Meet the Chefs Behind the Sweet Plates at Eat! Vancouver’s New Pastry Event

Canada's top pastry chefs share what they love to eat, whose sweets they're excited to taste and their best tips to help take your baking to the next level.

Canada’s top pastry chefs share what they love to eat, whose sweets they’re excited to taste and their best tips to help take your baking to the next level.

Vancouver’s dessert scene is full of talent—though it’s undeniably spread out in distance. And while I’m always game to venture out to any of our city’s famed pastry and chocolate shops, my schedule only seems to allot time for a way-too-hot coffee and an underwhelming doughnut from Tim Hortons (sorry, Tim). But when an opportunity to taste the work of multiple dessert chefs in the one day arises? I’m listening.Eat! Vancouver returns this weekend and they’re back with the addition of a new event, Eat! Pastry. On Saturday, November 11, guests can taste delicious sweets from 13 of Vancouver’s top dessert chefs (Temper‘s Steve Hodge, Beaucoup‘s Betty Hung, CinCin‘s Lewis Birch), as well as two guest chefs from Eastern Canada: Nadege Nourian and Patrice Demers.In preparation for the culinary event, we asked a few of the participating chefs for the inside scoop on all things pastry. Below, they reveal their favourite treat to make (some of which will be up for tasting at the event), a personal baking tip and who they’re most excited to cook beside at Eat! Pastry. (Photo: Thierry.)

Thierry Busset, Thierry, Vancouver

The Treat: “One of my favourite pieces  the apple tart. Although I don’t  pastries too often, it’s something I’ve done all my life. I like it because it’s not too sugary, but it’s simple and has a great flaky texture.”The Tip: “I always say that pastry doesn’t have to be complicated—there are always simple things to make.”Pass the Pastry: “One of my current chefs has worked for Patrice before, so I’m really looking forward to meeting him in person, and seeing how he works with chocolate specifically.”

(Photo: Patrice Patissier.)

Patrice Demers, Patrice Patissier, Montreal

The Treat: “Cannelé de Bordeaux, a traditional pastry flavoured with vanilla and rum, which gets cooked in a special copper mould that gives it a caramelized crust and a really soft centre. They go really well with a nice espresso!”The Tip: “Use a digital scale; forget about measuring cups! Precision is the key to great results!”Pass the Pastry: “I can’t wait to visit the shop of Adam (from Beta 5). I’ve tasted his chocolates a few times but this will be my first time visiting his store.”

(Photo: Beta5.)

Adam Chandler, Beta5, Vancouver

The Treat: Chandler brings his favourite treat—the vanilla creme puff—to Eat! Pastry. “For me, it’s all about textural contrast,” he says. “You have this nice crisp pastry with a rich vanilla bean infused custard, then whipped cream and a coarse sugar for crunch.”The Tip: “Use a scale. Abandon the measuring cups and weigh the ingredients for consistency. A compressed cup of flour is a lot different from an airier cup of flour. It also helps cut down on the mess!”Passing the Pastry: “I’ve known Patrice for probably a good ten years. When I was first starting out, he did a demo in Vancouver that I sat in on. We’ll be doing a demo together and I can’t wait to catch up and see what he’s working on.”

Thomas Haas, Thomas Haas Chocolates, Vancouver

The Treat: “Our Back to Basics line is the project I’m most excited about. Pur Noir is the first recipe we revealed, which also became my personal favourite. It’s a dark chocolate cake with three textures, but only five ingredients.”The Tip: “When it comes to baking at home, it can be quite overwhelming with detailed recipes. See if you can do half the prep one day and the other half the next day. There is no dessert I can think of which I could complete without preparing in advance.”Pass the Pastry: “Of course I’m excited to try the desserts of our two visiting chefs. It will save me the travelling.”

(Photo: Cadeaux Bakery.)

Eleanor Chow, Cadeaux Bakery, Vancouver

The Treat: “That’s a tough question. We’ve been making a lot of cakes at the bakery right now and the London Fog might be my favourite. I’m given a lot of freedom with the design and it always turns out really well.”The Tip: “Be patient. I know when I first started baking I would check the oven every five minutes, but you really need patience—you’re not going to get the outcome you want right away.”Pass the Pastry: “There are so many talented chefs there, Thierry and Thomas are great guys and are always creating wonderful things. Same with Nadege—I want to see what they’re coming up with out East.”

Eat! Pastry

When: Saturday, November 11 (2 to 5 p.m.)Where: Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel, 1133 W Hastings,Tickets: $79For the full list of attending chefs, event details and ticket purchases, visit