MILAN – Since 2023, Antonio Bachour has been chosen as global brand ambassador of Julius Meinl. His creativity is reflected in his desserts and has led him to win several awards, including being recognised among the best pastry chefs in the United States and the Best Pastry Chef in the World awarded by the Best Chefs Foundation.
From his perspective, as a professional who knows his way around an international reality with an eye on Italy, he can tell the story of how the two worlds of pastry and cafeteria have to work together.
Bachour, you have field experience in the States but also abroad particularly in Europe where you are so followed, could you tell us what are the differences and similarities between US & Italian pastry industry?
“I travel more than 15 times a year to Europe and especially to Italy. The difference, especially in Italy, is that I think the pastry in restaurant desserts is currently the best in the world. Also, petit gateaux type desserts are very fashionable. Italy is much more advanced than the United States in pastry.
What coffee types, what are the most popular ways of preparing coffee in your bakery?
“The most popular coffees in my business are espresso, cappuccino, cortado or macchiato. Cold coffees are also very much in trends. We also have a cocktail with coffee that is a success in my Tablé restaurant called “Cafecito“.
Here below the recipe for it:
½ oz. Galliano Ristreto
½ oz. Giffard Vanilla Madagascar
2 shoots of espresso Julius Meinl
Garnish: roasted coffee beans.
In a shaker tin or any cocktail glass add all the ingredients. Shake for 10 seconds to create a perfect dilution and a foaming layer on top that we are looking for. Serve in a chill martini or coupe glass and garnish with 3 roasted coffee beans.
How did you develop the concept of a restaurant & bakery?
“The concept of restaurant and bakery in the USA is a success, when I started, I was one of the pioneers. It’s a great concept because we always have customers for the restaurants and sales of bakery products increase because they carry a lot of products to take away.
It is also a very great complement for sales because people can come at any time to have breakfast, lunch, afternoon thé. I recommend it to many European colleagues, and it is already starting in Europe and the concept of brunch and pastry is becoming trendy in Europe.”
Are you more of an espresso or filter coffee type?
“I’m more into espresso, I love to start the day with an espresso and then a couple of macchiatos during the day.”
Bachour, have you ever thought about or made combinations between pastries and coffee, or even employed coffee directly as an ingredient in your recipes?
“Yes of course!!!! We have always used coffee in desserts! We also use coffee in some savory cooking recipes in our restaurants. We have macarons with coffee ganache, we have a chocolate and coffee dessert right now in our showcase.”
What are the new trends for pastries to ride for the next few years for you as a creative and pioneer?
Bachour concludes: “The trend in pastry now is the Viennoiserie, desserts with less sugar and fat. Customers are increasingly aware of the origin of the ingredients, the consumption of less animal fat and healthier desserts. I have been working for more than 3 years developing plant-based desserts that I think will be in trend by 2030.”