Giselle Courteau is not professionally trained. What she is though, is a dreamer and a hard worker—a powerful combination that allowed her to teach herself how to bake, open a successful bakery, and self-publish a cookbook which received several awards including the coveted Paris Book Festival Award.
Courteau owns the only Canadian patisserie that made it on the list 23 Bakeries Around the World You Need to Eat at Before You Die. Among the professionals, she looks up to is Pierre Herme. Giselle is a self-made success story, carefully-crafted as she learned, built her dream career and her family. Courteau demonstrates contagious love and passion for all things sweet; you can taste this passion in her pastries.
Get to know this talented Canadian pastry chef in this intimate interview:
WHAT’S THE LAST THING YOU BURNED?
Your favourite spice?
What makes you “kitchen angry”?
Someone not changing the paper towel roll by the sink.
The latest flavour you discovered?
What’s your most extravagant purchase?
Lunch with champagne and wine pairings at Le Meurice in Paris.
Favourite song in the kitchen?
These days, I prefer to work in a quiet space.
WHAT’S YOUR COMFORT FOOD?
WHAT’S YOUR MOST ESSENTIAL TOOL?
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Educate customers to e-mail or call us directly if there was an issue with food or service rather than posting negative reviews online first. We would appreciate being given the opportunity to deal with the issue in a professional way.
THE FAVOURITE SMELL IN THE KITCHEN?
Freshly baked croissant.
WHAT’S YOUR BAD HABIT?
Chewing my fingernails.
What do you admire in other chefs?
Hard work and not giving up even in the face of failure.
WHO IS YOUR GREATEST INSPIRATION?
The dish you are the proudest of?
What’s your end of the world menu?
Turkey dinner followed by my mother’s bûche de noël for dessert.
YOUR FAVOURITE ADVICE OR QUOTE?
Don’t freak out, it’s only dessert!