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Alban Guilmet and Patrick Cholet, Master Beekeeper

4 July 2023
Dreaming of becoming a pâtissier from an early age, Alban trained in his native Normandy before joining Maison Fauchon and then Pierre Hermé in Paris. With these two experiences in the world of haute-pâtisserie, it was quite natural then that Alban should decide to open his own pâtisserie shop in Caen with his wife Céline in 2011.

He joined the Relais Desserts association in 2013 and since 2018 has been the head of the “Grand Ouest” region within the association.

In 2018, Patrick Cholet, a beekeeper, visited his boutique to present his honeys. At that time, Patrick was already supplying Parisian palace-restaurant chefs for whom he created personalized honey, according to the needs of their recipes.

In 2015, Patrick Cholet decided to establish his first apiary with 50 colonies. He now has 400 hives that produce five tons of honey per year in Bellême in the Perche (Orne) region. 

His honey is extracted cold without being heated or treated in the aims of revealing all the aromatic riches of honey. 

Patrick is both passionate and demanding. He meticulously chooses the location of his hives by closely monitoring the flowering of the plants whose honey he is looking for. Indeed, if the hives are set up in the heart of an alfalfa field in full bloom, the bees will find their happiness and will not need to travel miles to collect the nectar. 

Thus Patrick Cholet ensures an intensely aromatic monofloral honey.

Of course this quality requirement requires sustained work to monitor the progress of the different fields, manage the relocation of the hives, collect the honey, package it, and market it without of course forgetting the care for the bees.

In 2020, his work was rewarded with the title of best beekeeper of the year by the Lebey guide.

Alban has discovered a wide range of aromatic honey with pleasure and astonishment. The varieties range all-flower honey to honey infused with Tonka bean. Seduced by the products and by Patrick's values and requirements, Alban chose to call on him for his honey supply.

Alban's Florentines with Patrick's Honey

Alban chooses raw, unflavoured honey to highlight the taste of honey in his Florentines, pains d’épices and some of his desserts.

In many of his recipes, Alban uses honey as a sweetener because honey has a higher sweetening power than sucrose or glucose. This means you can use less to achieve the same sweet sensation in the mouth, and it has much higher nutritional qualities.

Beyond the commercial relationship that binds them, a beautiful friendship has developed  between Alban and Patrick. One very proud to be able to produce an exceptional honey, the other very proud that his honey and his work are valued in this way by the gourmet and delicate pastries of Alban.

The power of honey is much more than its sweetness!

Here you will find the recipe of the Florentines of Alban Guilmet.

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