Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear David Sinapian, dear Pierre Hermé,
It is a great privilege for me to honour two personalities who share a demanding and ambitious vision of their profession.
A vision that resolutely elevates pastry and restoration to the rank of arts.
A vision carried by creators whose names have established themselves as marks symbolizing excellence.
Maison Pic, Pierre Hermé: these names embody exceptional know-how.
On all the shops and restaurants where they are affixed around the world, these names indicate the presence of spaces dedicated to pleasure. Places that, for those who push the doors, carry the promise of a total aesthetic experience.
Dear David Sinapian, dear Pierre Hermé, the pleasure you offer lies first, of course, on the discovery of extraordinary tastes.
But this pleasure is also enriched by the whole universe surrounding the tasting experience. To compose the universes of which you are the creators, you mobilize multiple inspirations borrowed from all the arts. Thus is built your singularity that makes your international fame.
The demand for excellence that you wear is worth France’s recognition today. I am pleased to share this recognition with an assembly that brings together so many great ambassadors of our gastronomy. I want to say it today: as creators, the doors of this ministry are always open to you.
Dear David Sinapian,
The world of haute cuisine, you didn’t seem destined for it.
The young Valentinois you were knew, of course, the unmissable restaurant Pic, which occupies a prominent place on the gastronomic menu of France.
But nothing could then let you imagine that this House would have such importance in your journey.
Your meeting with Anne-Sophie Pic was a revelation.
A love revelation that paved the way for other revelations, both professionally and artistically.
It is as a couple that you take up the challenge to take back the reins of the Maison Pic, which is then going through a difficult period. By the complementarity of your work, you manage to give it a new breath.
Your wife assumes the role of chef de cuisine and, with her talent, makes her mark on the culinary world of the house.
For your part, you take charge of the management of the establishment and imagine an ambitious development strategy. At the heart of your attention is the experience the restaurant must offer its customers. To do this, you are remobilizing its teams and modernising its framework, to make it a showcase in line with the modernity and audacity of Anne-Sophie Pic’s creations.
Thanks to your combined energies, the Valencia restaurant has regained its 3 stars in 10 years. This is the ultimate consecration for you and your wife, dear Anne-Sophie, an immense leader recognized by all.
The dedication to Valencia paves the way for the diversification and international expansion of the Pic group, of which you are the great architect.
Your great curiosity and your taste for travel lead you to seize more and more distant opportunities to radiate the creative universe of Maison Pic.
Restaurants were created in Paris, Lausanne, then London and Singapore. In Valencia, a cooking school and a grocery store were opened to a wide audience.
However, you are not neglecting your family life, which is expanding with the birth of your son Nathan, whom I am happy to see at your side today.
The builder you are is fully committed to the artistic development of these projects. As a great lover of contemporary art, you personally supervise the entire design of the places invested by the house Pic.
You capture all the arts, in a spirit of openness, to compose a story that embodies the values of the house you lead. With the artists you request, you create a world at the crossroads of tradition and modernity.
Thus, the old stove of the Valencia kitchen has become the central element of an imposing vertical work, emblematic of the new look you have on the gastronomic experience.
Your commitment to the table arts has found an extension beyond the Maison Pic.
For the past five years, you have presided over the “Circle of the World’s Great Tables”, an association that brings together eminent personalities from the world of gastronomy to promote high-quality cuisine.
Your ambition is to defend the role of the restaurateur, which is not confused with that of a chef.
In a restaurant, the pleasure of customers is the result of a collective work involving many professions, in the kitchen as in the dining room.
The conductor of this work is the restorer: he gives the tone, imposes the cadence and ensures the harmony of the ensemble.
Driven by this conviction, you are revitalizing this institution, now over 60 years old, by allowing exceptional restaurants around the world to find their full place.
In this way, you promote the French gastronomic model throughout the world. The rooster designed by Jean Cocteau is the emblem of this association symbolizes its roots in the gastronomic tradition of our country.
I would like to greet Lionel Laval and Christophe Pinguet from the Shortcut agency who worked with you. I know that they have made your candidacy with me and my firm a high priority for your commitment.
Dear David Sinapian,
For your sense of aesthetics, which you put with talent at the service of the gastronomic experience,
For your contribution to the influence of French gastronomy beyond our borders,
We make you a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.
Dear Pierre Hermé,
It is no exaggeration to say that you are the guardian figure of the world pastry industry.
This status, it has imposed itself to all because of the extraordinary sense of composition of tastes that express your creations.
You have also acquired this status by initiating a real revolution in the pastry profession.
Your visionary approach has made you a new model for an entire profession and a reference for the general public.
The insatiable quest for the taste that drives you has been imposed since childhood.
Sons, grandsons and great-grandsons of bakers, the time spent from a very young age in your father’s workshop Georges awakens you to the greed, the sense of composition and the precision that pastry requires.
Very quickly, a vocation is asserted in you: the art of pastry, you will exercise it in your turn. But in your own way.
After satisfying your thirst to learn from Gaston Lenôtre, you are looking to chart your own course.
As you know, only the possession of a shop in your name will guarantee the creative freedom to which you aspire.
First in Tokyo, then finally in Paris, you open your first points of sale. They will multiply quickly.
With their finesse, subtlety and daring, your creations captivate.
Armed with boundless curiosity, you constantly enrich the palette of flavours that you integrate into your pastries. This quest finds a natural extension in your passion for wine and perfumes, through which your senses become even more refined.
Thus, you manage to incorporate new taste notes to your pastry world. I am thinking in particular of the sake lees, the livèche or the Corsican immortal flower, integrated in the macaroon “Valérie’s Garden” designed for your wife, whom I greet and whose daily involvement I know at your side.
From such a repertoire of tastes, you show an unparalleled talent of composition.
The result of long and meticulous research, the blends you develop have an unparalleled richness and depth.
The “Isfahan” – which combines rose, lychee and raspberry – has established itself as a new pastry classic. But it is very rare that the copies that are made manage to approach the subtle balance of the masterpiece that you have imagined.
This sense of composition, it also feeds on the closeness that you maintain with all the arts.
A great lover of design and painting, you find a source of inspiration that enriches your creations.
Your chocolate eggs «Tagli» inspired by the works of Lucio Fontana or your log «Perpétua» borrowed from the universe of Giuseppe Penone testify to this.
I would also like to solemnly thank you for your continued commitment to artists and crafts, which are so important to our country. Many of us can attest to this through our distinguished offices.
In this dialogue that you have opened between pastry and the arts, the world of haute couture constitutes a major reference that has allowed you to redefine the contours of the pastry profession.
You are often referred to as the inventor of “haute pâtisserie”. This is a good summary of your vision of creation.
Because it corresponds to your personal way of doing business, first of all.
The creations you sign with your name, you are the designer but not the executor. In your creative workshop, you design your pastries with remarkable precision, then you entrust your teams with the task of making them.
Because you have transformed the experience offered to your customers by integrating all the codes of luxury.
By organizing the release of your creations as part of collections. Paying special attention to the shops that sell them, and now to the cafes and other tasting places that you invent.
By the demands of your brand, you have changed the image of pastry in the eyes of the general public.
Fully involved in the transfer of your profession, you have become a model for your entire profession. This role of model, you assume with all the benevolence and loyalty that characterizes you.
So you’ve opened up a whole new world of baking. Many young bakers around the world now know what they owe you.
Dear Pierre Hermé,
For the sensitivity expressed by your exceptional sense of taste,
For your commitment to the arts,
For the renewal of the French pastry that is the fruit of your remarkable curiosity,
For all you’ve done, and all you have left to accomplish,
We make you Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.