Pastry Chef of the Year 2012

With its sleek teardrop lights and rich panelling, its retro marble counters and gilt-frame mirrors, Thierry—the tiny, bustling café from former West and CinCin maître pâtissier Thierry Busset—is an apt manifestation of the man himself. Busset hails from the sturdy agricultural area of Auvergne, home to some serious food brands: Michelin, Le Puy lentils, bleu d’Auvergne cheese. Trends come slowly to this volcanic region; classics are venerated. So too with the pastry of Busset, who worked at Michelin-starred Le Gavroche and Marco Pierre White after apprenticing for hometown pâtissier Bernard Sicard. Sicard paid for the teen’s cooking school and instilled in him a love of retail and tradition. Twenty-five years later, happily entrenched in the New World (where he’s made his peace with our thinner butter and more gluteny flour), Thierry crams his shop with these classics: palmiers, Viennoiserie, chocolates, and, especially, macarons. He makes 1,500 a day, 2,000 on weekends-on Valentine’s Day, his staff (nearly 30 in total) sold 3,000. If this growth continues (the shop opened in August), he’ll be seeking bigger production and more retail space. For today, though, he’s content. Glancing over at Alison, his wife of three weeks (they met at CinCin) working in the crowded kitchen, he gives a Gallic shrug. “It doesn’t matter how much money I make. I just want to be happy in what I do.”



1059 Alberni St.