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
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.