own with a pastry boutique in Tokyo. His creations soon achieved cult status and since the early 2000s Hermé has built what can safely be called an empire of boutiques in locations as diverse as Thailand, Germany, South Korea and Azerbaijan.
The 54-year-old also finds time to oversee two restaurants within Paris’s Le Royal Monceau hotel. His elaborate displays take the hotel buffet to hitherto unknown heights.
Macarons may be his speciality, but Hermé has mastered the rest of the pastry chef’s repertoire. He has published books on everything from tarts to plated desserts and has also contributed to some of the world’s most important culinary references including Larousse Gastronomique.
Memorably dubbed the ‘Picasso of pastry’ by French Vogue, Hermé is as lavishly decorated as his pastry creations. He was the youngest person ever to be named France’s Pastry Chef of the Year and has also been awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.