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Mon, Jul 15, 2024

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Eric Lanlard: The Pastry Maestro Making Waves in the Baking World 

Crumbs, Magnolia, Sprinkles, Baked by Melissa—specialty cake shops are now a common sight on the streets of New York. Once reserved for bake sales and first-graders, cupcakes have become as ubiquitous as ice cream. French-born, London-based pastry chef Eric Lanlard couldn't be happier about this trend. "Long may it last," he declares. Just a few years ago, TV producers scoffed at the idea of baking shows, dismissing them as irrelevant. Today, the world has embraced baking, much to Lanlard's delight.

Lanlard has become a celebrated figure in England, capturing public attention with his exquisite wedding and birthday cakes for celebrities such as Madonna and Guy Ritchie, Elizabeth Hurley, Claudia Schiffer, the Beckham children, and even the Queen Mother. His success extends beyond high-profile clients to popular television programs like *Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard* and *Glamour Puds*. He has also authored several baking cookbooks, including *Glamour Cakes*, *Homebake*, and *Cox, Cookies, and Cake*, co-authored with shoe designer Patrick Cox. His London shop, Cake Boy, continues to flourish, catering to a clientele that appreciates his meticulously crafted pastries.

Eric Lanlard

Lanlard’s journey to pastry stardom began in France, where he would experiment in the kitchen during his school holidays, often resulting in culinary disasters due to his ambitious choices. This passion led him to an apprenticeship in pastry, followed by a unique stint in the French Navy. Serving as the captain’s pastry chef on the flagship of the French Navy, Lanlard traveled to 17 countries, experiencing diverse cuisines and ingredients. This period was pivotal in shaping his culinary style, broadening his horizons, and cementing his reputation as a versatile and innovative pastry chef.

His latest book, *Tart It Up*, showcases both savory and sweet tarts and pies, marking a departure from his usual focus on desserts. Lanlard’s training in France included savory baking, a tradition he continues to embrace. Contrary to the British perception of pies as heavy, winter-only fare, Lanlard emphasizes the French approach of enjoying lighter, buttery pastries year-round. His inventive recipes, such as a mango and green peppercorn tart, highlight his ability to fuse unexpected flavors, enhancing the natural taste of ingredients in surprising ways.

Despite his fame and the glamour associated with his profession, Lanlard maintains a down-to-earth approach to baking. His favorite thing to bake at home is tarte tatin, a classic French dessert he fondly remembers from his childhood. He values simplicity and flavor over pretension, preferring rustic, homey dishes that evoke nostalgia and warmth.

Eric Lanlard

Lanlard’s influence extends beyond the kitchen. He has signed up with Virgin Galactic to become one of the first space tourists, an endeavor he views with excitement and a touch of humor. “I’m a pastry chef and an astronaut,” he jokes, relishing the uniqueness of his dual roles.

As the world of baking continues to evolve, Lanlard sees a positive trend in the resurgence of home baking. Whether due to economic factors or a renewed appreciation for homemade treats, people are rediscovering the joy of baking with family and friends. Lanlard is optimistic about the future of cupcakes, seeing them as a versatile and fun product that appeals to all ages. While the trend may stabilize, the demand for these delightful treats remains strong at Cake Boy.

Eric Lanlard's journey from a curious young baker in France to a renowned pastry chef and soon-to-be astronaut is a testament to his passion, creativity, and dedication. As the baking world continues to flourish, Lanlard remains at the forefront, inspiring both professional chefs and home bakers to explore the limitless possibilities of their craft.

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