François Payard is a third generation French Pastry Chef from Nice, France. After honing his classical pastry skills in his family’s business, François moved to Paris, where he held his first position as Pastry Chef at the Three Star Michelin restaurant La Tour d’Argent. He came to New York in 1990 and became Pastry Chef at Le Bernardin. In 1993, François joined Chef Daniel Boulud for the opening of the NYT four star Restaurant Daniel. In 1997, François realized his childhood dream of opening his own restaurant, Payard Patisserie, on the Upper East Side, which ran for 12 years.
François was named “Pastry Chef of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation (1995), Bon Appétit American Food and Entertainment Awards (1998), and International Pastry Competition Committee (2001), the prestigious Ordre du Mérite Agricole, Medal of Honor by the French Government (2004), and the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence (2010).
François is the author of several cookbooks: Bite Size: Elegant Recipes for Entertaining, Simply Sensational Desserts, Chocolate Epiphany: Exceptional Cookies, Cakes, and Confections for Everyone, and Payard Desserts. He has opened his namesake bakeries and patisseries in multiple locations in Manhattan and also in Las Vegas, Japan, and Korea.
François is currently bringing his culinary expertise to Long Island‘s North Fork at Southold Social by Francois Payard and Southold General.
I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t in the kitchen, most often the pastry kitchen. When I cook, I think as an efficient restaurant chef, and how to make the process as simple and delicious as possible. Soaking the brioche ahead and freezing it before browning and baking makes it possible to serve the best souffle-like French toast at home for family, or for a crowd. It’s not too sweet either as I don’t add too much sugar…The berries contrast the creamy toast, but you can sauté bananas, add a dollop of Nutella and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and serve with ice cream or mascarpone.View This Recipe