Michel WILLAUMEPastry Chef, Pastry World Champion 2001, Think Pastry
Michel Willaume, 52 years old and a native of Nantes, is an explorer of both the world and the spirit.
Today, he has settled in Barcelona, where he manages his consulting firm, Think Pastry, offering his philosophy and knowledge to culinary schools, major restaurants and luxury boutiques.
Michel began his career as an apprentice, when he was 15, at Drala, a Nantes pastry shop and then went on to work for Dalloyau, l’hôtel Matignon and Karly in Paris before returning to his hometown to work with Jamin.
He then became executive pastry chef at the Ritz Carlton in Barcelona, before living for eight years in the US.
In 2001, he became Pastry World Champion in Lyon, under the colors of the star spangled banner.
Following a trip to Japan, he settled in Barcelona. He works on chocolate decoration for the Dobla Creation and Innovation Center and has been a Valrhona Ambassador for 25 years.
He has worked with and trained chefs all over the world.
Michel loves to learn and share information to achieve the highest levels of quality, in terms of taste and visual creativity.
He asserts that “visual creativity in pastry making comes from gastronomy and that, in return, pastry making is inspired by gastronomy’s constant search for new taste combinations”.
His way of working: to associate different tastes in his mind, such as an herb and a fruit, before carrying out tests. “Imagining things in a way that thinking expresses senses and that reality becomes an expression of sensitivity.
My father and grandfather used to feel a tomato to predict its taste.”
However, the Think Pastry concept isn’t abstract or purely aesthetic. Michel is also researching techniques which transform accessible ingredients into efficient production processes.