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Jacques Genin has stopped making pastry

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Today at Jacques Genin, atop the glass case which previously held his precious desserts, there was a sign. It read (I paraphrase) “chocolate is my first love… I want to give it my full attention… from this day forward, no more pastry.”

I had a visceral reaction to this news. My mouth went dry. My brain started rewinding through all of the desserts I had enjoyed in this room. A long-forgotten Sara McLachlan song crept up to provide the soundtrack as I considered: no more tarte tatin with the crackly burnt sugar top. No staggeringly priced wild strawberry tart to save up for in late Spring. Tarts with honey walnut, chocolate ganache, perfect raspberry, and LEMON. Oh God, that lemon tart, with variations like rosemary, tarragon and basil! And what about that towering, almost too-tall Paris-Brest with whole toasted hazelnuts spackled on top? Or his éclairs, shiny as a mirror and a different species altogether from the soggy grocery store éclairs of my youth?

Practically speaking, all is not lost. It will still be possible to have a made-to-order millefeuille in the salon. One can order larger desserts (for four or more people) in advance. And of course, the chocolates, caramels and pâtes des fruits will carry on.

However, the individual pastries that I have hysterically mourned are now on hold. Why? Word on the street is that Genin lost his sous-chef and many other hands on his pastry-making team. Rather than put out inferior pastry, he’s narrowing the focus for a time. And this breakup (because that’s what it feels like) may not be permanent, according to the last lines of his letter:

“Que les aficianados ne désespèrent pas ! La pâtisserie n’a pas dit son dernier mot. Gageons qu’elle saura, comme les rêves, réapparaître.”

“But do not despair! The pastry has not uttered its last word. I’m betting that she, like other dreams, will someday reappear.”

Update January 27, 2013: Genin is throwing us a bone, making one daily pastry in addition to the millefeuille. Phyllis Flick reported that she spotted the lemon tart last week.

21 Replies to “Jacques Genin has stopped making pastry”

  1. Indeed that’s really a sad news, and the line for the salon de thé is getting really long now. He should think about opening a new location !

  2. My heart almost stopped when I read this headline. Love Jacques Genin!!! The caramels, the heart stopping lemon tart with basil, the fashion house style decorated shop. To Die For. I would love the lemon tart recipe since I live in the states and only get to Paris every couple years. . . Will someone take pity on me and share the recipe?

  3. no worries, just find out where his former pastry chef will be going (or starting a new shop) and follow him/her and that’s where you’ll find sweet heaven again.

  4. Very happy to read that the caramels are staying. I had the same reaction when Patrick Roger stopped making his chocolate macarons. I still want to protest about that sometimes in front of his shop. 🙂

  5. The lemon tart at Carl Marletti (51 rue Censier in the 5th) is the equal of Genin’s, and his eclairs the same. I was at Genin on Saturday for his last day of pastry and it was heartbreaking, but Marletti is a worthy successor.

  6. spoke to Jacques and the changes are as such :
    … in the tea salon ..only Mille-Feuille a la commande … pour emporter 4 ou 6 person ..Paris-Brest, St Honore’, Tarte au Citron ou Mille-Feuille …whew !!!!

  7. C’est toujours les meilleurs qui s’en vont.

    There goes the very best pâtisserie in Paris. Now we’re stuck with media darlings who care more about looks than taste, loading their stuff with too much sugar, texture agents and gelatine to please the sugar addicts and help the cakes stay upright – or with industrial chains. Jacques is the one that cares the most about taste balance. The one who ponders over a tarte aux pommes for years before he puts it on the shelf. Miles above the others.

    So, so sad.

  8. He lost almost the entire pastry team, not just many.
    His desserts are sweet, but not his personality.

  9. Recently did a millefeuille tasting with guests in Paris. Pierre Herme’s 2000 feuille vanille beat out Jacques Genin by a long shot.
    His pastries were good, his chocolates and caramels great. He’s right to stick to his passion.

  10. Devastating news. Thank goodness I managed to have One breathtakingly beautiful lemon tart while I was in Paris in May last year.

  11. Oh no! Terrible news. I am running there NOW to buy up all of the caramel eclairs. I will freeze them and ration them until the world is set aright.

  12. Sure his pastries were/are great, sadly he is a terrible person to work for. Three of his pastry chefs quit recently because they couldn’t take the abuse any longer. It is not always easy to work for a genius.

  13. That millefeuille will be the first thing I order next time I’m in Paris (hopefully in the fall). Hope I won’t be too late!!


  14. And so what is the closest alternative, Meg, in terms of product? I had him on my list for March – a Paris-Brest I’ve been dreaming of for ages.

  15. OMG THAT’S AWFUL NEWS!!! I honestly gasped when I read your headliner! Thank god they’re still continuing with the millefeuilles, but it’s such a shame that they’re going to stop making Paris Brest!!! I loved it the most. :*(

  16. The world fell silent for a few minutes when I saw the headline!
    But I do wonder if that could potentially mean a sous-chef position is available… hmm…

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