Have you ever done a job for one week and knew it was what you wanted to do for the rest of your life? Enter Chef Clement le Deore, award-winning, California-based, macaron-master and pastry chef extraordinaire. He’s that guy.
“I was in school, and an internship was offered to me at a local bakery in Brittany, France, where I grew up. If you can believe it, after just one week, I decided this is what I want to do with my life.”
Clement’s boss at the internship asked if he would like to try a two-year apprenticeship as a baker. And so he did, then he did an extra year of apprenticeship to add on pastry.
“I’ll admit it was hard because I had to give up my time, and my weekends for years, no more holidays with my family. But I kept going because I loved what I was doing. I loved how people would look at my work, and eat it and then say, ‘you made this?’”
After completing this, it was then that Clement had officially started his career in France. After his apprenticeship, he moved to Corsica to continue advancing his career.
“I wanted to expand my horizons and experience the Corsican culture, which is proud and full of vitality. I learned new desserts, such as Fiandone, a lemon cake made out of their local cheese called ‘the brocciu.’ It was fascinating to learn and be welcomed by this island culture.”
After four years, Clement continued his journey to Australia to work as a pastry chef in a French bakery in Sydney for two years.
“Obviously during this time, I learned English, and, of course, I was also exposed to new more cultures and aspects of pastry that were beyond what I learned in France. One being the Australian specialty: Pavlova, which is a dessert made out of meringue, also ShortBread Millionaire which reminds me of a Twix bar of America! And much more…”
More recently, Clement moved to San Diego, California where he is the Executive Pastry Chef of Le Parfait Paris, an award-winning pastry shop in Southern California, for more than three years. He has been featured in Food Mania USA’s Instagram and its YouTube channel where he is a member of its “World’s Top 100 Pastry Chef” programming. He was approached to teach his viewers how to make bi-color croissants.
As Executive Pastry Chef of Le Parfait Paris, Chef Clement has been recognized by some of the top culinary leaders for his unique, spectacular and delicious original dessert recipes. For instance, he was awarded “Best Dessert in San Diego in 2019” via San Diego Magazine.
Some of these specialty desserts include: a signature chocolate mousse with a crunchy praline base, as well as his macarons, composed of 16 different flavors, such as toasted marshmallow, Makers Mark pecan & bourbon, Earl Grey, salted caramel, lavender & honey, oreo, and rose, among others.
More interestingly, Chef Clement is one of the few pastry chefs who are developing new green initiatives of food waste reduction.
During Chef Clement’s journey as Executive Pastry Chef, working in many bakeries and restaurants, he observed a large amount of waste with all the broken, too big, or too small macaron shells that were thrown away daily. In response to this food waste, Chef Clement developed an original, novel technique that has been revolutionizing the world of pastry making.
To foster a green, eco-friendly environment, Chef Clement developed a pastry making technique composed of recycling all those broken, unusable macaron shells to reduce the waste from all pastry shops, restaurants and bakeries. At Le Parfait Paris, Chef Clement and his team make about 4,000 to 8,000 macaron shells per day.
“First, I dried the macarons shell in the oven, then I blended them into a fine powder, then I included 10% of this powder to make a new batch. This saves about $8K annually for my current boss.”
Here, Chef Clement provides us with his original tricks and tips that will globally continue to help many pastry chefs to lower their food waste:
- Dry the shells in the oven for 15 min at 300 F
- Blend the shells in a food processor until they become a fine powder
- Sift the shells to get the thinnest powder possible
- Add about 10% of this powder to the next batch of macarons
Here’s the recipes for 2,000 shells based on a Italian meringue:
- 800g water
- 3600g sugar
- 1200g egg white
- 3400g almond powder
- 3400 g powder sugar
- 1200g macarons powder
- 1800g egg white
- Food coloring
Clement’s employer now also ships these macarons all over the USA, creating roughly $200K in annual revenue. They became popular in San Diego due to the flavor–and because customers asked for them to be shipped, and no pun intended, they delivered.
“Those macarons have attracted the attention of Maker’s Mark bourbon in the Summer 2019 because of their popularity, and they wanted to know if I could create and innovate one with their own brand of bourbon. I made a bourbon and pecan macaron which has been showcased in two culinary events in San Diego. It was delicious, if I do say so myself!”
Clement participated in two culinary events in San Diego, on August 24th and 25th for the San Diego Spirit Festival . Then on November 16th and 17th, 2019 he participated in the Bay Wine & Food Festival ,which is one of the top nationally recognized celebrity chefs festivals.
“And I have no plans of slowing down. Despite the pandemic, I have created an ultimate kitchen in my home where I am experimenting and practicing for what I will someday create in my own patisserie,” Clement notes. “My dreams to open my own spot are fast-approaching. I still know in my heart that this is the path for me, and I am going to keep raising the bar!”
To follow Clemen’s culinary pastry adventures, follow him on Instagram @clemchef!
Photo Credit: Clement Le Deore
“Lauren Ventura is an award-winning journalist hailing from San Diego, Calif. She’s written for the likes of Triathlete Magazine, San Diego Community News, Competitor Magazine, and tons of tech blogs. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her enjoying time with her family in America’s Finest City”