Loic Carbonnet, Head Pastry Chef, Corinthia London

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th September 2018

Loic Carbonnet is the head pastry chef at the Corinthia London.

He is responsible for creating pastry and dessert creations for guests and he has been working as a pastry chef for over twenty years after undertaking his initial training in France.

He has previously worked as a chef de partie at the Nadell Patisserie, at Gordon Ramsay at The Connaught Hotel in Mayfair as demi chef de partie and at the Andaz Hotel in London under renowned executive pastry chef Claude Lamarche where he progressed to the role of executive pastry chef when Claude left the hotel.

He has also worked in Qatar at the Four Seasons Hotel before returning to London to work at The Lanesborough Hotel. He then worked as an executive pastry chef at The Four Seasons Park Lane before taking up his role at the Corinthia London.

Corinthia Food 030

Loic Carbonnet in action

What inspired you to become a pastry chef? 

My grandmother – I was always in the kitchen with her. I enjoyed being in the kitchen and thought I needed to find something that I like to do.

Have you only ever worked as a pastry chef or have you worked in other areas of the kitchen too? 

I have been working in pastry for 21 – 22 years, I started when I was 17 years old! I have only worked as a pastry chef. I trained as a pastry chef in France.

Can you talk us through your role as executive pastry chef at the Corinthia?

Daily, we look after all of the guests at the hotel – that includes the restaurant, the Afternoon Tea, the Room service, the banqueting for the pastry side of things. We have a team of ten people. I like it all, but my favourite part is the Afternoon Tea – it is very nice!

We serve the Afternoon Tea in front of the guests – it is a bit different – a bit of French and English. The French element is the pastries which are done in a bit of a French way. We use flavours like chocolate and peanut, salted caramel. I like looking at the guest's faces when they see the Afternoon Tea trolley!

coconut%2C lemon yuzu eclairs
Coconut, Lemon and Yuzu Eclairs

What is your favourite thing about working as a pastry chef?

The food! I like to eat! I like to try things and taste it and when you like it – you eat it! That’s the way I see it.

What has been your career highlight to date?
I used to work for a man who was very passionate and a bit crazy, but he made you think and helped you progress.

I also worked in Qatar for two years – it was very different, and it makes you change the way you talk to people. You have to be a bit more open which was very interesting, and you learn a lot about yourself. I enjoy learning and think it's good to learn.

Do you have a favourite flavour combination and if so, why

I wouldn’t say I have one, as long as it is a flavour that I love, but I do like strawberry and rhubarb together. 

Where do you find inspiration for your creations?

I look at the season and I like to try things -  when I try things I do five or six versions of it. I also look at books for inspiration, but I mainly think about the flavour and work around it. 

Info bar

Restaurants worked

Gordon Ramsay at The Connaught
Andaz Hotel
Four Seasons - Qatar
Four Seasons - Park Lane
Nadell Patisserie
The Lanesborough

Signature dishes  

Lemon Drizzle cake
Coconut, lemon & yuzu éclair

Top desserts that they would take to a desert island

Chocolate fondant, pistachio ice cream

Rice pudding, caramelised poached pears

A very nice coffee éclair

My mother in law’s lemon cake

A big bowl of chocolate ice cream

What is your favourite dish to make on the menu?
I like the cannoli – it’s very French – like me! It’s a little bit tricky to make, but I like it.

What has been the most unusual or elaborate creation that you have been asked to make?

Oh, that’s a tricky one! I am not too sure, to be honest.

https://www.thestaffcanteen.com/public/js/tinymce/plugins/moxiemanager/data/files/rhubarb and strawberry tartelets.JPG
Strawberry and Rhubarb 
make an ideal combination 

What about those amazing Bacularat Easter Eggs that you made last year? They looked incredible!

I started by trying one little one, but it was a bit too small, so I tried a bigger version. It was very time consuming to do this just for one item, but it looked fantastic.  We will probably do something similar for next year. I always tend to do something elaborate for 'Easter Egg day' - I think it was one of the best things I have done.

How important is training for young pastry chefs and do you enjoy learning new techniques?

The job itself is all about learning – there are always new techniques to learn. You need to try things. I think if you don’t want to learn things, you have to retire! The training is very important, you need to learn something, do it and then pass that knowledge on to your chefs. I am very open to sharing things (my knowledge) - I don’t like to hide things.

https://www.thestaffcanteen.com/public/js/tinymce/plugins/moxiemanager/data/files/easter eggs.JPG
An 'eggcellent example of Loic's work

What advice would you give to young pastry chefs?

They need to be committed and to have a lot of will. They have to be prepared to do a lot of long hours too.

Why do you feel that pastry is such a specialised area?

I think it is because it is something that you have to train hard at and there are always a lot of things to learn.

You have judged the Valrhona Patisserie championship -do you enjoy being on judging panels and what do you look for in a winning dish??

It was pretty cool – I went to Dublin and it was a really good experience. For a winning dish, first it would be the taste, then after that, it would be the complexity of the dish. It would also be the techniques. But the taste is very important. There is no point in something looking very nice if the taste is no good.

Would you ever consider taking part in a competition like Bake Off: The Professionals
?
I have been asked for the past few years – the hotel would like someone to do it – it’s in 'the books', let’s say! 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th September 2018

Loic Carbonnet, Head Pastry Chef, Corinthia London