Michael Pretet, Am­ber

Hong Kong Tatler Best Restaurants (Hong Kong / Macau) - - Best of awards -

It was Jan­uary 2016 when Am­ber set up its first-ever char­ity pop-up cake shop in Cen­tral. The month-long pro­mo­tion was the first time Hong Kong got a chance to see what 30-year-old pas­try chef Michael Pretet could do, turn­ing out patis­serie clas­sics such as tarte au cit­ron, Mont Blanc, Paris-Brest and vanilla mille­feuille. Upon com­plet­ing his train­ing in hos­pi­tal­ity school and culi­nary op­er­a­tions in France, Pretet de­cided to spe­cialise in pas­try—at the age of 20.

With equal parts cre­ativ­ity and pre­ci­sion, Pretet’s in­tu­ition for in­gre­di­ent pair­ing in his creations is acute and of­ten sur­pris­ing—from rib­bons of heir­loom car­rot con­fit matched with scar­lethued blood or­ange sor­bet to a vi­brant Ja­panese twist of sake and green tea paired with pineap­ple and co­conut, and to Alphonso mango com­bined with yuzu and flo­ral jas­mine. The French na­tive’s cre­ativ­ity lies not only in his pa­rade of in­no­va­tive sweets, but also in his ex­cel­lent ex­e­cu­tion of tra­di­tional French clas­sics, such as a per­fect Grand Marnier souf­flé.

Pretet’s un­canny knack for cre­ative yet fa­mil­iar com­bi­na­tions that con­sis­tently raise eye­brows is ex­em­pli­fied in the pas­try chef’s goal of com­bin­ing old and new on the es­teemed restau­rant’s menus. He’s of­fer­ing a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing to fit ev­ery guest’s pref­er­ence for a sweet end­ing, from multi-tex­tured choco­late struc­tures to sim­ple clas­sics such as flaky fruit tarts, each art­fully match­ing the same high level of ex­e­cu­tion as the savoury cour­ses pre­ced­ing them. While some may think they don’t have room for dessert af­ter a full-on cui­sine show­down at Am­ber, Pretet’s sim­ple yet spot-on creations are a prime rea­son to save room—if only to al­low the mem­ory of a great meal to linger just a mo­ment longer.

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