London now has an amazing breadth of international cuisine from fine dining to patisserie and even more casual dining experiences. We have had an explosion of cupcakes, doughnuts and macaroons. I think it is safe to say that it is the Parisians who spring to mind when we imagine a pastry of any significance and Joakim Pratt has now taken London by storm. Previously head pastry chef at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon and The Greenhouse. Maitre Choux is the brainchild of Joakim Pratt and in this discreet shop in Harrington Road SW7 the best eclairs in London are created.
These was Marie Antionettes’favourite delicacy so it seems appropriate that the shop is opposite the French Lycée in South Kensington. Every day with exacting precision the team and the 3 star Michelin head chef Joakim Pratt bake the most exquisite eclairs, choux and chouquettes. Traditionally eclairs are made using chocolate and coffee flavours. Here the boundaries are pushed to the limit. Familiar flavours such as lemon meringue pie and Tiramisu are channelled into these incredible eclairs and decorated with such detail and imagination they are all a little work of art.
Colour, texture and flavour are all challenged using raspberry dust, gold leaf, rosewater, lychee and raspberry. Each and every one is a cream filled eclair a total indulgence.
The flavours include Tahitian Vanilla with Pecans, Pistachio, Spanish Strawberry, Tiramisu with salted caramel, Cafe pur Arabica and Delice Rose a la Framboise to name a few. There are also the chouquettes which are small empty choux pastry rounds dipped in large sugar crystals and the exceptional quality of the choux pastry itself make these mouth watering as well.
Needless to say Joakim Pratt has made his signature blown sugar sphere for George Clooney and he also made Emma Watsons’ 17th Birthday cake which was a mint chocolate cake with hazelnut praline. On a less grand scale you can have eclairs and the round choux pastries specially amended for your special event too. I confess I cannot leave this artisans establishment without bringing home a treat for the family to taste and it is well worth a breakfast stop as the coffee is delicious and served with two small chouquette which are a delicious way to start the day! Maitre Choux