Hervé Collignon, a pastry chef for 40 years but only one year working at the Romano bakery in Boulay Moselle, has just made a nice business card for his boss Dominique by winning second prize in the Most Creative Competition, which was organized in Metz.
Against seven other contenders, this regular at regional competitions imagined the recipe and spent a week developing and testing the pie submitted to jurors’ taste. The dessert is somewhat greedy as it is designed on two levels. On the basis of “inverted” puff pastry and caramel, Hervé makes successive layers of Mirabell plum jelly, light vanilla cream, fresh Mirabell plum, and chocolate chips “to add crunch and take away the fruity smoothness.” It’s all topped with a puff pastry disk where delicately reshaped Mirabell plums are placed. “To do this, I mix cooked mirabelle plum pulp with bits of fresh fruit and light cream and then roll this appliance into small, round moulds,” the craftsman explains.
He earned a diploma but also and above all a desire to delight the customers of the store on Saint-Avold. “Today, I make up to ten pancakes a day!”
A few hundred meters away, General Neuenger Street, Jonathan Montino, 22, a pastry chef at Gustinati Bakery, is proud to have won third place on the podium for the same competition. At first, he started with a sweet and savory pancake but eventually gave up on the idea. Well, take it. Breton Shortbread’s alliance with a compote of Lorraine mirabelle plums saturated with asparagus won the jury. Whipped ganache, mixed with vervain mirabelle plum, also made the difference.
His boss, Vincent Giustinati, is aware of his employee’s success “even if we’d rather win first!”. But the professionals’ goal was to be able to reproduce this award-winning pie on a large scale to get the most out of it for customers. Jonathan became a model for Noémie, the apprentice at the Giustinati house. I also participated in the competition. But the caramel-sweetened Mirabelle compote tart didn’t let him rank. Nothing discourages her! Because as Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote: “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”