April 16, 2020

Transferring Knowledge

Pierre Hermé
Pierre Hermé | Maître Pâtissier

Transferring knowledge to others is a must!

Passion and the pursuit of excellence are what fuels the work of a craftsman. The values are a fundamental part of our DNA, and our ultimate satisfaction is to share them in our creations. But what if we stop passing our craftsmanship and knowledge on to the future generations? There are three phases to being a pastry chef:  apprenticeship, mastery, and transfer. The latter is indispensable. To pass on our know-how, to maintain it, and to evolve it; is inseparable from our know-how-to-be.

I started my learning journey as a kid next to my father, as he was the first to pass on his passion to me. And it was that passion that pushed me to excel every single day. Then Gaston Lenôtre taught me the fundamentals, gave me a deeper knowledge and the values upon which I have been building my craft ever since. It is a unique part of my legacy that I really want to pass on. An apprenticeship is inseparable from the transfer. How one acquires the fundamentals and techniques of pastry teaches us the values of our profession.

One of the challenges of being an experienced pastry chef is to ensure the perpetuity of our know-how. Today, sharing our know-how and our know-how-to-be is the obvious thing to do, so our ancestral heritage carries on. Without sharing, the know-how and the traditions will disappear.

Transferring knowledge is a topic that has been dear to my heart for a long time. That is why I am involved with Relais Dessert, an association that has been bringing together the world’s French pastry elite for more than 30 years. Similarly, I am involved with the World Cup of Pastry and the Comité Colbert. The masterclasses, the courses, the workshops, and recipe books are also excellent means to pass on the passion of our profession and to share our knowledge.

I am so pleased to see that many among the new generations of pastry chefs have embraced this and are, in turn, sharing their knowledge through demonstrations and training sessions here and abroad.

Knowledge transfer is both a mindset and our duty!