Meet the makers: La Voie Française

For anyone searching for a taste of French goodness in Auckland, La Voie Française's croissants, macarons, bread and baguettes are your best bet. n fact, it's head baker can lay claim to the prestigious ‘best baguette in Paris’ award!

If you travel the world and visit some of the top French bakeries, you’re highly likely to find a Japanese baker working there. Auckland has Tetsuya Namekawa, owner of award-winning bakery La Voie Française. Tetsuya studied and worked for nine years in Japan then travelled to Paris to hone his skills before making his way to New Zealand, working as a baker and pastry chef in some of our best restaurants before going out on his own.

“Good baking is all about timing and paying attention to detail”

While he was working in the Paris bakery Le Grenier à Pain, they won the prestigious ‘best baguette in Paris’ competition to supply the French President, so it’s fair to say Tetsuya knows a thing or two about authentic French bread. He says timing and attention to detail are the keys to good bread. The temperature of the dough is crucial and the colour of the bread depends on the dough’s condition. “Good bread gets coloured much faster in the oven and becomes crusty on the outside while still moist inside.”

Tetsuya is a pastry chef by training and worked with acclaimed pâtissier Pierre Hermé in Paris. One key ingredient in French pastries that gives them a distinct texture, flavour and colour is ground almonds. The ground almonds are added with the flour and butter. They grind the almonds in the bakery as the ground almonds in New Zealand are much finer than those in France.

Tetsuya says, when it comes to judging the skills of a baker, the quality of their puff pastry and croissants will tell you all you need to know.

875 Dominion Rd, Mount Roskill, Auckland | facebook.com/LVFrancaise

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