From Donald Trump to a prestigious label, the American adventure of French pastry chef Cédric Barberet

From Donald Trump to a prestigious label, the American adventure of French pastry chef Cédric Barberet
From Donald Trump to a prestigious label, the American adventure of French pastry chef Cédric Barberet

It’s a little corner of France in the middle of Pennsylvania: Cédric Barberet and his partner Estelle have created Barberet there since 2015, a bistro-pastry shop that is always full. The recent visit of the Minister of Tourism and Trade Olivia Grégoire to New York brought a new touch to their American adventure: the presentation of a prestigious label, the World French restaurant, created by the French Association of Master Restaurateurs. An award – the first for a Frenchman in the United States – which symbolizes what this renowned French pastry chef always wanted to promote, from his beginnings as an apprentice with his parents in Villefranche-sur-Saône to his numerous American experiences: the highlighting quality products, mainly from short circuits, and respect for homemade products.

French pastry in the heart of Amish territory

“It’s a label that will push us to keep the same philosophy, he confides. We rely on the foundations of French tradition. Everything is made on site using quality products, either imported from France or sourced from farmers in the region. We are in the heart of Amish territory, one of the most important agricultural lands in the United States, where there is a lot of organic farming. For example, we find butter with 85% fat, which is yellow, like in France! It’s a pleasure to work on products of such quality. »

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The restaurant is delegated to a chef, under the supervision (menu, products, etc.) of Cédric Barberet, who with his partner, focuses particularly on his specialty: pastries. It offers French classics revisited with its very personal touch: visual creativity and taste. “We try to bring a little modern twist,” he smiled. Opera, éclairs, tropézienne, strawberry tart, millefeuille… and even a pastry ” trompe l’oeil, he savors, in the form of mango, made from coconut, mango and guava ».

Pastry chef at Mar-a-Lago for six years

Arriving in Lancaster almost by chance, following an opportunity that allowed him to invest in this charming place in the heart of the historic center, Cédric Barberet has traveled extensively in North America since he decided to cross the Atlantic, on the morning of his 20th birthday. First in Cape Cod, for a seasonal experience, then in Palm Beach for 8 years in a French restaurant. In 2002, he was recruited to design the pastries at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s very exclusive golf club. He will stay there for 6 years.

” I keep a very good memory. I worked directly with him and Melania. When they decided to get married in 2005, Melania decided that I would take care of the cakes, made entirely in the form of flowers, he remembers. It was this experience that allowed me to launch my career”. He notably collaborated with Jean-Georges during the wedding, appearing in Vogue and several other magazines.

At the time, Donald Trump was not yet a politician, but he already had the personality we know him to be. “We know how he is, he won’t change, he can be very direct and can fire someone in a second, like in the TV show: you’re fired! recognizes Cédric Barberet. But he has a lot of charisma. » Donald Trump, who loves nothing less than “large slice of chocolate cake, with lots of volume”watched helplessly as his pastry chef left in 2008. “He didn’t want me to leave but I didn’t see any prospects for advancement and I wanted something else, confides the French chef. I left on good terms, he even wrote me a letter of recommendation. »

Cédric Barberet will make a detour to Las Vegas, for the opening of a major hotel. Before heading to Pennsylvania. In Lancaster, it is very close to Philadelphia (1 hour drive), not very far from Washington (2 hours) and New York (3 hours). A medium-sized city where he was able to recreate a little corner of France.

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