Chef Patissière - Larissa Metz

May 11, 2023

Larissa Metz is a master of desserts, having been named the best Chef Pâtissière in Germany by the restaurant guide "Gault Millau." For her, a successful dessert must be more than just sweet. Originally from the Rheingau-Taunus district, she grew up surrounded by culture and culinary delights, and has combined her passion for both in her career as a pastry chef. She currently is working at Restaurant Vendome.

May 11, 2023

Can you tell us a little about your background and how you became a Pâtissière?
I'm originally from the Rheingau-Taunus district, which means I come from an area that's characterized by lots of indulgence and culture, thanks to the nearby Rheingau region. Good food and the arts have always been a staple of my life, so I've combined both in my profession. After finishing high school, I pursued an apprenticeship in pastry-making. Even during my training, I enjoyed working with chocolate the most and making pralines.

Immediately after completing my pastry apprenticeship, I went on to pursue an education in pastry-making. After working as a pastry chef for a year, I was drawn to patisserie. Patisserie involves a whole different set of working methods and I've stuck with it, loving the process of combining various flavors, creating something new, and working with the best products.
How do you approach menu creation and ingredient selection?

"As for good taste, it's easy enough: just take from everything the best." This quote by Oscar Wilde captures it perfectly. Product selection is of utmost importance to me, as I want to bring intense and exciting flavor notes to a dessert, and that can only be achieved by working with high-quality products.

I want to present the flavors as naturally as possible on the plate. It should be exciting by adding small accents, supporting a main flavor with other aromas, making it even more intense. In addition, I want to show guests that unusual combinations can work well and be very intriguing. At the same time, it's important to me to make the desserts less sweet and lighter by incorporating various herbs and spices.
Can you tell us about a particularly memorable dish or experience from your career as a chef?

The blue cheese praline comes to mind right away. First of all, it's two products that one wouldn't normally think to combine, but finding the right blue cheese and matching chocolate was a lot of fun and taught me a lot about which aromas and flavor notes are important so that these two products can be harmonized. In the end, it was the Saint Agur and the Beni Wild Harvest that together made a very successful praline. The beauty of this project was seeing how versatile chocolate can be.

How do you incorporate sustainable and/or ethically sourced ingredients into your cooking?

By using Original Beans chocolate, I contribute to regenerating what we consume. Not only do the farmers benefit from this mission, but animals and the environment are also protected. It's important to pay attention to the products we use and how they are produced. With the mission of Original Beans and their 12 solutions, I can be sure that by using their chocolate, nature is protected and given back what it gives us.

Why do you enjoy working with Original Beans chocolate?

Each and every Original Beans chocolate has its own unique character. The different flavor profiles are naturally brought out from the bean and are simultaneously super intense. This offers an incredible number of possibilities for combining chocolate and using it in desserts, whether it's a super fresh and acid-forward chocolate or a more intensely spicy one.

Even in my personal life, I still sometimes sit at home and enjoy a piece of Original Beans chocolate, discovering new flavors each time that I can perceive.

Can you share a cooking tip you wish you knew when you started working with chocolate? 

One should see the guidelines in books as general processing instructions and follow them. Nonetheless, every chocolate behaves a little differently. And that's exactly the point. You have to learn to work with the chocolate. How does it behave, and what do I need to consider with this particular chocolate?

Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or events that you're excited about?

I want to mature cocoa beans in a barrel that's been used to store rum or port wine and create a dessert from them. That will certainly be exciting and very interesting.

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