Chef Garry Larduinat was born in Limoges, France and began his culinary journey at a young age. Born to parents who were both chefs, Garry set off for an apprenticeship at the young age of 14 at a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in France, La Chapelle Saint Martin, followed by formal culinary schooling in Limoges. He came to the US in 2010 as Executive Pastry Chef at Francois Payard in New York, then joined Wolfgang Puck Catering in 2017 as Regional Executive Pastry Chef.
What was the most important lesson you leaned as an apprentice?
You better be dedicated. Don’t look at the clock.
Who was instrumental in your career development?
Bernard Besse of the International Association of Pastry Chefs and Relais Desserts. He taught me how to elevate pastry.
What inspires you?
Love, art, color, taste. Social media is a great way to be inspired. You have to push yourself to be new, different, interesting. I think of something in my mind first – for example, a “purple cake. I have random thoughts.
In there one or two techniques in pastry that are most important?
Piping, definitely. And being curious an open will definitely take you places.
What advice would you give young chefs?
Don’t do it! (Laughs.) No, really. Just think about it twice. It’s a tough industry. I would have never guessed I’d be here today. If you’re passionate and dedicated, it can be beautiful. Be humble.
For 25 years, Wolfgang Puck has catered Hollywood’s biggest night. What do you do to keep everything on track?
The key to success is anticipating. Pick a theme. Embrace the team, and ask for their ideas.
How do you manage food waste and/or maintain sustainable practices?
Support the right farmers and local producers. In regards to food waste, it’s planning. If you’re using a passionfruit ganache for bonbons, use the leftover for another purpose. We also make a donation every week to Chefs Against Hunger.
There’s been a lot of conversation recently about chefs’ well-being. What do you do to promote self-care for yourself and your teams?
Working in catering, it’s unique. We all care for each other. Make sure you’re ok, take time with family. Eliminate pressure from stupid shit. I do yoga too.
What are your top 3 spots for dessert in the US?
In Los Angeles, Tartine. What they’ve created is beautiful. Also Republique on La Brea. In New York, you have to respect what Dominique Ansel has created – the foundation was beautiful and quite unique.
Beyond pastry, what’s your favorite meal?
I really love Mexican food: Baja fish tacos, especially at Mercado.
What do you cook at home?
Bourguignonne, because my wife loves it. Otherwise, maybe just pasta at home.
What’s your favorite kind of music? What gets you moving?
Khalid. Rap, definitely. While we were together, we were privy to a great playlist!
How do you think the US is faring on the world pastry scene?
I think it’s getting there. It’s not a secret – pastry in the US might not be made by a French person, but most likely that person was trained by a French person, and the foundation of the pastry is clearly French.
What trends do you see in the culinary world?
Cannibis, sure. Things like spherification are “fun.” Mainly there are two crowds: those with luster in their eyes for things like rainbow pizza, and those who value flavor like a good margherita pizza that has only three ingredients.
Should we expect a book from you soon?
It’s something I was thinking about back at Payard. It will hopefully come one day.
What magazines do you read?
Pastry Arts. Eater has good insights, and LA Food magazine featured me once.
How often are you on social media?
Every day, but less now than one or two years ago. I don’t have a lot of luxury time, and I’d rather spend it with my family.
See more of Chef Garry on Instagram @garrylarduinat.