The sweet life: Fleurie’s Serge Torres talks pastries

Photo: Amy Jackson Photo: Amy Jackson

Serge Torres, Fleurie’s pastry chef since November 2015, grew up watching his mom, a chef, and helping her in the kitchen. But it was his sweet tooth that led him to focus on pastry. “I really enjoy the diversity of options that come with the profession and being able to express my creativity by making tasty and beautiful pastries, breads, desserts and chocolates,” he says.

The French-born chef’s résumé includes jobs in notable kitchens like Le Cirque and Le Périgord in New York City and, locally, Kluge Estate Winery and the Farmington Country Club. We asked him to tell us a few of his favorite guilty pleasures.

Always on the bar: Ricard (an anise-flavored liquor) on the rocks

Special-occasion drink: Claude Thibaut Janisson’s Blanc de Chardonnay

Energy source: Playing tennis in the sun

Breakfast: Toasted baguette with European butter and fig jam dunked into a hot cup of black coffee

Lunch spot: Aromas Café

Chinese restaurant order: Fried pork dumplings

Sandwich: Panini with ham, tomato and Gruyère cheese on a baguette

Unusual ingredient: Red pepper in sorbet

Healthy snack: Plain yogurt with honey

Unhealthy snack: Krispy Kreme donuts

Condiment: Grey Poupon Country Dijon mustard

Chocolate: Valrhona 66 percent pure Caraibe dark chocolate

Grocery-store cookie: Petit Beurre shortbread with chocolate

Dessert: Baba au rhum

Beer: Stella Artois

Ice cream flavor: Häagen-Dazs Salted Caramel

Kitchen aroma: Fresh baked bread

Always in the home fridge: Fig jam and European butter

Always in the pantry: Coffee

Bodo’s order: No baguette = no Bodo’s order

Salad bar toppings: Anything but carrots

Eggs: Sunny side up—runny!

Cut of meat: Tournedos/filet mignon

Fish: Sea bass with fennel

Vegetable: Onions and peppers

Midnight snack: Ice cream

Knife: Serrated

Appliance: Coffeemaker

Cookbook/magazine: Le Journal du Patissier

Mentors: Claude Terroni, French baker and pastry chef instructor

Dream trip: Tahiti, snorkeling in the sun

Food city: Paris

Cooking clothes: White chef jacket and jeans

Kitchen shoes: Anything comfortable and made of leather

Food-related tattoos: None, but if I was to get one, it would be of a rolling pin.

First food memory: My mother’s gratin dauphinois (like scalloped potatoes).

Best meal ever: Still waiting…

The bread man

It’s clear Torres is serious about the baguette, an iconic French symbol and the subject of much debate. Each year, Paris holds a competition for the best baguette according to guidelines set by French law.