Franck Point is fanatical about croissants. In fact you could call him a ‘croissant crusader’ and he likely wouldn’t object. Point is the man behind Faubourg Paris, those pretty swish looking, chandelier-trimmed artisan bakery-bistros popping up all around town (there are three so far, all busy), where you might feel yourself whisked right back to that last trip to Paris, say somewhere on Blvd. St. Germain.
You name it, Faubourg seduces with a wealth of irresistible temptations, ranging from flaky, Chantilly-topped, vertical mille feuille to impeccably made macarons and more, as well as savouries. Not to mention the “dessert of the month” (July’s is an extraordinary Earl Grey, lemon, and white chocolate tart), an array of superb breads (fougasse, baguette, brioche) equally excellent coffee and polished, prompt service.
As we examine the array of handmade macarons (purely for purposes of research, you understand), Franck winces and extracts three from the showcase. Rejects, he says they should never have been there, pointing out that the circumference at which the filling meets the upper and lower half—the ‘ruffle,’ as it’s known—is uneven. The summarily excommunicated macarons will never meet a customer, let alone make it into one of Faubourg’s deluxe gift packs.
The Faubourg croissant
Ultimately, though, it really is all about the croissants, explains Point, who oversees, in meticulous detail, production that continues fresh throughout the day, of everything from an impossibly buttery and flaky classic to pistachio cream, almond paste filled, and—naturellement—decidedly addictive pain au chocolat.
Faubourg’s state-of-the-art equipment, with precise moisture and temperature controls, prepare the forms over three hours, ready for baking. It’s a critical process explains Point, along with the quality of butter he uses. Point says he actually doesn’t sell some 10 percent of his production, although many items are donated to charity.
Interestingly, when Franck first opened he thought it would be all about baguettes. But it was not to be. On the very first day, the croissants were gone by mid-afternoon.
Somehow, I’m not surprised.
Updated March 20th, 2015.
(From the release)
Indulge for a good cause on Friday, March 20
(Faubourg Paris, 2156 W 41st. Ave., Vancouver; 769 Hornby St., Vancouver; Park Royal South, West Vancouver; www.faubourg.com)
Oh, and did we mention the macarons?
(This material also appeared in the Vancouver Courier)