THE DISH: JÉRÔME DE OLIVEIRA
TOP CHEFS AND THEIR FAVORITE CREATIONS
"I love to please people with my work and I think that with this dish I can drive them crazy."
Born in to a family of food lovers in Lyons, Jérôme de Oliveira always dreamed of doing great things with sweets. In 2009, all those dreams came true when at just 23 he was crowned the youngest World Pastry Champion. His career has now taken him to the ritzy shores of Cannes, where recently he opened Intuitions by J, at the Five Hotel & Spa. Here, classic desserts and more daring creations are designed to be just as beautiful as they are delicious – from the dishes presented on leather, stainless steel and glass, to the confectionary carousel, with large glass jars full of marshmallows, toffees, nougats, sugared almonds and pralines.
What do you think makes your creations stand out from the rest?
I try to rethink pastries while always respecting the taste and the beauty of the products. People are often attracted to the sight of a product, but it's the taste that really makes the difference and makes people come back. My work respects the products, using specially selected natural and seasonal ingredients. My main goal is to satisfy my clients with authentic and very recognizable flavors, while presenting dishes in a modern way that fits with my personality.
What inspires your creations?
A collection of ideas, shapes, colors, desires and inspirations…intuitions!
I always carry a notebook with me. I write down or draw each idea that comes to mind that I might want to translate in to my creations – it may come from art, everyday life or travel.
What is your signature dish?
My signature dish is called Onde de Choc, which can be translated as Chocolate Wave. I like to work with chocolate because it is very subtle and it pleases most people. I love to please people with my work and I think that with this dish I can drive them crazy. It is made of a light milk chocolate mousse, creamy hazelnut praline, hazelnut crispy biscuit, and a hot chocolate sauce poured on top in front of the diners eyes. While savoring the dessert, a reference to childhood will surprise you: the crispy biscuit fizzes in your mouth!