Master Chef Florent Cheveau Runs the Busiest Pastry Shop in Las Vegas — Chefs of the Strip

Today, we have a couple of things. We have a couple big lunches. We have 2,000 people in three different locations. And we have to set up for tomorrow, we have a big group as well. We have close to 5,000 people here. Just for banquets we’re probably gonna send 10,000 pastries today. And banquet is one department. On a daily basis we have 29 departments to take care of. You have many kitchens in the hotel, but there is only one pastry shop. We can go from a reception of 25,000 people. We can have like, yeah we’ll say five, 15, 15 wedding cakes. Sometimes we have one order that is like 25-30 of them on one day, you know. I want to be super busy. I like to be very active. I don’t want to be bored, you know? Hi, morning, how are you? When you’re starting the day, what is funny is you never know what’s gonna happen.

There is always something, you never know. Chef Florent speaking. You have these banquet callers and they have this company that wants to have 10,000 macarons with their logo on it. Okay how do we put, how we do we make 10,000 macarons with their logo on it? If the egg whites are too cold you’re gonna create this bubble also. – [Cynthia] Macarons are a very tricky thing. Not everybody can make them right and he’s very particular about it. – [Florent] It’s like a baby, you know? You have to know where to focus the most energy, where to focus a little bit less, you know, but still looking at some very important key points, you know? Can I double check the macarons, I think this should be close. You see, I believe we have a clock, you know? Because every time when I bake something I can come usually 10, 20, 30 seconds before it rings, you know? Without knowing the time, you know? Managing a large team is a great learning experience because when you come from where I come from your skills are based on what you do with the food, you know? Not necessarily who you are as a manager.

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You know, we are not trained for that. We’re trying to be as best as we can with the craft, you know? That’s why we compete a lot, and when I came to America in a big operation, big hotel and I realized that management was actually a job. I was shocked, because for me I didn’t understand the purpose of it. I was like, if you’re good pastry chef, you’re a good pastry chef, you know? You quickly realize that even in France it’s not necessarily the best pastry chef that has the biggest success. It’s very often the best manager. Kayla, we’re gonna do a quick meeting for New Year’s Eve. When we do this kind of event you know, we always try to bring something very unique or very different and this year I don’t know why, I decided it was the fidget spinner. I don’t know why. Like something clicked and that was the fidget and that was it. The 2,000 chocolate show pieces, for example, this year we’re gonna use a fidget spinner. I saw my son, you know, playing with fidget one day and I was like, “Let’s put the fidget spinner on the dessert.” – I’m gonna bet you a hundred dollars, that he’s gonna see them and the first thing he’s gonna ask me is, “Do they last 24 hours?” – They spin good, huh? Alright, let’s put the stickers on it. – Sticker? – Yeah what time is it? – Why do you want to know the time? – Just want to see, you know? – You wanna see what? – See how long they last. –

Yeah. 24 hours, Chef. – We will see. I’ll say okay when I see that they’re gonna be 24 hours. I am a pastry addict. I’m working right now, with everything we have to do and and the fact that I’m gonna represent the U.S. for the world cup. I have to work an average of 18-20 hours a day and to be honest with you, I don’t take that as a job, you know? It’s not even work for me. It’s just something that I love so much, you know? What I love with chocolate is, you can literally do anything, you know? You just need to be sometimes, crazy enough to try things that don’t really make sense, you know? So yes, right now I’m working on the World Chocolate Masters chocolate world cup, you know, to become the best pastry chef in the world. So all my free time, you know? After work. Florent Cheveau, United States of America. – It’s almost like Olympics, you know? It’s almost like I’m a professional athlete, you know? Or something like that. You have to spend these two years working your butt off. You work 18-20 hours a day, you know? I haven’t seen my family, my kids, my wife, for more than probably an hour maximum.

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All of this work can be jeopardized by a lack of focus when you’re gonna pack your equipment. So basically, that’s the boxes we’re gonna use for the competition. So I want to avoid taking a big one but we’re gonna have to take a big one and probably two of the small ones. So yeah, every single step is really key but the packing part is extremely important, yes. And it takes days and days. The World Chocolate Championship, for me, would represent closing one of the chapters. I started twenty years ago when I set this goal, you know? I was really interested in mass production. We have 500 flan to do for tomorrow. You have to be a full-rounded professional. It’s not only being the best in a few things that few people can eat, you know? But suddenly you can touch 5,000, 10,000, 25,000 people in one shot. At the same time I was also very interested about the very fine and delicate stuff that you can’t do when you do mass production. So I had to create my own bubble, you know? I had to create my own world in this bakery. I had to stop sometimes, you know? Step away. So this is one of the pieces that I’m creating for the Masters, you know? And close myself, you know, for five minutes, I focus on the product only. I feel really good right now, excited to be here, you know? Finally after two years, you know? – [Announcer] Welcome to the World Chocolate Masters 2018. –

The process of the master of tech, it’s pretty costly. It cost me quite a bit. Even the first prize doesn’t cover anything, it doesn’t even cover a ticket, you know? So financially it’s not the smartest move that you can do. – [Announcer] So if everyone could just move out of the way, we’re coming through and we’re going around to the front. All the way around and you just gonna place it on here. – [Florent] If you’re truly driven about what you do, you want to challenge and see how far you can push, you know? – [Announcer] Oh, he’s tense. – I’ve never questioned myself, what direction I want to take. – Time to announce the results of the top 10 finalists. Florent Cheveau. – When I was 15, you know, when I started in this business, I thought that I would maybe have a small bakery somewhere in France, you know? Because even the fact that speaking English was too much for me, you know? And suddenly after 10 years or 15 or whatever, you turn around and you’re like, “Oh wow.” I’m actually able to do things, you know? When you’re running a 6,000-room hotel in Las Vegas and you’re doing the World Chocolate Masters, I think you have to be a little bit gone up there, you know? Like you have to be a little bit crazy, you know?

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