Executive Pastry Chef Gilles Delaloy is no stranger to Indonesia having dazzled the sweet tooth of diners at fine restaurants and hotels in Bali over the years, after travelling the world and honing his talents with a range of prestigious appointments. Now he is bringing his talent and passion to, and making his home at, the iconic Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta.
E: Have you always wanted to be a pastry chef?
G: Not really, actually I wanted to be an actor! I was obsessed with how to become a great actor and to interpret all the different kinds of characters that are played by an actor, but I was raised in a not so wealthy family, so making money was important. My parents decided that I had to study pastry and do whatever I could with that. The rest is history.
E: You’ve worked in several Michelin-starred restaurants. What is the most important thing you learned in this environment?
G: Cleanliness, in that everything must always be clean, and taste. Those two come first. Then use only raw or natural ingredients, nothing artificial, and ensure that all creations are full of flavour. Never compromise on this.
E: As you moved to different countries, like the States, Mexico, Malaysia and Russia, how important has it been to adapt to cultural preferences in sweets?
G: I’m good at adapting to local flavours. Travelling around and exploring the new country like a local or a native and always trying new things, absorbing them. You don’t know anything until you really experience it or taste it yourself.
E: Where do you find inspiration for new menus and creations?
G: I adapt first. Each outlet or restaurant at the hotel is different, so I have to align my new menus and creations with the concept of each restaurant. Kempi Deli is different from OKU, for example. By adapting to the concept of each outlet, then I can create what is best for each one and the hotel overall.
E: What is your favourite dish to make professionally and what do you like to make for your own family celebrations?
G: Professionally, an apple baked with just enough butter and sugar. I will start this soon at Kempi Deli as well. For my family, it’s just me and my lovely daughter actually. I seldom cook, but a thick rib eye steak, fresh grilled fish and seafood are our favourite.
E: You’ve worked in Indonesia for quite a few years, what is your favourite ingredient to use here?
G: Indonesia is my second home, like Thailand too. I really like pandan leaves, ginger, chillies and all the spices that bring food to life.
E: What are your plans for Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta?
G: There are so many new pastry and cake selections that I have made and I plan to make more in the near future.
The highlight of all my creations is to bring more colours and tastes of life to the deli and all the dessert selections in each outlet.
- 500g high protein flour
- 500g medium protein flour
- 50g fresh yeast
- 25g salt
- 550ml cold water
- 700g high quality butter for folding
- 500g caster sugar for folding
- 400g fresh mango or cherry purée
- 100ml water
- 150g sugar
- 6ml lemon juice
- 45g pectin
- Mix the flours, yeast, salt and water for 6 minutes in a mixer at medium speed, followed by 1 minute at top speed.
- Pre-shape the dough into balls and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Place in the chiller for about 6 hours.
- Roll the dough balls into rectangles and put butter on top. fold the bottom third of the dough up over the middle, then the top third of the dough over that, making layers of dough and butter. Wrap in cling film and rest in the chiller for 1 hour. Repeat three times.
- For the final fold, sprinkle sugar on the dough before folding. Leave to rest for 30 minutes in the freezer, then 30 minutes in the chiller.
- Roll out the dough to 0.25cm thick, cut into circles. Leave to proof and rise for 3.5 hours.
- Mix pectin and sugar.
- Boil the fruit purée with water and add sugar and pectin mix and boil for another 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add lemon juice.
- Freeze in rings that are slightly smaller than the dough circles.
- After the dough circles have finished rising, wash with an egg glaze. Top with a fruit circle.
- Bake at 180C in a rotary oven for 16 minutes.
Exquisite Taste June – August 2019