Known for his exception works as Chef Christian Faure is the owner of the award-winning Montreal restaurant and pastry shop Maison Christian Faure. With big plans of opening a second location in Toronto in spring/summer 2016, this boutique and café will offer patrons a selection of hand-crafted sweet and savoury indulgences including gateaux, mille-feuilles and éclairs and will bring his acclaimed “Snacking Chic” menu to Toronto which offers a variety of luxury plates including gourmet salads, sandwiches and quiche at an affordable price-point.
I started in 1976 as a cuisine chef in Villefranche-sur-Saone, in a small restaurant. Every year, the cuisine would close for a month-long holiday during the summer, but I never wanted to take a break! Around the same time, I had been introduced to a friend of the family that had a bakery and so I decided to spend my month-long break at the bakery. It was during that month that I learned all about pastry making and fell in love with the craft. I started focusing more on pastry, rather than cuisine, because I personally found it to be more creative. It’s such an artistic process and you can really take your time to create something that is both beautiful and delicious.
What was it about being a chef that intrigued you the most?
I was introduced to Chef Joseph Aimar M.O.F., Jacques Joubert M.O.F. and Alain Berne M.O.F. who taught me all about pulled sugar and ice carving. Both are so amazing! To be able to use a big chainsaw on a block of ice and end up with an elegant statue with graceful curves and soft edges is amazing. The same with pulled sugar and blown sugar. By pulling the sugar at different temperatures, the colours change, the form can change and we can create a beautiful showpiece that looks incredibly realistic. That is what intrigued me the most when I was young and first starting out in the world of pastry.
What inspired you to open Maison Christian Faure?
After travelling around the world for quite some time, sharing my craft and teaching my techniques with others, I realized that I wanted to build roots and a foundation in a place that was meaningful to me, somewhere that was stable and that I could call home. Most importantly, I wanted to have my name on the door so people could come from all over the world and know where to find me and the pastries I make. By opening a pastry shop of my own, I was able to achieve this reality.
I also find it very important to teach the new generation the art of pastry making. I was fortunate enough to learn from a group of talented chefs when I first started out and I wanted to be able to provide students of this generation with the same opportunities I was granted. This is why Maison Christian Faure in Montreal also includes a Professional Pastry School. Part of being a M.O.F. is passing on your knowledge. I teach people my methods and traditions, then encourage them to take what they’ve learned and build on those skills by incorporating their personal touch This way, the art of pastry is always evolving, always growing and always stays interesting.
What has been your biggest achievement so far in your career?
My biggest achievement in my career by far is earning the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France Glacier (M.O.F.) I am so proud to wear the French Flag around my neck every day of my life. There is a movie called “Kings of Pastry” which showcases the journey of what is takes to become a M.O.F. How much time is required to perfect your skills, the pressure, the sacrifices both personal and professional one must make to in order to earn such a prestigious title. 93% will fail this exam, which leaves only 7% to earn the title, and the exam occurs only every 2 years. I dreamt about taking this exam from the first time I met the 3 M.O.F. chefs when I first started my career.