Samer Kobeissi: the Cream Puff King

This "UFO" of Pastry in Lebanon has got it all.
By Janine Ayoub
November 25, 2016

He is able to associate, with incredible talent and creativity, unusual and bold flavors. This 36-year-old king of cream puff carves his dough and juggles with seasonal fruits. His craving for creation has pushed him to end his engineering career to please his sweet tooth, and inaugurate his very own pastry workshop, Des Choux et des Idées, in Beirut, with two of his friends.

Behind these tiny cakes, hides something extraordinary: art, delight, and a lot of work. He jumps when the alarm of his stove goes off. He was constantly checking his little “viennoiseries” of which we've smelled the perfume since the beginning of the interview. "Those are the first preparations of our shop that we inaugurated in Abdel Wahhab street," he says joyfully. A typical work day in his kitchen is not easy at all, but this is how he draws his energy, from the satisfaction of seeing his flavors and emotions take shape. For this goldsmith, "pastry is a universal and emotional language that brings pleasure and that is shared in all simplicity".

A culinary memory? The classic apple pie of his mother, the favorite gourmet of our childhood. "The apple pie is the chilly days of winter, it is the melancholy that emanates from the aroma of cinnamon that mixes with maternal love." As you can see, he has always had a sweet tooth. He set himself behind his stoves since a very young age as he released his emotions through a cream, a ganache, a cupcake... He retained the taste of the cakes prepared by his mother. "They kept telling me about an emotional piece, it took me 20 years to understand what they meant." This craft of sugar and cream, he discovers it through his emotions.

This "UFO" of Pastry in Lebanon has got it all, and he hasn't finished surprising us. For the rest of the interview, check our November 2016 issue.