Opening Jean Philippe Pâtisserie at Bellagio and ARIA was a dream come true for Jean-Philippe Maury. Both European-style pastry shops charm guests who step inside to find whimsical décor and a wide assortment of decadent treats from the award-winning chef. Maury gets especially creative for the holidays offering exquisitely themed desserts to celebrate the season. The world-renowned pastry chef opens up about how he prepares for the holidays and what guests might expect to see, and taste, this time of year.
How do you prepare for the holiday season at Jean Philippe Pâtisserie?
We begin décor preparations two months prior to each holiday. We start with the sugar and chocolate showpieces that are going to be the focal points in the shop. As we get a little closer, we begin the seasonal desserts and décor changes.
What type of flavors, pastries and dessert items do you like to feature for the holidays?
For Halloween we will have pecan tarts, pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake. For Christmas we will offer a traditional Yule log. With each holiday we change up the décor on our classic desserts. For example, our Napoleon dessert, which typically has a white glaze, was changed to orange for Halloween.
Where do you draw your inspiration from when creating a pastry or dessert item?
Inspiration can really come from anywhere. It can be something I eat at a restaurant, something I see in a store – it doesn’t even have to be food to be inspiration. Inspiration can be anything you experience that makes you feel something.
We understand there was a Halloween competition in which your pastry team was tasked with creating chocolate showpieces themed for The Nightmare Before Christmas. What is it like to host a competition amongst the team at Jean Philippe Pâtisserie?
It’s really important to keep our team motivated. Even if they are always creating, giving a challenge encourages them to push their skills and creativity to the limit, resulting in new, innovative masterpieces.
Do you have a favorite holiday?
Absolutely – it’s Christmas. It has a special atmosphere and feeling that comes along with it, and it’s just such a magical time to spend with family, especially the children. There are so many great family moments that are shared during the Christmas season.