La Fleur De Lyon
My cooking experience started in the village of Collonge au Mont D’or in France, where I apprenticed with master chef Paul Bocuse. I was taught the rigorous discipline of my trade which has served me well throughout my long career. From those early days, I learned to select and use the best and freshest ingredients.
In 1976, I came to the United States and after working as a chef in various hotels and restaurants, I worked for over a decade with a distinguished San Francisco family. I prepared meals for the family and also cooked for their guests, among them international figures including kings and queens in Venice and Paris. At home or abroad, I traveled with my own recipes, adapting them to local fresh ingredients.
The Bay Area’s availability of local, fresh spinach, sweet potatoes, onions, mushrooms and poultry inspired me, in 2002, to found my artisanal baking business, La Fleur de Lyon. My goal then and now is to provide my discerning clientele with my unique line of savory specialités en croûte.
Over time, I developed many vegetable-stuffed brioches and several meat-filled chicken and beef pies which I currently sell in local delis and at Farmer’s Markets. I use all fresh vegetables and locally sourced meat. Vegetables used in my products are individually cooked in small batches and seasoned only with fresh herbs.
My vegetable fillings are cooked and served wrapped in my famous cream cheese dough which has been described as ‘flaky as a pastry puff’ and as ‘buttery as brioche'.
You’ve never had anything like my meat-filled pies. After poaching our chickens and beef in our own stock, we remove the bones and skins and hand-shred the tender meat. It is then folded in our Béchamel sauce with sherry or port wine, shallots, and our freshly cooked vegetables.
At La Fleur de Lyon, my staff and I use neither frozen, vacuum-packed nor powdered products of any kind. If ingredients are not fresh, we simply do not have them in our kitchen. Under my supervision at La Fleur de Lyon, preparation and cooking methods do not vary so the taste of my product is consistent. That explains why, week after week, my customers come to my stand and demand my vegetable brioches and chicken and beef pies. Around dinnertime, they also appreciate the ease of reheating my pre-cooked specialities and announcing to family and guests: “Dinner is Ready!”