Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Macaron Class at Mille-feuille in New York City

by Regina

 It's not everyday that you can have a private macaron lesson with a pro...to be more exact, a French pastry chef who is turning out some of the best macarons that are actually made in New York City. However, that was just our good fortune a few weeks ago.

There were many emails exchanged this summer between myself and Olivier Dessyn, owner Mille-feuille Bakery & Cafe in Greenwich Village. (Click here to read about the Mille-feuille vs. Payard smackdown.) First, it was to tell him how much my husband and I loved his macarons when we visited NYC back in June. Next, it was me asking if he'd teach me how to make them.

Despite being extremely busy, he agreed to a class and we settled on a date in August. However, hurricane Rita struck NYC (of all places!) and I had to cancel my travel plans to the city. Finally, we rescheduled for October and in the 11th hour, he graciously agreed to teach my husband as well.

The Shop
So, it was a Monday afternoon when we arrived at his bakery just south of Washington Square, and quickly got to work. Over the course of four hours we made so many macarons that I lost count! He taught us the Italian meringue method, as well as how to make raspberry jam and chocolate and vanilla ganache fillings.

Looking around, we were struck by how well organized his shop was and the precision that he and his assistant, Stefan worked with. It's truly amazing when you realize how much work, dedication and love go into an operation like this...plus, we found it incredible that they could produce so many great things in such a small space!

As part of my macaron obsession, I've taken 3 different classes and Olivier's was by far the best. He was super patient with us, answering questions, providing insight and allowing us to be hands-on along the way. He shared the recipes, suggestions on where to find ingredients and supplies and encouraged us to stay in touch and email him with questions.

We Made These!
I took several of the macs we made at the class to work. All I can say is that I was a macaron making superstar for a day. Everyone loved them and more than one person swooned over how great they tasted.

We've tried the macs twice since we've come home and have had good success. We're working to get the right oven temp and proper heavy gauge pans, but we feel that his class gave us the fundamentals and technique to be successful at home. It's true that a hands-on class gives you something that books, you tube and countless internet posts can't.

The Teacher and Student
We were Olivier's first students, which was an honor for us. If he had told me that he had taught people numerous times before, I would have believed him. He was very focused, well prepared, and extremely patient. I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone of his caliber willing to give you a one or two person class for what he charges. It is a tremendous value and would make a very memorable holiday gift for the macaron fan in your life. He's willing to offer the class to others, so if interested, email him through his website or ring the shop at 215-433-5698 and ask for Olivier.

I just learned that Olivier is now shipping his macarons across the United States. If you can't make it to New York anytime soon, then I highly encourage you to order some. They would make a fantastic holiday present for someone you love, or better yet, a gift for yourself!


  1. Was waiting for this post. Sounds like a great experience. And awesome shirt!

  2. I am very interested in what tricks he told you because from the pictures these look perfect! The shell is SO smooth! I may just have to take a class with him.

  3. What a wonderful experience!

    Note: the phone number is (212) 533- 4698 just so your readers know =)