His lemon pie has made him a star in France (and was rated second at the 2007 Palmarès). Arnaud Larher was crowned the official “patissier” of Grande Bretagne earlier this year, and visits the capital once a week to weave his memorable magic.
What is it that make your pastries so famous around the world?
To explain, I will take the example of the lemon pie, which represents me best because it is the perfect balance between taste and textures. People speak about the taste of a product. It is the key to success, of course. However, if there is no texture, be it moist or melty, the magic doesn’t operate. For me, the « patissier » has to work on what can be seen as much as what cannot been seen.
How did you catch the food bug?
My passion started as a young child, watching TV shows about cooking. I was fascinated to see how people mixed ingredients, put them in the oven, and then it would grow, cook. So my mother offered me a cook book, and I discovered that we had all these ingredients at home. I started making recipes, such as yogurt cake. With my child’s eyes, I would watch the cake swell in the oven, the odors go around the whole house, it was magic. The most difficult thing was to take the cake out of the oven and have to wait until it cooled down.
Would you describe yourself as greedy then?
Yes, I am. I have always loved pâtisseries. I could have been in a kitchen as a Chef, but I prefer la pâtisserie.
What are your fetish ingredients?
Here the weather is sunny, it is almost spring, so I would select fruits. Either red or yellow. I also like Greek products, such as loukoums. At the moment we are working on a macaron with mastic and another one with lavender flavor. Mastic is an interesting taste. It reminds me a little of bitter almond.
Meringue or Baklava?
Meringue because I ate so many as a child and I just can’t live without it.
Pastis or ouzo?
It is a bit similar but I only know pastis ; so pastis.
Frappé or black ?
Pita or crêpes?
Crêpes, that’s obligatory
Loukoumades or crème brûlée?
Feta or camembert?
Camembert, I can’t live without it