The Silent Reach of Design
As many of you may be aware, I spend much of my free time in the kitchen, attempting to expand my culinary knowledge and prowess. I take a great interest in gastronomic developments around the world, and as a result, became a fan of a a good many chefs. Dominique Ansel gained fame with his development of the Cronut, but his bakery has produced a plethora of brilliant pastries and baked goods that I believe are much more technically impressive than his claim to fame.
I found this interview with Ansel over at the MOO blog thoughtful and worth a read.
You’ve also said that instead of just building a simple hierarchy of a kitchen, you’re building a team culture. What do you mean by that? How do you go about creating a culture?
It’s something that’s very important to me. I’ve learned that it’s pretty tough in some kitchens with people screaming and yelling and changing recipes. I don’t believe in this old school way of doing this, I believe in creating a nice environment and building a future for both my staff and myself. My staff are excited and passionate about what they do. Our staff want to exchange and share ideas, teach each other new things – they’re a core part of the business. They’re not only employees, they care for the business and I involve them in everything that we do, it’s important for me. I want them to be part of the kitchen, to understand why we do the things that we do, how we do them, and then I push them to become part of it. That’s the culture, where people believe that we can do something different every day. They come to work and they know that they’re part of it and that they can help us change the world of pastry.
How has design affected your businesses?
When I started the Bakery, I wanted to make sure it was fresh and modern; we use a clean and clever aesthetic. Design is a silent way to reach out to your guests. If you imagine your products as silent film stars, the design is what communicates their message.
I didn’t want it to feel like your grandmother’s house or that traditional classic, gold-gilded bakery. Our inspiration was to represent a new generation.
What a great analogy.