Since opening its doors eight years ago, New York’s Payard Patisserie & Bistro has been known for its upscale clientele, Parisian décor and heavenly pastries. But for the last couple of months, Payard has had one more thing to its credit: kosher options. Since the spring, the shop has offered a small selection of kosher truffles, chocolates and cakes, proving once and for all that kosher dessert actually can be good, even when pareve.
Francois Payard, a third-generation pastry chef, decided to make the move into kosher products after noticing an intriguing trend: “I had more clients who celebrate Passover than Easter,” he said. And he doesn’t blame them for turning to him. “I tasted a few” kosher items, he said. “I never went crazy for it.”
Offering pareve kosher products has not been easy for the pastry chef. For starters, Payard has to exclude cream and butter from some of his tried and true recipes. Also, since his on-site kitchen is not kosher, Payard must outsource to bakers in Brooklyn, N.Y., and France. Desserts arrive sealed in plastic to preserve their kosher status.
If not for the wrapping, in fact, it would be hard to believe the chocolates are kosher. “It doesn’t make sense to put my name on it if it’s not good,” Payard said. And good they most certainly are.
Payard Patisserie & Bistro is located at 1032 Lexington Ave. in New York City. Payard’s kosher collection is also available in the Whole Foods catalog or online at www.payard.com.