Gontran Cherrier Hawthorn
Celebrity French chef Gontran Cherrier opened his second eponymously named Melbourne boulangerie in September 2017.
This gluten temple is a smaller version of the Collingwood store, which opened in 2016. The outpost features minimalist design by Olaver Architecture, including lustrous concrete flooring, a stone and wood countertop with an oh-so-French sparkling water tap, a semi-plastered, semi-exposed brick wall, and a very swank blue, red and gold curtain that drapes across the front window come closing time.
Cherrier’s signature sourdough baguette is the best of both worlds – long and elegant in the French tradition but also crusty and slightly chewy in the Italian way, and famously only made with his favourite French flour and butter. Cherrier also isn’t afraid to colour outside of the lines – go for the miso rye bread or black-as-night squid ink and nigella seed baguette to see just how far.
Then, of course, there are the pastries: rows upon rows displayed behind the counter, advertised in hand-drawn black cursive letters along the glass cabinet: chocolat viennoise, Normandy tart, saucisson baguette. The croissants will make your socks roll up and down. He’s also got Gallic lunch classics on the menu, such as bacon-and-gruyere quiche Lorraine and le croquet monsieur Parisien.
If you’re sitting down, accompany your croissant with a St Ali coffee cafe au lait in a mug (“because why not?” as the menu says).
Cherrier has also created some special local items, including Australian chickpea-miso brioche, pumpkin and apple turnovers, and – come summer – lemon-myrtle custard eclairs.