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Vincent Ferniot

6 January 2021
Journalist, restaurateur and a papa gâteau

A TV host and the happy creator of the Boco restaurants, Mr Ferniot has a fine sweet tooth and selects the desserts of the greatest chefs for his little jars.

Your fetish flavour?

Vanilla. I collect vanilla… and peppers! Anywhere I go, wherever I travel, I get hold of vanilla from all over the world. It is such a joy to discover unknown varieties, other origins! I then keep them in a vacuum so that they re­main nice and soft and do not take the taste of phenol or mildew. Custard or vanilla ice cream are top, aren’t they? The mixture of eggs, cream and vanilla gives me a taste of childhood, which I am always looking for. I believe in the recollection of flavours? Did you know that vanilla was sprayed in the incubators of premature babies to calm their heart rate? The vanilla note probably exists in breast milk, or in the corporal scents of the mother. The unconscious is at work, but so is a conscious pleasure…

A childhood memory?

As a child I was lucky to have had a man who made ice-cream in my Paris neighbourhood. He owned a machine for making Italian ice-creams. He used natural flavours, cream and eggs. Not only did we eat the cones, we also had boxes filled with this ice-cream for our meals at home because it was so good!

A favourite dessert?

Though I never drink coffee, it happens to be my favourite perfume for pastry. Cream, coffee-flavoured éclair or religieuse really have a taste that I adore.

A favourite recipe?

Choux pastry with custard – vanilla works wonders here – and the same goes for the Paris-Brest, the Saint-honoré, and many more. The most difficult part is to keep the cris­piness of the desserts. I like contrast in textures as much as contrasts in tastes. Anywhere there is sugar, there should be sourness or bitterness, or any strong aroma to create a balance. Japanese pastry bewilders me because it praises insipidity. I need pep, I need an acidulous note! 

As to cooking?

A sin of the flesh…

What would you ideally do at the time of the afternoon tea?

Take a nap… to restore my energy.

What if you were a sweet?

A coconut rock bun, a white rock. I always tell my daughters (7, 13, 19 and 21) that I am a rock in the middle of the ocean, to which they will always be able to cling to.

From magazine "Desserts" Autumn - Winter n°10

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