In a pretty yellow house in Calgary’s Mission district, magic happens.
And now the world has been let in on that little secret.
I’m talking about Yann Haute Patisserie, owned and operated by pastry Chef Yann Blanchard and his wife, Jeraldine, since Christmas Eve 2009. It’s an unlikely slice of Paris on the Canadian prairies – a picture-perfect boutique dedicated to the creation of pastry that is as beautiful as it tastes.
The tiny shop has a reputation for having the best macarons in a city spoiled for choice on that front. I’m a personal fan of its viennoiserie.
And you should see the cakes.
This past week Chef Yann Blanchard became the first and only Canadian chef to be admitted to the Relais Dessert Association, an organization that recognizes the best in French pastry. Akin to obtaining a Michelin star, Chef Yann joins an elite group of approximately 100 pastry chefs and chocolatiers from 19 different countries who have been acknowledged for the quality of their ingredients, execution, and artistry, as well as their passion and professionalism.
Chef Yann excels on all those fronts. But I’ll let you in on another secret.
Some of those gorgeous pastries are delivered free each week to those wrestling their demons at Alpha House – a non-profit agency that has offered a safe environment for 35 years to clients struggling with addiction.
You see, Yann Haute Patisserie is also a regular donor to LeftOvers Calgary – a grassroots organization that rescues food that would otherwise be thrown into the landfill, and gets that food to service agencies in need. Each day, the staff at Yann Haute carefully squirrel away unsold pastries into their freezer. Once a week, a LeftOvers volunteer picks up those pastries and delivers them to Alpha House’s detox and recovery centre. As a volunteer driver with LeftOvers Calgary, I’ve been a lucky witness to the smiles that appear at the recovery centre when I arrive with that bag of magic.
So congratulations to Chef Yann Blanchard for his remarkable Relais Dessert distinction. It’s time the world knew more about his pastry and passion.
And kudos for extending that passion to the environment – and to those who might not ever pass through the patisserie doors.
Read more about Yann Haute Patisserie and Chef Yann’s Relais Dessert designation at yannboutique.com or on Facebook .
Text © 2017 Catherine Van Brunschot
Photos – Yann Haute Patisserie