First Interview – Gregoire Michaud

Three months ago…when I started the blog…I never thought I’d have so many ‘First’ times – first time blogging, first time entering a challenge and having the opportunity to interview a pastry chef for the very FIRST TIME :D

I was ecstatic and literally jumping up and down, when Leon from Walee Walee.com invited me to meet and interview Gregoire Michaud the executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons in Hong Kong. For those who are not familiar with Gregoire he is also an author of four cookbooks and also like us a ‘Blogger’ ~  I have been following Gregoire’s blog and Twitter (@gregoireMichaud) for a while, so to get the chance to meet him face to face was just too exciting :)

We met up on a Thursday afternoon, and while waiting at the lobby, I was so nervous, going through the questions in my notebook over and over again ~ I didn’t want to make a fool out of myself hehe. Gregoire met us at the lobby, then kindly took us up to the executive business lounge where he had prepared an afternoon tea set for us to enjoy while we chat :)

Here’s the interview ~ 

Me: Hello!

Gregoire: Hi… Hello (Putting on an Australian accent)

Me: Could you please introduce yourself briefly?

Gregoire: Hi my name is Gregoire I am the pastry chef of Four Seasons in Hong Kong, I’ve been baking and cooking for 20 years, I’ve wrote 4 books and I blog.

Me: That’s great! (I think I was a little nervous I kept looking at my notes lol) how long have you been working in Hong Kong for?

Gregoire: A total of 12 years, in different hotels, including 7 years at Four Seasons

Me: What is the main difference in taste and preference of desserts and pastries in Hong Kong, compared to Europe such as France and Switzerland where you come from?

Gregoire: Sugar…much less sugar and I think it’s great to actually to be able…to be forced to use less sugar because it brings the real flavour of ingredients out much more…for me I think working with less sugar is actually better. So now when I go back to Europe and try their pastries, it’s very sweet….everything is sweet… I think I have gotten use to local tastes here in Hong Kong.

Me: Where do you get your inspiration for new desserts?

Gregoire: I read books…I read magazines…I watch TV. But it’s not always food related…I like to read design magazines, photo magazines, art magazines and books…then I get inspired from shapes and concepts and then I bring them into pastry. Flavours and ingredients are what is seasonal and what is available in the market and that defines what we use. We don’t fly pears from the moon J So yeah that’s my inspiration.

Me: What’s your favourite dessert? (I knew this was a tough question :P)

Gregoire: *Eyes Widen* Its that one (pointing to one of the lovely pastries on the cake stand)… I always answer this question with my mother’s apple pie…apple tart…. she’s made it since I’m a little boy and still do the same and it just tastes different from anywhere else. Probably the recipe she uses for the dough and the sugar, cinnamon, the apples she uses and the way she cooks and bakes it…just for me it is just the best. It is also because it is my mum’s apple tart I’m use to it. It is also where I started to be inspired to become a pastry chef. She was always doing pastries, jam and cake and everything at home. So naturally, I wanted to learn how to do that so I can eat more. I eventually learnt how to make basic cakes and then thought…why not I do this full time…

Me: Last question any new books on the way?

Gregoire: *GRINS* Yes there is…it’s on the way I am currently writing it…it’s going to be pairing desserts and wine or wine and other beverages. Mainly based on alcohol and liquors J so desserts may not be made with liquor or wine but it will be matched. We’ve worked with some professionals to actually pair them. I enjoy wine but they know better than me.

Me: Thank you very much!

Gregoire: You’re welcome!

So it seems like Gregoire has slowly assimilated and adopted Hong Kong people’s taste with using less sugar ;) and there’s a new book on the way YAY!

I just had post this photo ~

Gregoire definitely surprised me with his wittiness and openness to answer any questions we had :) Somehow I pictured pastry chefs to be stern and strict , he was anything but these two things :P

Delicious scones

Did you know that it takes Gregoire and his team 3 days to make these scones?!? No wonder they taste good! Check out his video where he shares his secret techniques in making these scones :D

Afternoon Tea Set For Two

You can also enjoy this lovely Afternoon Tea Set daily at The Lounge daily from 3pm to 5:3opm :D

Thank you once again Gregoire for spending a wonderful afternoon with us. I have learnt so much about being a pastry chef and  that you must be truly passionate about something to be able to succeed ~ I wish you the very best with your future endeavours!

 Daisy@Nevertoosweet dined as a guest of Gregoire Michaud (Four Seasons) and Walee Walee.com

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26 thoughts on “First Interview – Gregoire Michaud

  1. Rice Bowl Tales February 27, 2012 at 2:51 am Reply

    Wow Daisy, haven’t you done well to be arranged by Walee Walee to do this interview! Such an opportunity! You sound a bit starstruck to me though haha, were you a little bit nervous? But anyway, well done! I’ll go and watch the video now :D

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 27, 2012 at 2:54 am Reply

      I was SO nervous Jane!!! Was it that obvious in the interview? HAHAHA i was totally starstruck and was just trying to stay calm and not make a feel out of myself :P

  2. kellysiew February 27, 2012 at 3:18 am Reply

    Well done! You did a good job! Those scones looks very different to the regular ones. Wish I could try some.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 27, 2012 at 3:22 am Reply

      Thanks Kelly :) I was so nervous about writing up the interview hehe Hope you can come to HK soon ~

  3. Norma Chang February 27, 2012 at 4:25 am Reply

    Good job with your interview, congratulations.
    That afternoon tea set for two sure look sumptous and such a variety.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 27, 2012 at 5:38 am Reply

      Thanks Norma :) The afternoon set was AMAZING ~ quite filling for 2 people hehe I say 4 girls can probably eat this set hehe

  4. Fatboo February 27, 2012 at 11:34 am Reply

    Hey, congratulations on getting to do an interview! You did well! :D

  5. Adrian (Food Rehab) February 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm Reply

    You rock! Great interview! You should be proud.

    I can’t believe you you have tempted me with two posts in a row with SCONES!!! waaaaahhhh :)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm Reply

      Thanks Adrian :) I’m feeling a lot better now! I was super nervous before hehe I think it’s time you either went out and got some delicious scone OR make some yourself :D

  6. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm Reply

    Great job Daisy! And I always find it hard to break eye contact and look down at notes but you don’t want to miss anything do you? :)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm Reply

      Thanks Lorraine :) It was hard to break eye contact but i was holding the camera so it made it a little harder. And i needed to go through my notes to make sure I was on the right track LOL

  7. Hotly Spiced February 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm Reply

    Congrats Daisy. You’ve done such a great interview. Hard to believe it was your very first. Well done!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 28, 2012 at 1:30 am Reply

      Than you! So kind of you Charlie! I was so nervous and wasn’t sure if I was asking the right questions hehe :)

  8. QQ February 27, 2012 at 11:08 pm Reply

    Great interview~! It’s great to see that he made desserts with less sugar…plus…he’s cute…lol…

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 28, 2012 at 1:31 am Reply

      Thanks QQ :) Hahaha the desserts are probably still too sweet for you :P LOL Gregoire is definitely a funny pastry chef ~

  9. Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 28, 2012 at 2:02 am Reply

    Just LOVE the look on his face on that second photo!! hahaha How did you manage to get yourself an interview in HK? That’s way too cool! The food looks soo delicious as well…I’m jealous!!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 28, 2012 at 2:05 am Reply

      Hello Jenny :) I love that pic too hahaha I just HAD to upload it hehe ~ I was contacted by a media website and they invited me :D I was totally jumping up and down when I found it who I was interviewing!!! The food was soooooo yummy! When are you coming to HK? ~

  10. sherry Stockwell February 28, 2012 at 3:11 am Reply

    Great post. Love the interview style and wonderful photos. Your blog rocks!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 28, 2012 at 3:12 am Reply

      Hello Sherry :) thanks for coming by my blog! It was my first interview so I was sure nervous but glad it worked out ~

  11. Hannah February 28, 2012 at 8:30 am Reply

    Well done Daisy! You done good :P

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 28, 2012 at 5:49 pm Reply

      Thank you Hannah :) A bummer how we can get the chocolate here in Australia >_<

  12. Jennifer (Delicieux) February 28, 2012 at 10:22 am Reply

    Congratulations on your first interview!!! I would be nervous too as I’ve never interviewed someone, but you did a great job! Well done! By the way, those scones look great!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm Reply

      Thank you Jennifer! It was a wonderful experience but I hope I do better next time ~ I was a little too starstruck and nervous i think :P

  13. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts February 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm Reply

    Great job on the interview!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 28, 2012 at 5:52 pm Reply

      Thanks Erin :) I’ll try to do better next time and might even be able to upload a video ~

Your comments are my encouragement :)

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