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There are 27 stores around the world, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a chain restaurant. The menu at his Collingwood boulangerie deliberately and purposefully reflects Melbourne tastes. Cherrier says the decision to pick Melbourne as his first Australian venue was driven by the city’s café culture. “I like that Melbournians take the time to go to the local café and enjoy a meal or have something to take away nearly every day.” he says.
“I have taken inspiration from local ingredients like lemon myrtle leaf and pepper berries,” he adds. “I am importing my flour from France for my croissants and my traditional baguettes, and my butter is from France but all my other ingredients are found locally. We are also using local free-range bacon and organic free-range eggs from Ararat in the café.”
Known for his love of experimenting, the baker is heavily influenced by Japanese flavours too. Think rye paired with miso, a sesame and soy sauce baguette, the signature squid ink bun and the lemon and yuzu tart.
Gontran generously let us in behind the scenes at his Collingwood boulangerie and shared with us his recipes for croissants and the yuzu tart. Whilst we were there we asked if he had any advice for up and coming bakers?
“Just persevere and don’t be afraid of the unknown. And quality, you need to choose a good quality flour. It must be well mixed but you should take your time. You can do it of course, but you need to spend time practicing – you know two times, three times, four times…”