Jeffrey Cagnes: « the Cannelé you ought to consider ! »
At only 30 years old, this man has it all. From his dog, to that smile, a sympathy of his own … And above all definitely talent ! Jeffrey Cagnes welcomed me into his very first pastry, Casse-Noisette located on Avenue de l’Opéra. I admit that I hadn’t even heard about him a few months ago. But in Paris when a new spot is worth trying, the news spreads at the speed of light. “What ?? You don’t know it ? Impossible !!!” So I went to meet him and I realized how much of an incontestable figure he is for the new generation of pastry making yet to come.
Jeffrey, your cannelé has invaded all social media networks !!! Everyday I run across posts shares or comments about it. Where did you get this idea from ?
I must admit that the idea came to me by chance ! I realized one day that we had a lot of mold in our kitchen and that we only used it for the traditional cannelé in soft paste.
It is a true fashion to visually embellish in pastry. It’s very fun ! What is crazy is that you usually have to make your own mold for this. Mine has always existed since the beginning of time ! Some people tell me « We had it under our noses ! » That’s true, but you had to think about it !
I was really lucky that this idea crossed my mind !
We first taste with our eyes ! And that’s how the product becomes a little buzz ! Taste it and see for yourself, it has a flowing heart !
How was your way leading the opening of Casse-Noisette ?
I must admit that I was a bit thick. I really had to work to find my way. My parents were quite the epicureans, they would prepare big family lunches on weekends. One time, my mother took me to Pascal Caffet, the best chocolatier in France. From that day, I was immediately attracted by the profession and so that’s how I decided to do internships, the CAP and then my apprenticeship in Avignon.
When you fall into the pot, you can no longer escape from it. And suddenly, it becomes no longer a training nor a job, but rather a true passion!
I then went to Paris. At the time there was only the Journal du Pâtissier. We didn’t have these dozens of specialised magazines or blogs ! No Instagram and no Facebook ! I have the feeling that a century has passed since that time !
So I arrived to Paris and it wasn’t easy getting into the “grandes maisons”. The last one on my list was Störher ! The oldest pastry shop in Paris. A soul, a story, and extraordinary managers ! And like that I was hired.
Then, I built myself a course with experiments according to my desires and opportunities: Sébastien Gaudard, Yamakazi, Hédiard, Jean-François Piège for the opening of the Thoumieux and also Monsieur Bleu ! It was in this last establishment that I developed my Pavlova !
It’s amazing how much people craze for the chefs’ pastries, right ?
It’s amazing ! The pastry chef has the chance to be present and to mark an important event in someone’s life: birthday, wedding, valentine’s day, Christmas! And then we get to be at the end of a delightful meal ! I love this idea. People are in need of comforting in this world, it makes sense, doesn’t it ?!
What is your favorite dessert ?
The Lemon pie. I offer it in my pastry but it is certainly a memory from my childhood.
It is my mom’s favorite dessert. And a boy always stays a little attached to his mother! (laugh)
What kind of personal quality does it take to be good pastry chef ?
Passion. There’s only that. When you’re crazy about pastry, you’re crazy about it sharing it. And when you’re crazy about sharing, you want to make your universe discovered.
If you want to meet you at the « Omnivore » festival, where do you find you ?
You must come Tuesday afternoon ! I will present one of my favorite desserts: the chocolate tart ! This is my first time at the festival but being around professionals is a real barrel of fun. Also, I love communicating with people, so making demonstrations is one of my hobbies !
Une fois qu’on a gouté vos pâtisseries, on va où à Paris ?
Go and taste the lemon tart of Sébastien Degardin on rue Saint-Jacques, it’s magical ! Then you make a turn to Yann Couvreur, for everything ! You continue with Yann Menguy at La Goutte d’Or because his honey pie is delicious ! You can at finish with Benoit Castel for more mouthwatering pastries. A true delight !
Casse-Noisette : 35, avenue de l’Opéra, 75002 Paris (You will find his pastries of course but there is also a part bakery and catering.)