Article – Lindsay Gossling
A taste of France comes to town
For those of you longing for truly French pastries and breads, your wish has been granted. Jean-Luc and Monica have brought their French pastry and food industry backgrounds to Robinson Street. The baked goods at Patisserie D’Or (Pastry Shop of Gold) reveal an artistic flair that Jean-Luc constantly seeks to perfect, even though to the average eye the products look perfect already. Born in Paris and raised in Brittany, France, Jean-Luc knew he wanted to work in the pastry business from a young age. Both his father and uncle were in the food industry and at age 16, Jean-Luc heard his calling. He trained as a pastry chef in Paris and completed 2 years of apprenticeships in Dinard, near St. Malo, France. Working in union with his wife Monica, the two have made the move to Oakville. “The town has a European feel,” Jean-Luc explained. “It’s more like back home.” Monica is originally from Oshawa and the two met working at the Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville. Monica worked in the pastry department for 12 years, designing and making desserts for Truffles fine dining restaurant. Jean-Luc managed banquet desserts for 10 years, providing delicacies for groups ranging from 5-400 people. The couple opened Patisserie D’Or in August, 2000 and are excited to be working independently. In fact, they received a nomination for Entrepreneur of the Year, 2000 by the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence in recognition of their efforts. Jean-Luc does the baking, and Monica, who has also worked as a chartered accountant, keeps the books and works in the front of the shop. Jean-Luc presents every pastry, cookie and bread like a work of art. “He’s a precision person,” Monica said. ‘He knows what he’s doing with the pastries and breads and keeps looking for perfection.” Jean-Luc said he creates his own design for many of the goods. They are all basic French recipes, he revealed. “I apply popular recipes from France and use French ingredients. There is no artificial flavouring, only pure ingredients,” he said. While the content is traditional, the presentation is always changing. “Sometimes people come in looking for a particular cake they saw last week, and we still have it.” said Jean-Luc, “it’s just in a different form.” Patisserie D’Or introduces new flavours as well as pastry presentations. “We like to experiment, not too much, just a little at first to let customers discover the flavour,” Jean-Luc said. Monica tries to get a feel for what clients enjoy and takes customer feedback. “We’re eager to hear customer comments and are open to recommendations and criticism,” she said. The bakery and café sells drinks, breads, flans, cakes, cookies, tarts. It is also prepared to provide special order products for people with particular dietary needs. “We’re going to work to see what we can do to help people with dietary concerns,” Monica said.