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Pierre Arditi

10 August 2020
A real trip down memory lane, the prolific comedian looks back at his childhood and tells Desserts about his favorites.

If I offer you a chocolate bar?

I’ll eat it! A piece? No, the whole bar. I am not reasonable at all. That’s the whole problem… And I love chocolate!

I heard you like wine?

Yes! And pairing it with chocolate is fantastic! Sauternes also goes very well with desserts.

A particular sweet dish from your childhood that brings back memories?

First of all the barquette aux marrons, a dessert which doesn’t exist anymore. It has completely disappeared! A shortcrust pastry garnished on one side with chestnut cream, on the other side, coffee. The blend was incredible. There was also the puits d’amour, a puff pastry filled with vanilla cream, and a box of Mont Blanc Chocolates. When I was a child, my favorite meal was liver pâté on toast with pickles and on top and for dessert, a box of Mont Blanc Chocolates!

The place indulgence has in your life?

I am indulgent, but also a food lover. Let’s see, something very simple, like a very good piece of bread with salted butter, maybe a piece of cheese, cold cuts, it’s a meal fit for a king.

Tell us a little more about chocolate…

I am going to astonish you, but I think I only really like Belgian milk chocolate (Editor’s Note: his mother was Belgian). Everything goes back to childhood, we forget, then it comes back to us. I spend my time running into my ghost… My job is to analyze feelings…

Your favorite dessert?

The Napoleon. Not the one with a few hard sheets of pastry garnished with strawberries. No, the one with crème pâtissière. A dietetic dessert is not a dessert, there is no pleasure. So, if I eat a Paris-Brest, I eat a real Paris-Brest!

What impresses you about pastry chefs?

It’s their love of a job well done. In these times when manual work is underestimated, there is a kind of condescension regarding people who decide to go into these professions. Yet, they require attention at all times, a tremendous know-how, a colossal amount of work. They are genuine creators, real artists who create things, sensations and help bring out a certain number of visions, emotions and feelings.

What indulgent moment do you prefer?

There is not really a moment. I don’t plan anything… or rather I plan on enjoying myself whenever possible.

A sin to share?

The only sin I know is inhumanity.

If you were a dessert?

(laughs) I would be a chocolate, because I actually only like that. Chocolate pure, without strawberries, spices,  anything. Just chocolate!

From "Desserts" Spring/Summer n°09

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