Matfer Bourgeat is delighted to feature pastry chef Jean-Marc Touya in this month’s A PASSION FOR TASTE.
A native of France, Jean-Marc is a World Pastry Silver Medalist and holds the esteem privilege of being a two time finalist in the MOF (Meilleurs Ouvriers de France), competition. He hails from an established family of pastry specialists. Training in France and Switzerland, he further cultivated his impressive sugar skills at Maison de Douceurs, his family run patisserie in Cognac before making his way to the United States. We spent a delicious and informative afternoon with Jean Marc at Normandie Bakery in Los Angeles where he is head pastry chef. The bakery is renowned for its authentic French pastries, petit fours and petit gateau. Jean-Marc spoke about Matfer, his passion for pastry and his delight about the forthcoming opening of the Normandie Cooking School where he will run the baking division. He has added his own very special summer twist to this month’s Taste & Traditions: Tarte Tatin.
Q: As a successful award winning pastry chef what inspires you?
A: Sugar and cream and all of the ways you can work with them to develop perfect flavors and textures.
Q: What do you think of the Matfer GastroFlex® Tatin Molds?
A: I think they are fantastic. The flexibility and durability of the material is incredible. What I especially like is that I can use the molds for both the hot and the cold preparations of my tatin. It saves time and the outcome is always perfect.
Q: Why do you like making the Tarte Tatin?
A: I like that it is a French country classic dessert. Caramelizing the fruits and the sugar allow the purity of the flavors to come through in each bite. I also like that it is a dessert that can be made big or as small individual servings.
Q: Your personal touch and twist to this Tarte Tatin is the alluring addition of apricots and an apricot caramelized glaze with roasted hazelnuts for garnish. What made you think of that?
A: Apricots are such a perfect summer fruit that I wanted to use them in my tatin to honor the season. I also believe the flavor blends beautifully with caramel that is an important part of the traditional tatin taste. Adding an apricot compote into the caramel mixture complemented the apple part of the dessert. And I made a hazelnut cream as a base for the tarte so I like carrying the taste through from top to bottom.
Q: What is it about the Matfer products that make a difference to the outcome of your different pastry specialties?
A: Matfer products make everything easier to do. I have the utmost confidence in the tools that I use because the quality and the design of the various items I need are always at the top of the market. Matfer respects a chef’s needs and pays attention to all of the necessary details whether big or small so I can create the best pastry possible.
Q: What is in your Matfer Tool Box?
A: I use the Matfer pastry bags & tips all of the time as well as the spatulas, whisks and various sized rings. When I work with fruit like I do in this dessert I love the serrated fruit peeler, the Parisian spoon (Matfer's ExoGlass Double Vegetable Baller) and the Exopat Nonstick Baking Mat that I use as a cover lets the fruit soften gently.
Here is a list of Chef Jean-Marc’s Matfer "Must-Have" Tools of Taste for the Tarte Tatin with a Summer Twist:
Q: What is your favorite dessert to eat?
A: An Éclair.
Q: What do you consider the ultimate classic dessert?
A: Anything with pastry cream. But I think éclairs are especially French and I like experimenting with the different fillings and glazes.
The Normandie Bakery is opening its Cooking School in September and you will be leading pastry classes for beginning to advanced students. Congratulations!
Q: What excites you about the opening of the school?
A: I am excited to share my knowledge about pastry with anyone that wants to learn. There are special techniques to teach that make the world of pastry that much more delicious for any and all students.