Patrice Pâtissier, the new project from Patrice Demers, is set to open on February 18. The shop's kitchen equipment came in this week and the old video store digs have undergone a complete facelift.
Another important cog in Patrice Pâtissier, Toronto pastry chef Cori Murphy, starts work next week with a résumé that includes stints at Oliver & Bonacini flagship restaurant Canoe, as well as Sassafraz.
Murphy, a graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie in Yssingeaux, France, took some time this week to answer a few questions about her imminent move to Montreal.
On her decision to leave Toronto—
I've been wanting to leave for a while now. Unfortunately Toronto doesn't have much of a fine dining pastry scene happening right now so I have been looking for a way out for a while to grow and learn and gain experience. I attended a pastry school in France a few years back and have had a bit of a 'travel bug' ever since. I guess Im just looking for something new. New experiences, new city, new culture.
On her departure from Canoe—
This is probably the most difficult job for me to leave so far in my career. I have met some amazing people, made some great friends and have learnt so much from both chef John Horne and pastry chef Robert Gonsalves. This job saved me from quitting pastry and possibly changing careers. I had thought about it often before - it is a difficult industry to work in. Since coming to Canoe I became more passionate and sure of my decision than ever before. I am doing exactly what I want to be doing, and couldn't imagine doing anything else.
On Patrice Demers—
I have been following Patrice's work for a while now. He does some pretty incredible desserts and is very knowledgeable and is one of the best pastry chefs in Canada so why not learn from him? I read about Patrice leaving Les 400 Coups and starting his own project back in August and immediately sent him my résumé, contact information and let him know its something I really wanted to be involved in. He said he would get back to me in the next few months when he knew more. October came around and I decided to email him again, reiterating that I am very interested and wanting to set something up. He agreed to meet with me in Montral in November. I booked my bus tickets and met with Patrice, he showed me the space and hired me.
On her role—
I believe I am going to be doing a little bit of everything. I told Patrice that I want to learn as much as possible and want to have my hand in everything. I'm going to be working a mix of morning shifts for the pâtisserie and evening shifts/service for the wine bar. It's very exciting to be part of something new - something that doesn't exist in Toronto, and I am very thankful that he gave me this opportunity.