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JobFinder Success Stories on StarChefs.com
True tales from the chefs, hoteliers and restaurateurs who have found success through StarChefs JobFinder! The JobFinder features myriad new jobs each week, ranging from line cook to manager to executive chef in 50 states, the Caribbean and the U.K. Learn how our "Success Stories" got their jobs, what they do, and where they hope to go next.

A Thoroughly Modern Pastry Chef

 
  A Thoroughly Modern Pastry Chef
 

By Heather Sperling

Pastry Chef Marc Aumont, The Modern Restaurant, on StarChefs.com Marc Aumont has literally spent his entire life around pastry. Before being wooed across the Atlantic by David Bouley, he ran his father’s pastry and chocolate shop in southeastern France, attended Ecole Nationale Superieure de la Patisserie, and studied for his “Master Chef.” After exceptional performances at New York’s Bouley Bakery and Compass, a timely posting on StarChef’s JobFinder led to his current position at The Modern in New York.

Heather Sperling: How did you get your position at The Modern?

Marc Aumont: A colleague connected me with the StarChefs JobFinder. We were working together at Compass and when she saw the position at The Modern listed on JobFinder, she told me right away. I put in my resume through the website and had a few contacts make some reference calls for me.

HS: You make desserts for four high-traffic venues each day. How do you do it?

MA: Sometimes it is a headache…thankfully we have 21 people in pastry, including two sous chefs. Each restaurant has a different menu, and we make 1,000-1,200 desserts a day, but not all of them are plated. The Modern and the adjacent Bar Room are all plated desserts. Café 2 is rustic Italian and all bakery-style, no plating. The fancier Terrace 5 is part bakery-style, part plated. So some of the desserts can be made in the morning in our basement kitchen, and sent to the restaurants around the museum before 10am.

Dessert by Pastry Chef Marc Aumont, The Modern Restaurant, on StarChefs.com HS: How would you describe your desserts?

MA: There are different levels of formality for the different venues. Terrace 5 is decadent and Bar Room is semi-classical but comforting. Modern features well-balanced seasonal ingredients with a touch of modernism. Right now at The Modern we are working with tomatoes and strawberries, making strawberries with crème of olive oil, and marmalades of tomato and lemon confit. I am very close to Spanish gastronomy; I consider myself a blend of Spanish, French and American. We try to please people, but not in a crazy way. I don’t want to scare people.

HS: How do you go about developing new desserts?

MA: I read a lot. I mentioned Spanish gastronomy, like Oriol Balaguer. Mostly I am inspired by the ideas of the Chef, Gabriel Kreuther. When he changes his menu it is an inspiration for us to look for something new. I try to follow Gabriel’s menu to a good ending—that is my goal. I also send my sous chefs to school. They come back with new things that we adapt to our style. It is very collaborative; people work with me, they don’t work for me. We try to keep it that way.

HS: What is your advice for young pastry chefs?

MA: Be patient! When people get out of school they want to be a chef at the top restaurants, but before they can do that they need to build their knowledge. Think of the story of the three little pigs. Do you want to be a chef with a house of paper, a house of wood or a house of brick? Myself, I always try to have a house of brick. It takes more sweat, more time, and it’s more difficult, but in the long run you are going to be much more successful.

Like my father said, experience is a name I give to my mistakes. Today I am still learning. I am practically 37 and I am still learning and making mistakes, and I learn and teach by these mistakes.

HS: What’s next for you?

MA: I would love to work with other professionals to develop a diploma for high level food and pastry arts. I also hope to open my own restaurant someday with some partners from the food industry, modeled after Tru in Chicago, with one in the front of the house, one in pastry, one in cuisine. Or perhaps a salon du thé… It will always be pastry, though. My world is pastry and I am still exploring it. Every day there is something new.


 
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