While daydreaming about your dream job you probably imagine being a chocolate taster, mattress tester or tropical island caretaker. For the culinary inclined there is another dream role to add to the list. Marion Flipo is Deputy International Chef at Ladurée, the iconic Parisian tea rooms. She conjures up dreamy delights and fanciful foods at Ladurée’s Parisian HQ, then travels to their boutiques worldwide demonstrating her creations.
Fresh from a trip to Bangkok, next on Marion’s agenda was Ladurée Dublin, where she just lead four days of intensive training at Irelands’s flagship store, equipping their chef’s with Ladurée’s signature recipes.
The Ladurée store, on the corner of South William Street, already stocks a sumptuous supply of Ladurée’s signature macarons, chocolates and champagnes, and from Saturday January 30th, it will offer the full Parisian tea rooms experience with breakfast, brunch and afternoon tea.
The new menu, itself beautifully bound in Ladurée’s signature sea-green, will include french toasts, croque monsieurs, cheese plates and pastries. While nibbling on these dainty delights, diners can sip on a choice of Ladurée teas, Nespresso coffees, three flavours of hot chocolate and even Ladurée cocktails. Ice-cream cones and cups will soon be added to the menu, and there are plans for a street-side vintage ice cream cart too.
Globetrotting and gastronomy are all in a day’s work for Marion. “We are a little team, but we are in charge of creating new products in Paris and making sure Ladurée’s worldwide are able to reproduce them”, she explains.
“We are now working on all the Spring dishes. We all have our ideas on the team, so we cook, we do tastings, we of course do it again and again until we are satisfied. When we agree on the dishes we are in charge of training, so we start with the chefs in France, then New York and London, then worldwide.”
Committed to creating an authentic slice of Paris in it’s forty-plus boutiques worldwide, Ladurée entrusts Marion with the job of ensuring this consistency, “This requires a lot of training, making sure the products are the same, so we have sourcing to do, that’s why I visited Dublin before and went to all the shops to find the best ingredients to make sure the quality meets the Ladurée standard”. The best of ingredients are exactly what Marion found on her last trip to Ireland, and she enthuses about the quality of Irish butter, cheese and yoghurt.
Graduating from the esteemed Institut Paul Bocuse cooking school in Lyon, Marion says her classical French training has given her an indispensable foundation, “any chef who wants to create has to know the basics, when you know the basics you can create from scratch, and create contemporary food”. Though best known for the French classics Marion says at Ladurée they continually challenge themselves, “at Ladurée we want to change, we want to make things modern while continuing to respect the ingredient and follow the seasons. We want to make people happy”.
Marion’s passion for French cuisine is evident when asked to decide between the Ladurée classics, flicking through the menu she exclaims “Oh, the Beaufort cheese finger sandwich. Because this cheese it’s a French cheese coming from the Alps. I am sure Irish people will love it. It’s one of my favourite cheeses actually”. “I really love our Financier. A financier is a very famous French cake, made with almond powder. We source the best almonds. It moist on the inside and a little crisp on the outside, but it’s not too sweet”, she adds. Of the macarons, she for opts for the classic salted butter caramel, and the more peculiar flavoured liquorice macaron.
Marion’s flair for food began at an early age,
“I’ve always been curious about food since I was very small. I have never been scared of tasting. When I was a kid I would taste things like chicory, blue cheese blood sausauge, and snails, no problem, I love them actually.”
This love for food is only matched by her love for travel; her work has brought her to every corner of the globe, she nonchalantly lists destinations such as Panama, Dubai, Qatar, Azerbaijan, Kuwait, Brussels, Dublin, London, Monaco, New York and Bangkok. When off the clock, her innate curiosity has brought her places like Bali, Sydney and India, and she plans to travel to Montreal this Spring.
Inspired by the food culture in each country Marion documents her culinary adventures and her recipes in her well-known blog; marionadecouvert.com. Her favourite cuisine? “Easy. Japanese! But not sushi, the Japanese don’t eat sushi. The foods you find on street are ramen, bento, little bits of pork or fish with rice”. In 2016 she will add a few more stamps to her passport with work trips to Korea, Los Angeles and return trips to Bangkok and Japan.
It was already hard to pass by Ladurée without being lured in by the rows of colourful macarons, deluxe truffles and pretty-as-picture packaging. Now, after Marion’s touch you have the perfect excuse to linger a little longer in this sugar-coated shop. Time for tea, then.
Erica grew up with a baker and confectioner for a father, and a mother with an instinct and love for good food. It is little wonder then that, after a brief dalliance with law, she completed a Masters degree in Food Business at UCC. With a consuming passion for all things food, nutrition and wellness, working with TheTaste is a perfect fit for Erica; allowing her to learn and experience every aspect of the food world meeting its characters and influencers along the way.