April 24, 2020

Portrait

Chef Karim Bourgi

Karim Bourgi | Chef Pâtissier

I was two years old when my family left Senegal and moved to Beirut-Lebanon, a country with an exceptional gastronomic heritage. I adore orange blossom and pistachio – the cornerstones of Lebanese pastry. When I was at Fauchon in 2011, I created a date and orange blossom éclair that, at the time, was a real boom. The embodiment of French-style excellence combined with eastern flavours, I would say, is a good example of an alliance of cultures!

I love sharing my know-how and interacting with others, it’s a source of enrichment and feeds my creativity. While my masterclasses are mainly reserved for professionals, I do also train novices, most recently in Eastern Europe. And contrary to what you may believe, it’s not that much more complicated than training professionals!  These days, people want to eat healthily, cut down on sugar, and have a desire for special diets, such as gluten-free, adopted for medical reasons, or out of personal conviction.  There’s a desire for lightness.  These new dietary practices are bound to have an impact on how we create recipes. Through the rapid dissemination of information, social media accelerates trends and plays a fundamental role in how consumers relate to food. I opened my Instagram account in 2014, convinced of the new opportunities that it would offer.

My favorite dessert is the Paris-Brest without hesitation! Choux pastry, old-style praline, almonds, a hint of caramel, is definitely one of my classics. The éclair is one of my specialties as well, as it reminds me of my childhood.  The éclair is timeless and perfectly suited to adapt to new modes of consumption because it is very easy to eat, and as such, profoundly modern.

 

Remember something very important; creation is the solution!!