Our Interview with young and promising Pastry Chef Kevin Clemenceau is enthusiastic and inspiring. We get here into the secrets of a pastry Chef and what are the main important things for him when it comes to being the best.
Let’s talk about you: your secret about your rising career
Where are you from? Where did you grow up? What did you study?
I am from Tours, France, From my youngest years to 9 years old I grown up in Perpignan, France, then back to Tours until my twenties
I studied Pastry/catering culinary arts in France for 6 years.
Where have you been working so far? In France? In the US?
Between 2006 and 2012 I started working at my family’s bakery as an apprentice while studding pastry and catering at the same time. After that, I moved to a “Bakery/Patisserie/Chocolaterie” in Bordeaux between 2012 and 2014 as a sous chef. Then I moved to the USA for a year, and then I got back to France and worked at the Four Seasons Hotel in Paris : The George V. I wanted to go back to USA, and I had the opportunity to start working in a bakery in Los Angeles until now.
How did your passion for baking start?
I definitely got influenced by my family when I was younger. I started to enjoy the different perspectives of being a Chef/ Pastry and Chocolate maker. Some people in my life made me enjoy what I am doing now. They supported me during during all my career until now.
Why did you choose to move to the United States? What does this experience bring you?
I liked the challenge of working abroad, and I am very curious about what surrounds me. So I did what I could to find opportunities to find a job in the USA. This was a turning point and I was sure that I would be able to move forward in my career.
What do you like in pastry that you cannot find in other culinary fields?
I believe that what I like about pastry it is the accuracy, the subtlety and the precision combined with the « gourmandise » (indulgence) of a dessert or a chocolate.
Who are the pastry chefs you admire most?
Kriss Harvey, Guillaume Mabilleau
What is your preferred step in the baking process?
The assembling, decorations and finishing touches.
A pastry Chef who is part of the new generation talent
What is your motivation to get up every morning?
Improving, sharing and « rocking » my day up.
Where do you find your inspiration for each of your creation?
Many shapes, textures are surrounding us daily; observing and staying curious brings me that inspiration.
At which point do you think pastry turns into art?
When you have a souvenir, an emotion, a surprise and you are pleased by the pastry that you just created, then I think it is some kind of « art »
Through your job, what were your most beautiful encounter?
I will not be able to name the most beautiful encounter, but friendships and work partners and all the relationships that I built through those past years during my different experiences are truly a strength for me, my friends and supporting contacts will recognize themselves.
How do you think pastries will evolve in a few years?
That’s an interesting question, I think everything will evolve back to the classic and things will be more subtle and accurate.
Where do you picture yourself in 5 years?
No idea at all, but I’ll let my work guide me where I will belong to, keeping in mind challenges and and the finest objectives of quality.
Can you tell us more about your upcoming projects?
I just won the C3 Valrhona worldwide competition, competing for North America region. I joined one of the finest chocolate factory teams which has always been a big wish in my career. Next competition is in Singapour next Spring!
Do you have a specialty?
Not at all, to be honest and I don’t want to have one at the moment. It feels like I want to be complete and good in every aspect of my profession. But mastering chocolate making skills could become my up coming main focus.
What’s the dessert that you are the proudest of? Would you have pictures?
It is probably my Plated dessert that got me to win the C3 Valrhona North America completion. It is a Plated dessert built around Bahibe 46% milk chocolate.
Kevin & Revol: when a young rising pastry chef meets a 250-year-old porcelain manufacturer
How and when did you first hear about Revol?
I heard about Revol when I was looking for the best plates and the highest quality to present my completion file for C3. I thank Maria Nguyen CEO of Art of plating who kindly shared your contact with me.
How do you perceive the Revol brand? How does it inspire you?
I perceive Revol as an authentic brand with a real history that has been there from generations, and that keeps improving successfully their products, lines and high quality over all. Plating or displaying on such quality products inspires me to create finest desserts that will match Revol’s products.
Do you feel you share common values with Revol? Which ones?
Definitely yes, which is sharing and offering a « French experience » of our finest artisan work. Without forgetting the open minded values, support, share and trust to the rising generations that the brand chooses to believe in.
Do you have a favorite Revol Collection? Which one is it?
Yes I do, the Equinoxe one is my favorite collection by far, the touch and the look of the plates are amazing.
Do you think Revol is perfect for the pastry art? Why?
Yes I truly believe that Revol is a big plus for any pastry arts. Pastry matches with subtle, fine quality and accuracy which are Revol’s values.
Through competitions, have you already won prizes and distinctions? Which ones? When? (We would love to see pictures!)
Yes I did win prizes in different competitions style, two in the art of chocolate sculpture – one, back in France in 2010 with the 3rd place, and one in 2011 with the 1st place. Recently I won the AUI Pastry cup in 2017 in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Head shot : Photo by David Mericano for So Good mag
All Pastries: Photo by AUI Fine Foods during 2017 AUI pastry cup