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Around Faustine’s Desk on the Rive Gauche: pastry shop Acide Macaron
This is the next in the series by our office manager Faustine Cressot, giving you regular glimpses of the neighborhood around her desk on the rue de Verneuil. An interview with Jonathan Blot, master pastry chef and creator of Acide Macaron.
This brand new setting at 10 Rue du Bac in the 7th arrondissement (district) is the showcase for a shop filled with dazzlingly-colored pastries. This is the world of Acide Macaron, which I discovered during my recent interview with Jonathan Blot, master pastry chef and creator of the brand.
Hello, Jonathan. Could you explain the concept and the history behind ACIDE Macaron?
It all began about seven years ago, when Pierre Hermé had just launched his shops selling chocolates and macarons [meringue based confections with ground almonds in different colors and flavors]. Focusing on a single product was not yet common. Having worked at the restaurants Le Jules Verne, Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée (when Jean-François Piège was chef there), and Ledoyen, and at the pastry shop Ladurée, I really wanted to launch my own concept, around a clear theme: a modern version of classic French pastry.
In 2009, my first 35m2 boutique opened its doors on the Rue Legendre in the Batignolles sector of the 17th arrondissement. After a year, not only did we have a loyal clientele from the neighborhood but also certain luxury hotels had started to order from us and the shop had become too small. So, just next door on the Rue des Moines, we created a much bigger sales outlet of 300m2, including a tea shop, and then crossed the Seine to open this boutique on the Rue du Bac this year.
We’ve refurbished this shop according to the same principles: the counter just inside the door, a very open space, and modern, streamlined décor to show off the products to best effect.
What’s the guiding philosophy behind your creations?
In this business, it’s too easy to talk about technical details and to complicate everything, but basically the customers want the products to be straightforward, with distinct and original flavors. We work to achieve the maximum result for the minimum of effort. Our pastry looks visually complicated, but quality takes precedence over technical brilliance.
Apart from the macarons, our range of pastry changes each season, like a fashion collection with matching accessories. For example, for fall/winter we have a Paris-Brest cake with a Piedmont hazelnut mousse, a “Wedding Cake” containing our own blend of coffee, and a reinvented Saint-Honoré cake, with a mango cream puff and pineapple chutney with vanilla on a coconut sponge base.
There’s always a lot of trial and error to get it right, but once we have come up with a creation, we simplify the steps so the recipes are easy to follow.
Why did you choose this neighborhood?
First of all, we chose it to enable us to go upmarket. We realized that our concept fits well with the clientele of this neighborhood, who entertain often, appreciate good cuisine and are very exacting. This stimulates us to evolve, remain creative and always strive to improve.
Who are your customers?
It’s divided equally between tourists and locals: those who live here and also those who work in the neighborhood.
What do you think of this neighborhood?
In every big city you have the city center and the rest. Here, we’re right in the heart of the city and you feel the ambiance in the restaurants, on the streets, and in the dynamic atmosphere of the neighborhood.
Acide Macaron, 10 rue du Bac 75007 Paris