It's not everyday that you can have a private macaron lesson with a pro...to be more exact, a French pastry chef who is turning out some of the best macarons that are actually made in New York City. However, that was just our good fortune a few weeks ago.
There were many emails exchanged this summer between myself and Olivier Dessyn, owner Mille-feuille Bakery & Cafe in Greenwich Village. (Click here to read about the Mille-feuille vs. Payard smackdown.) First, it was to tell him how much my husband and I loved his macarons when we visited NYC back in June. Next, it was me asking if he'd teach me how to make them.
Despite being extremely busy, he agreed to a class and we settled on a date in August. However, hurricane Rita struck NYC (of all places!) and I had to cancel my travel plans to the city. Finally, we rescheduled for October and in the 11th hour, he graciously agreed to teach my husband as well.
Looking around, we were struck by how well organized his shop was and the precision that he and his assistant, Stefan worked with. It's truly amazing when you realize how much work, dedication and love go into an operation like this...plus, we found it incredible that they could produce so many great things in such a small space!
As part of my macaron obsession, I've taken 3 different classes and Olivier's was by far the best. He was super patient with us, answering questions, providing insight and allowing us to be hands-on along the way. He shared the recipes, suggestions on where to find ingredients and supplies and encouraged us to stay in touch and email him with questions.
|We Made These!|
We've tried the macs twice since we've come home and have had good success. We're working to get the right oven temp and proper heavy gauge pans, but we feel that his class gave us the fundamentals and technique to be successful at home. It's true that a hands-on class gives you something that books, you tube and countless internet posts can't.
|The Teacher and Student|
I just learned that Olivier is now shipping his macarons across the United States. If you can't make it to New York anytime soon, then I highly encourage you to order some. They would make a fantastic holiday present for someone you love, or better yet, a gift for yourself!