Grégory Doyen: Happier and more respectful!
A new concept: Unnovation
Grégory Doyen is a graduate of ENSP and worked with the Mandarin Oriental, Hédiard and Potel & Chabot before becoming an international consultant of GD Sweet Concept and Les vergers Boiron. An open letter of his thoughts on Covid-19.
Dear friends, colleagues and customers,
Like all of you, I have been taken aback and disturbed by Covid-19 and its impact on our lives and by the human suffering this pandemic has caused. I have taken this problem to heart, thinking especially of the most fragile and vulnerable people this pandemic has affected.
At the start of the crisis, I didn’t change my projects, driven by my desire to continue to meet people and to transmit may passion worldwide: China, South Korea, the US, Greece, France, etc. I had scheduled several more trips: Moldavia, Indonesia, Spain, Tunisia, etc. But on March 11th, my customers and I agreed to postpone our classes, to not spread the virus. I had to decide very quickly where to live and joined by family in the heart of the Burgundy countryside.
My thoughts are with you all, especially my pastry-maker colleagues around the world who have had to radically reduce their activity. Nowadays, we are all thinking about different ways of producing, selling, promoting our products and ourselves, which is a challenging and uncharted change.
Obviously, we have been trained to always be creative and innovative. This is precisely what we need to do: rethink our craft, our products, our production tools, our designs and our relationships to our customers. Therefore, this a great opportunity to redefine our way of living and working in the future: to slow down, to produce better, more intelligently, more sustainably, more responsibly… to invent a new world.
The skies of Paris and the waters of Venice are now cleaner and we should draw the conclusions of what this means. Let’s begin by adopting an alternative pace, thinking with a view to the long term and travel less to pollute less. We should change our pastries, so that we don’t import fresh strawberries in winter and oranges in summer. Let’s trust our imagination, but let’s also manage our waste more responsibly. Let’s stop using taste enhancers, coloring and preservatives. Let’s offer our customers better prices, so that everyone can enjoy our treats and no longer need to consume unhealthy industrial pastry products. Let’s become simpler: a good chocolate éclair or a simple apple tart can make us just as happy as an overly elaborate and superfluous pastry.
Let’s give priority to local products and short supply chains, while adding some unique creations, which will be a exceptional treat for celebrations, parties, special events, by using nobler and rarer ingredients, but with no waste.
Let’s listen to our real needs, let’s redefine ourselves to overcome this crisis, without denying the past, by changing our mindset, where money is no longer the center of our ambitions.
As regards our master classes, they must evolve, take on new formats, especially through digital technologies. It’s time to think about things together and come up with a new concept for a new type of teaching: my new catchphrase is Unnovation, to invent the future of quality pastry and to rethink our craft and business in all its dimensions.
Let’s talk to each other, let’s have debates without any taboos, to achieve this necessary Unnovation of our profession post-Covid-19. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org to share everything, to consider everything! But above all, let’s rediscover simplicity, natural pleasures, our roots! I am delighted and proud that my first pastry recipe book will be published at the end of the summer. I am looking forward to have you discover it and to begin our future conversation!
Be very cautious and attentive to the needs of others, give yourself some pleasure, sing and dance in your kitchen, rediscover the charms of authentic products, of home-made pastry with your family, and take the time to develop your new creative collections. Give us the stuff that dreams are made of, bring us into your worlds, my pastry-making friends! We’ll come out of this period as better people and we owe this to the victims of the virus. We will gather together again soon, transformed and, let’s hope, happier and more respectful of our future!