Meet executive pastry chef Angelo Musa
As a winner of both ‘Best Pastry Craftsman of France’ and ‘World Pastry Champion’, Angelo Musa’s exceptional pastries, including afternoon tea at Hôtel Plaza Athénée, are a must-try experience you’ll never forget. Meet the man behind the awards.
What made you want to be a pastry chef?
Food is sheer passion for me so I attended hospitality school in Metz, north-east France. Due to a motorbike accident, I had to defer my exams but I used the time to take an internship in pastry and I fell in love with it, thanks to my wonderful mentor Monsieur Claude Bourguignon. The rest as they say is history.
What’s a favourite food moment you remember?
I vividly remember making a chiboust-mirabelles tart when I was as an apprentice at Bourguignon Pâtisserie. I can still recall being enthralled by the magical combination of flavours and textures. I also remember how much I looked forward to eating one every day during my break.
How have competitions helped build your career?
It was love at first sight with pasty and I felt compelled to learn all about it. Training and working with pastry has taught me so much but entering competitions encouraged me to focus on technique and gaining a thorough knowledge through experimenting, which helped fast-track my skills.
What are your three favourite ingredients and why?
Vanilla is my go-to ingredient for creating more intense flavours. I love chocolate for its rich culture and variety – it’s like an infinite playground that keeps challenging you. Coffee is another favourite, for taking me back to my Italian roots and is particularly good when used as a cold infusion in our Tiramisu.
What’s your hotel signature dish?
My pastry philosophy is, ‘textures to narrate the soul of a desert, taste to touch the heart’ and I believe our signature dish, known as ‘100% vanilla’, does exactly that. Carefully revealing the richness of just one ingredient through four different textures is a real surprise and a memorable culinary experience.
What are you most proud of at your hotel?
My dedicated team, who strive on a daily basis to deliver their very best for our guests. I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by such talented professionals, especially Alexandre Dufeu, our hotel pastry chef with whom I work very closely.
What inspires your creations?
I respect the seasons in order to showcase ingredients at their prime. Exploring and enhancing all the original flavours can be far more challenging than you think, requiring me to delve deep into my creative senses.
What do you like to cook at home?
I love hosting lunch and dinner for family and friends. I enjoy cooking French classics and Italian dishes are often on the menu too. For a couple of years now, I’ve been spending most of my weekends making jam. I’m quite obsessed with it, just ask my kids!
Chefs work long hours, how do you like to spend your time off?
Like any dad, I enjoy going back home and spending time with my family. I go running a few times a week and take part in marathons. I also enjoy discovering artists in my hometown of Nancy such as local sculptors Jean No and Gé Pellini. With this combination in my life, I get to feed mind, body and soul.
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