Back in November, French Ambassador to the UK Catherine Colonna launched the sweetest culinary initiative: the ‘Paris-Londres’.
What is it all about? Pastry chefs were encouraged to come up with a dessert idea embodying the long-lasting ‘Entente Cordiale’ between France and the UK. A symbol of the most delicious kind to celebrate the close ties between the two capitals!
Inspiration for this online project came from the world-famous ‘Paris-Brest’. Shaped as a wheel, this insanely indulgent treat is made of little pillows of praline cream tucked neatly between two circles of choux pastry. It was created back in 1910 to commemorate the eponymous cycling race between the French capital and the port city in Brittany.
A Franco-British take on this traditional pâtisserie appealed to many chefs and entries started flowing from both sides of the Channel — numerous creative and original proposals. As you can imagine, it was incredibly hard to pick just one winner amongst all these dozens of delights! But one dessert stood out amongst the digital crowd: two semicircles of pâte sucrée, delicately holding an apple tatin and Darjeeling tea mousse and topped with vanilla Chantilly cream submitted by a high-profile Parisian pastry chef.
Guillaume Godin works at Guy Savoy’s Michelin-starred restaurant nestled in the Museum of La Monnaie de Paris (dedicated to coins and medals of all sorts) on the banks of the river Seine. Godin knows a thing or two about pastry, having learnt his trade alongside chef Arnaud Donckele at La Vague d'Or*** in St-Tropez. His talent is widely renowned, winning him gastronomic guide awards such as Lebey’s best dessert of 2020 and Gault & Millau 2018 best young pastry chef.
Both the flavours and the visual aesthetic of Godin’s creation won over the two Ambassadors, Catherine Colonna (French Ambassador in the UK) and Ed Llewellyn (British Ambassador in France) who chose it as the official ‘Paris-Londres’. What made this particular dessert stand out, I hear you ask? Let’s hear it straight from them:
‘Guy Savoy’s pastry chef Guillaume Godin brilliantly succeeded in marrying the tastes and cultures of France and the UK by creating this true bridge between Paris and London. It was a tough choice because we received outstanding creations from many chefs, but this one clearly symbolises our gourmet initiative and also reflects how [our countries] remain close and have much to do together. We had the Paris-Brest; long live the Paris-Londres, because simple pleasures are more essential than ever!’ — French Ambassador to the UK Catherine Colonna.
‘I congratulate pastry chef Guillaume Godin and M. Guy Savoy for their Franco-British dessert, the ‘Paris-Londres;. We were won over by the flavours of this dessert, which so effectively embodies the links between our two countries on each side of the Channel. We are delighted to be associated with this excellent initiative, allowing us to continue writing the history between France and the UK, from both a playful and gastronomic perspective’ — British Ambassador to France Ed Llewellyn.
So what’s next? The Paris-Londres will be served at the tables of both French Residence in the UK and its British counterpart in Paris, becoming a staple on their menus. Now you just need to get yourself that invitation to the Embassy...
Read the official announcement of the ‘Paris-Londres’ on @FranceintheUK