After a lengthy apprenticeship under the auspices of famed pastriateer Gaston Lenotre, Pierre Hermé went out on his own—all the way to Japan in fact—where in 1996 he opened his first luxe pastry boutique. Five years later he brought his inventions home.
Never satisfied with a classic, Hermé sought to redefine France’s signature confections. His macaroons, a contrast to those at more traditional pastry shops like Ladurée, are delicious bursts of sugary creativity. Hermé’s passion fruit macaroon is one of the best we’ve ever tasted. The cookie, light as air and dusted with iridescent coco, has just the right mix of tropical tang and rich chocolate.
Hermé’s shops call to mind the white cube (black in his case) of modern art galleries rather than the casual boulangerie. While now his “temple to pastry” approach may seem less than novel, Hermé is still the consummate innovator. Even Parisians line up outside his boutique on the rue Bonaparte, a sure testament to the merits of his macaroons.