Chef's profiles of Le Meurice in Paris
Chef Alain Ducasse has developed over 30 years a unique knowledge in the art of living and eating. He is at once a chef-creator and a strict entrepreneur. As creator, he insists on offering a cuisine that is just right. As entrepreneur, he implements a modern economic model, a transfer of his knowledge and a relevant vision of the food service and hospitality industry. Alain Ducasse is at the helm of 26 restaurants worldwide, 3 luxury country inns and a hotel association : Châteaux & Hôtels Collection. His vision of the profession places passion and transmission of knowledge at the forefront of his projects. This can be clearly seen throughout his activities in publishing, training both professionals and amateurs, and finally consulting. As a passionate leader, Alain Ducasse is constantly looking to share his vast cultural awareness and curiosity with the rest of the world.
Born in Auvergne, France, Jocelyn Herland, has worked with Alain Ducasse for many years. From 1997–2000, he was chef de partie at Restaurant Alain Ducasse at 59 Avenue Poincaré (three Michelin stars). He then moved as chef de partie to Restaurant Opéra (one Michelin star) at Hotel Intercontinental in Paris, and as sous chef at the Royal Monceau Hotel.
In December 2003, when Alain Ducasse introduced new head chef Christophe Moret to Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée in Paris, Herland joined him as sous chef, progressing to chef adjoint (deputy).
In 2007 Herland became executive chef at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester (three Michelin stars), before moving to Le Meurice as executive chef in January 2016. In keeping with Alain Ducasse’s philosophy, the freshest and seasonal produce, strictly sourced for their quality and provenance, are vital to providing the finest cuisine.
Cédric was born in Firminy, a small French village in the Rhône-Alps region of the Loire. At the age of 32 he is now the head pâtissier at Le Meurice, where he was recently named ‘World’s Best Restaurant Pastry Chef 2017’ by Les Grandes Tables du Monde.
From a family of restaurateurs, he spent family holidays and Christmases at the hotel-restaurant his grandparents ran in Andrézieux-Bouthéon. It was in that kitchen, where he began to work at the age of 12, that he came to discover his passion for food. It was while picking strawberries one day that he was struck by an epiphany: he would be a pâtissier!
At 13, during his summer holidays, Cédric began his first apprenticeship in a bakery. It was an experience that brought him new maturity, though he admits he spent more time mopping floors than making cakes! At the end of his apprenticeship, the baker, impressed, asked his parents if he could stay on, and advised our budding chef to continue with a further apprenticeship.
By 14, Cédric was already specialising in pâtisserie. He gained his CAP in Confectionery and Ice Cream in Puy en Velay, single-mindedly determined to be the best in the school! Ambitious and hardworking, he graduated at the top of his class, notably excelling in applied theories, as well as competing successfully in numerous competitions.
Cédric won the title of ‘Best Apprentice of Auvergne’ before going on to take third place in the competition for ‘Best Apprentice of France’.
He was awarded his first mention complémentaire which paved the way for a BTM, the Brevet Technique des Métiers, in Yssingeaux, the highest possible qualification in pâtisserie.
Cédric won the National Trophy for Sugar Art as well as the first prize at the French Croquembouche Festival in 2005.
Following on from these outstanding achievements, Cédric arrived in Paris, applying for his first job as an assistant chef at Le Meurice, before being taken on at Fauchon and put in charge of macaron creation, working in the bakery. Swiftly spotted by chefs Christophe Adam and Benoit Couvrand, he was soon to depart with them for Beijing, to train the Fauchon teams at a new outlet. His experience at Fauchon allowed him to hone to perfection his skills in the creation of breads and macarons.
On his return from Beijing, Cédric revealed the full extent of his talents to achieve new heights in pâtisserie, landing a much-coveted role in Research and Development, where he remained for five years.
Responsible for testing and creating all of the models photographed, he co-authored two books with Christophe Adam and Benoît Couvrand alongside parallel duties training the staff at Fauchon’s new locations worldwide, from Dubai to Morocco via South Korea.
In 2011, Cédric joined Le Meurice as sous chef pâtissier, where his skills were centred exclusively on the precision-dressing of the desserts on the plate. With a wealth of experience behind him, he is very much at ease in elaborating and creating the pastries, each of which he holds in equal regard. He loves pâtisserie with a capital ‘P’, experimenting with chocolate and being in harmony with the seasons.
Today, Cédric’s work revolves around three main axes: the reinvention of the classics, the modernity of the present and the vision of the future. As testament to this visionary approach to pâtisserie, he continues to add to a growing list of prestigious awards, recently named ‘World’s Best Restaurant Pastry Chef 2017’ by Les Grandes Tables du Monde, along with ‘Best Pastry Chef 2018’ by the Gault & Millau guide.