It’s a Wednesday night, you just left an intense workout at Barry’s Boot Camp and now you really need to treat yourself with something sweet and delicious that won’t pack on the calories you just lost. What do you do?
For former supermodel Laurent, he grabs one, two… ok maybe three, of his own home-made plant-based macarons.
Laurent gave up the runway for pastry school a few years ago and today he is head chef at the West Village eatery, Delice & Sarrasin, a vegan French restaurant that offers a range of authentic French dishes, along with savory crepes (galettes) and vegan sweet crepes. But just because he no longer models for Ralph Lauren and spends his day around sweet breads doesn’t mean he is ready to let his body go the way of the Pillsbury Dough Boy.
As his large Instagram following can attest to (close to half a million!), Laurent manages to eat dessert and still look lean and mean. He explains how…
How do you stay in tip top shape working in the baking industry?
Laurent: I can never skip the gym! Before modeling, I was a professional swimmer for my country, France, and I still love the sport so much!
How did you get interested in cooking and baking?
Laurent: As a child, I would bake with my grandmother all the time. It was a way for me to express my creativity and impress my friends and family.
Have you always had a sweet tooth?
Laurent: Yes! One of my earliest memories was eating all the raspberries from our garden that mom had intended for her tarts. Seriously, do not leave sweets in front of me!
What is your favorite thing to make?
Laurent: I love to make everything from extravagant tier cakes to tiny cupcakes. I love adding personal touches with different designs. I also love to find new ways to make them as healthy as possible.
Do you have a favorite concoction invention?
Laurent: It changes all the time but right now I’m in love with my elegant and delicious dessert, “The Religieuse” pastry. It is made of two choux pastries, one larger than the other, and filled with crème patissiere. Each choux is covered in a ganache of the same flavor as the filling, and then decorated with piped buttercream frosting. Yum!
What is your signature dessert?
Laurent: I would say the “Gâteau Opéra.” It is a French cake made with layers of almond sponge (known as Joconde in French), soaked in coffee syrup, layered with ganache and coffee (or Grand Marnier) French buttercream, and covered in a chocolate glaze.
Everyone has experienced a baking disaster… what’s yours?
Laurent: I once switched sugar with salt, but hasn’t everyone? More recently, on Food Network’s “Beach Bake Battle” show, I made a beautiful genoise cake that came out looking more like a pudding! Thankfully, some creativity took me to the next round!
Has appearing on Food Network shows and being a social media influencer helped your profile as a chef?
Laurent: For sure! Social media has been a great tool to share my creativity with the masses and guide them to my website (www.laurentxiv.com) to place orders.
How does one go about working with you on a new creation?
Laurent: We start by discussing initial details over email, then follow it with an in-person or over the phone consultation to plan out and create the cake of their dreams.
Follow Laurent on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laurent.xiv/?hl=en.
By Dominick Salamone
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