World-Famous Pastry Chef Yazid Ichemrahen Joins Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris

Lindsay Judge   |   15-06-2024

Yazid Ichemrahen has become globally renowned as one of the worlds best pastry chefs.

His path into the pastry world began as a young child, at around three years old, and continued through adolescence and beyond. For Yazid Ichemrahen, desserts were a way of escaping from his difficult daily life. He entered the world of pastry and was mentored by World Pastry Champion and Meilleur Ouvrier de France, Pascal Caffet, who saw his talent and trained him to be the best. 

At just 22, Ichemrahen won the Frozen Desserts World Cup, becoming the youngest world champion of any dessert competition ever. He became known for his simple yet captivating creations and created three pastry companies – YCONE, YTIME, AT HOME – with outlets worldwide. 

Ichemrahens latest venture takes him to Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris, where he joins to oversee the pastry and dessert creations at the Paris hotels outlets. He will lead the pastry and dessert programme at the hotel, bringing his unique style to the hotels gastronomy outlets. Here, we find out more about what to expect if you are travelling to the French capital this summer. 

Congratulations on the role – tell us a little about what you would like to bring to Le Royal Monceau.

Thank you! At Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris, I aim to blend contemporary luxury with simplicity and visibility in our pastry offerings. It’s fundamental for me that every dessert we create maintains the high standards of a Palace, ensuring that our guests experience the essence of luxury even in our pastries. Each outlet has its unique universe, and I strive to respect and enhance these distinct atmospheres, providing a memorable and immersive experience for our guests every time.

What are some of the menu highlights our readers can expect to find if they visit this summer?

This summer, our menu will highlight the freshness and vibrancy of seasonal fruits. Since it’s my first summer here, Im eager to meet this new challenge by appealing to a broad range of tastes. Expect a variety of refreshing and innovative desserts that celebrate the best of the seasons produce.

Tell us a little about your style of creating desserts with just three ingredients and what challenges does this create? 

My style revolves around using three ingredients and three textures, a philosophy I developed during my training. This approach keeps desserts simple in appearance yet technically complex, ensuring they are both visually appealing and emotionally resonant, often evoking childhood memories or personal connections. The challenge lies in achieving this simplicity while maintaining a depth of flavour and visual perfection, ensuring each dessert is a masterpiece in taste and design.

How are you diversifying the recipes to fit the range of restaurants at the property?

I love the challenge of diversifying recipes for our various restaurants. Currently, Im not handling the desserts for Matsuhisa Paris to allow for tailored adaptations. Im working closely with Da Vittorio, appreciating their convivial Italian gastronomic philosophy, and developing desserts that align with their style. For Le Bar Long, I can be creative to imagine iconic brasserie-style desserts. Additionally, Im crafting exclusive desserts that reflect my personality and resonate with the city and our clientele. Regarding the room service and amenities in room, they are highly personalised to ensure memorable experiences for our guests.

You will be working closely with Alexandre Favre – how do you plan to work together as a team on this new venture?

Our goal is to bring a unified vision to Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris, Alexandre Favre, whom Ive appointed as Executive Chef for his exceptional human and technical skills, and I maintain daily communication to ensure consistency and harmony in our work. I frequently visit the hotel to oversee quality and motivate the team, working in tandem with Alexandre despite being the public face of our efforts.

How important to you is the appearance of dishes vs the taste?

In the past, the focus was 75% on taste and 25% on appearance. Today, its 50/50 because we first eat with our eyes.” The visual aspect of a dessert is crucial, especially in the age of social media, where appearance matters so much. I aim to create visually modern and artistically influenced desserts. My Instagram showcases my luxurious and artistic universe, reflecting my keen eye for photography and design.

What is your number one secret to pastry or dessert making?

I dont have a specific secret, but my philosophy is to study each ingredient completely and respect it to enhance its natural qualities without over-transforming it. My approach focuses on creating simple, elegant desserts with three flavours and three textures. This philosophy evolved during my training, and every dessert I create is inspired by my Auntie who raised me; if she understands my creation, I believe anyone will.

Why did you choose to specialise in desserts?

I specialised in desserts through my apprenticeship. This training allowed me to master both sweet and savoury dishes, a versatility Ive maintained in my boutique.

Whats the biggest lesson youve learnt along the way?

The greatest lesson Ive learned is to give selflessly. The benefits of our actions come from consistent and genuine effort, not from expecting returns when we give.

Whats your favourite dish to cook?

I love cooking simple, sophisticated, and healthy dishes like a good ceviche with the finest olive oil and citrus, paired with a fresh lettuce salad.

Which country or cuisine most inspires you?

I am deeply passionate about French cuisine, with its rich gastronomic heritage. However, I also greatly admire Japanese techniques and flavour combinations, significantly influencing my pastry work.

What do you think of desserts in the Middle East?

Middle Eastern pastries, which are often very sweet and rich, contrast with my approach to dessert making. However, I learn a lot from their philosophy of generosity and heart, which I also strive to incorporate into my creations.

What message would you send to our readers?

I would like to invite all readers to experience the unique blend of art, fashion, and culinary excellence that we offer at Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris. Each dessert is crafted with passion, precision, and a deep respect for high-quality ingredients. My goal is to create memorable, emotionally resonant experiences through my pastries. Whether you’re indulging in a dessert at one of our restaurants or enjoying a personalised treat in your room, I hope to bring a touch of elegance and joy to your visit. Come and explore the luxurious and artistic world we’ve created, where every bite tells a story and every flavour evokes a memory.