Chef François Payard of FP Patisserie - Biography

New York, NY

July 2011

François Payard is a third-generation French pastry chef, who cultivated his passion for the art of patisserie as a child in his grandfather’s acclaimed shop, Au Nid des Friandises on the Riviera. After honing his classic pastry skills by his family’s side, Payard moved to Paris, where he learned the artistry and refinement of transforming traditional desserts into exquisite plated presentations whose taste, textures, and originality opened new horizons in his career. His dedication and passion earned him positions France’s finest kitchens including La Tour d’Argent and Lucas Carton.

Payard’s desire to travel and discover a new culture brought him to New York in 1990. He was eager to experiment with new ideas, flavors, and techniques. He worked as pastry chef at Le Bernardin and later joined Chef Daniel Boulud for the opening of Restaurant Daniel. In 1995, the James Beard Foundation named Payard “Pastry Chef of the Year.” In 1997, François’s childhood dream of opening his own restaurant became a reality. Branches of Payard opened in New York, and later at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Japan, and Korea. He opened François Chocolate Bar at the Plaza Hotel in New York in 2009 and Francçois Payard Bakery in 2010, which has since expanded to several locations. Most recently, Payard opened his flagship Upper East Side outpost FP Pâtisserie, a bakery and tea salon.

Payard’s achievements have been widely recognized, and he was named “Pastry Chef of the Year” in 1998 by the Bon Appétit and also in 2001 by the International Pastry Competition Committee-Beaver Creek. In July 2004, Payard was honored with the prestigious Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the French Government.