5 MINUTES WITH ERIC LANLARD
What will you be cooking at Taste, and why did you choose those dishes? In the main theatre I will be demonstrating my Middle Eastern twist on the French classic gateau moelleux [a melting chocolate cake]. I have incorporated a fragrant Arabic coffee filling, which works wonders. In the cooking class I will be making an on-trend red velvet pancake with cream cheese syrup. They are so moreish and, trust me, the next hot breakfast item. Desserts seem to be especially prone to ‘trends’. What’s your take – and where do you think desserts will go next? Baking is like fashion – trends and style come and go – only the classics stand the test of time. For me it’s all about the taste. Yes, if you can make the cake or dessert look glamorous, that’s a bonus, but [there is] nothing worse than super-elaborate creations that do not taste great. What would you like to never see again? I am seriously getting bored seeing mirror glazed cakes all over my Instagram feed. It is so yesterday – move on, please. You started your career in the UK with the Roux Brothers – and you’ll be sharing the stage with Michel Roux Jr this year. I worked with the Roux Brothers for five years – I was the head pastry chef in their production kitchen. They put a lot of faith in me – I was 22 years of age and it was my first job in London. I learnt a lot and will for ever be grateful for that experience. They are a very generous family and are still very supportive to this day. It’ll will be great to catch up with Michel Roux Jr – we are both very busy so these days so we tend to catch up at work events and shows. What do you eat at Le Gavroche? Le Gavroche is actually celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, which is incredible in the fickle world of hospitality. I always make a point of going to Le Gavroche for dinner on my birthday. Le soufflé suissesse [a cheese and cream soufflé] has been on the menu since the opening and is simply the best starter ever. I still use Albert and Michel’s original tarte aux citrons recipe today at my café, Cake-Boy. Mother’s Day is coming up soon – what dish would you suggest making for a mum? My Strawberry Ombre cake, which graces the front cover of my latest book, Afternoon Tea. It’s a very stylish cake, it shouts ‘celebration’. Pastel frosting with a moist vanilla sponge layered with strawberry conserve and more cream frosting. It’s a fabulous cake to celebrate Mother’s Day. Summer wedding season is coming. What cakes are people are ordering? We see more and more people asking for fresh patisserie cakes, decorated with berries and yummy creamy filling like mascarpone and cream, which can be served as a dessert, like you do in Europe. On the iced cake front, our clients keep it classic and chic with maybe a little touch of royal icing lace or embroidery reflecting the details of the bride’s wedding dress. Really, the key trend is ‘timeless’.
Eric Lanlard is at the Chef’s Theatre on March 9 at 4.30pm, 8.30pm on March 10 and 7.30pm on March 11. Put your baking skills to the test with him in the cooking challenge on March 10 at 6.30pm and March 11 at 3.30pm.