On the immaculate white bag lined inside with black plastic tubes (so the pastries don't hurt themselves!) is drawn a little rocket. Because the opening of this boutique in Saint-Germain-des-Près, signals lift off to planet Christophe Michalak. If you don't know the name, in France he's rather a big deal. Winning World Champion Pâtissier in 2005, he's been a judge on the French version of Bake Off, authored a bunch of cookery books, and opened his own patisserie school in 2013.
The entrance has a wall of fame of all the famous creations made by the superstar chef. The names of the cakes - koonie, kosmik, miss k…- each baring the last letter of the chef's name doesn't let us forget where we are. And we certainly haven't forgotten why we came - the cakes!
We tried the chef's signature religieuse, magnificently swirled in cream, glazed with grilled almonds and filled with pâté of chocolate and hazelnuts, she was a mysterious and seductive as a femme fatale. While looks aren't everything, our first impressions were confirmed at first bite. No other word sums it up better than 'delicious'. The chocolate was powerful but not heavy, the touches of homemade praline were gave it a lift and the crunch of the chou pastry stopped it being too soft and creamy.
Behind this tasty masterpiece are top quality produce and a skilled practice from the chef's team. Although at €8.50 the cake, this is a space mission that won't be open to everyone.