Portraits

Meet The Chef - OSCARS PASTRY CHEFS KAMEL GUECHIDA & GARRY LARDUINAT

In the Meet The Chef series, discover pastry chefs and learn their background, inspirations, and ideas. Enjoy the in-depth Q&A with each chef along with an exclusive recipe. In this special edition of Meet the Chef, we’re excited to introduce Chefs Garry Larduinat and Kamel Guechida of Wolfgang Puck. Their pastry creations featuring Valrhona Chocolate are being featured at this year’s Academy Awards Ceremony.

Chef Oscars

 MEET THE CHEF

 


Chef Garry Larduinat
Gary Larduinat has been an Executive Pastry Chef with Wolfgang Puck Catering since 2017. Previously he was the Executive Pastry Chef at Hotel Bel-Air with sister company, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. Before moving out west, Garry was the Executive Pastry Chef at Francois Payard Bakery for six years, his first position in the States before moving from France. Garry began his career at the age of 14 as an apprentice at a two-starred Michelin Restaurant in France, La Chapelle Saint Martin. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out Garry's beautiful Instagram profile.

 

Chef Kamel Guechida

Kamel Guechida started his career in France with a two-year apprenticeship with Mazi Francis, an esteemed 3 Michelin-starred chocolatier in Perigueux. He was later part of the opening team for L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Paris in 2003 and Joël Robuchon Monte Carlo in 2004.

In 2013, Guechida was approached by Wolfgang Puck and asked to join the company as Corporate Director of Pastry for the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, the collection of national and international restaurants of the world-renowned chef.  In this position, Guechida is responsible for creating and overseeing the dessert and bread programs throughout all of Puck’s 21 restaurants plus creating pastry programs for new properties as the group expands its presence into Dubai, the Arab Emirates and Asia.

Q&A

Valrhona: What inspired you both to enter the world of pastry?
Garry: Both of my parents are chefs and I always wanted to be one.
Kamel: My uncle is a chef at a three-star Michelin Restaurant, he inspired me to become a chef.


Valrhona: Where do your inspirations for new creations come from?
Both: Social media, seasonal items, new chocolates!


Valrhona: Who in your life’s have been the biggest mentor/inspiration in your career?
Garry: Mr. Borzeix-Besse, a French member of the international “Relais Dessert Association”.
Kamel: Freddy Girardet and Joel Robuchon (both named best chefs of the century).


Valrhona: What are your most famous dishes?
Kamel: Dark Chocolate Soufflés
Garry: Burned Salted Caramel Chocolate tarts with Caramel Brittle


Valrhona: What is your favorite type of pastry to make? To eat?
Garry: Coffee eclairs for sure!!
Kamel: Milk chocolate and passion fruit macarons.


Valrhona: What is your favorite kitchen tip?
Garry: Always anticipate the needs and growth that your company needs to take.
Kamel: Always push forward to inspire your team members.


Valrhona: When pairing with chocolate, what is your favorite flavor combination?
Garry: Pralines in general!
Kamel: Aged Port wine.


Valrhona: What is the corporate initiative you’ve implemented and are the proudest of?
Kamel: Throughout the years with WP, I always implement and develop our Oscars Menu to create a unique experience every year.
Also, I love seeing Chefs that I have invested time and energy and see this person grow into a chef that inspires me.
 

QUICK FIRE

Which do you prefer Celsius or Fahrenheit?
Both: Celsius


What is your Favorite Restaurant?
Gary: Gjelina in Venice
Kamel: Chalet Swiss in Lausanne.


Which do you prefer Wine or Cheese?
Both in unison: BOTH!

What is your Favorite Kitchen Tool?
Gary: Common Sense!
Kamel: A Whisk


Which do you prefer Cake or Tart?
Gary: Cake
Kamel: Tart


What is your go to snack?
Gary: Reese’s Pieces
Kamel: M&M’s


Which do you prefer Coffee or Tea?
Both: Coffee


What is the Craziest delicious flavor combination you have ever experienced?
Gary: Chocolate Cake and Bacon
Kamel: Citrus Wasabi Panna Cotta and Fuji Apples

Exclusive Recipe

Valrhona Chocolate Chip Cookies by Chef Garry Larduinat of Wolfgang Puck Catering

Wolfgang Puck Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients
Yields 30 Cookies

133g     BUTTER 
133g     SUGAR 
133g     BROWN SUGAR
59g       EGGS (COLD)
4g         VANILLA EXTRACT
266g     ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR 
4g         BAKING SODA 
2g         SALT
266g     ILLANKA 63% (CHOPPED)

Instructions

Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar.
Mix on speed 2 for 2 minutes. Then scrape down.
Mix on speed 3 for 9 minutes. The mixture should be light and fluffy with a pale uniform color.
On speed 2, combine eggs 2 at a time and vanilla extract, scraping down after each addition. 
Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
On speed 1, add the dry ingredients and mix for 1 min, as the dough just begins to come together. Then scrape down.
Add in the chopped ILLANKA 63% Chocolate, and finish mixing just to incorporate the chocolate.
Roll 1500g of dough in parchment paper, to create a long roll, reserve in the refrigerator.
When needed, pull out of the refrigerator, slice and bake at 154°C (310°F) with high fan, for 7 minutes or until golden brown.

 

 

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