Nicolas Lambert, Caprice
A swirl of molten chocolate and a dollop of rich, ivory-hued cream. Ripe, blushing berries from which crimson juices could burst at any moment with an intoxicating aroma. A flurry of icing sugar as delicate as a snowfall. Dessert, that satisfying final act of sugar and alchemy to round off an indulgent parade of savouries, so often looks effortless.
Yet, as those in the business will tell you, the profession of pastry chef is not all sweet. It's a demanding, exacting job; a great pastry chef transforms oftensimple ingredients into a convincing tale of beauty on the plate—and the palate.
That's why every year, in addition to crowning the Best New Chef, we present a special award for Best Pastry Chef to recognise the efforts of this oftoverlooked profession. Once again, a stellar name from the kitchens of Caprice has risen to take the prize. Nicolas Lambert is the French restaurant's newest pastry chef, following in the footsteps of last year's winner, Marike van Beurden. But Lambert, who spent his life growing up on pastries—his parents run a bakery in Épinal, France and his twin brother, Julien, is also in the business, working for Patisserie Lac in Nice— is carving out his own niche.
Lambert's desserts are architectural wonders of the sweetest kind: his signature La Framboise Reconstituée interprets the raspberry in six ways, decorated with the most delicate, shimmering circle of thin, pulled sugar. Even more intriguing is his beautifully constructed tarte au chocolat, which rests atop delicate tempered chocolate “wheels” to create a a delicious edible carriage of feuilletine and chocolate chantilly cream. It may break your heart to stick your fork into Lambert's breathtaking creations, but we assure you that the guilt is short-lived once you have a taste.