Meet the new pastry chef at Le Boulevardier restaurant.
Chocolate garden, cheese pie, fig and coconut pudding, tiramiso: these are the names of Birgit Devroye's sweet creations for her first dessert menu as pastry chef at Le Boulevardier restaurant. Meet this chef who will make you develop a sweet tooth, if you don’t already have one!
How did you meet David Pellizzari, the chef at Le Boulevardier restaurant?
I worked with David at Lili.co for almost three years. I was his pastry chef. I know his style very well, we work well together. I like to take classic techniques and rework them with modern tastes and textures, just like him.
We had lost sight of each other in the past few years, but when he had a project for Le Boulevardier, he always placed orders with me. I made desserts groups of 20 or 40. I made them from home. I had a lot of fun, so I left my old job to come and join him when he asked me if I’d like to work with him at Le Boulevardier restaurant.
You are of Belgian origin. Does it influence your way of working?
For certain things, yes. At the Le Boulevardier restaurant, the menu is very European, so it makes sense. For example, I made a pie, which is currently on the menu, and that comes straight from my childhood. It’s a Belgian version of a cheesecake.
For this first dessert menu, did you go with classic recipes or new ones?
As chefs, we have a repertoire of recipes that we always review and reuse. For my first dessert menu, I went back to some things that I already mastered, but there are also many new techniques. The tiramiso is made from a chiffon buckwheat cake. I had never done this before and this is why it is so fun!
The fig pudding: I had never done that in my life either. I know in particular that David loves a good Queen Elizabeth cake and that he loves figs. So I prepared it for him!
Is there a recipe or ingredient that you particularly like to cook with?
I am not known enough to have a signature dish! But I do like working with mousses and creams, this is something that I am very proud of and that I have done quite often. I’ve already made a roasted corn leaf mousse. It was magical! I would like to rework with the corn leaf. I’ve made oatmeal mousse once. I had roasted the oats myself, infused the milk, the cream, made a pastry cream and a diplomat cream. It was like reworking the best bowl of oatmeal into a dessert. Also, I really like working with yogurt.
I always have a surplus of ideas for a future dessert menu! I have worked mushrooms into desserts and I would like to do it again. In ice cream, maybe?
How can you convince your guests to order a dessert after a large meal?
Dessert should not be a sin! We should allow ourselves dessert for its flavours! I have often had the reaction that my desserts are not too sweet and light enough. We have a chocolate dessert, a fruit dessert and one where I have carte blanche to create what I wanted. On my dessert card, I put a fourth one, because we absolutely wanted to have a gluten-free and vegan dessert. It's a challenge I love to give myself.