OSCARS PASTRY CHEFS KAMEL GUECHIDA & GARRY LARDUINAT
Gary Larduinat has been an Executive Pastry Chef with Wolfgang Puck Catering since 2017. Previously he was the Executive Pastry Chef at Hotel Bel-Air with sister company, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. Before moving out west, Garry was the Executive Pastry Chef at Francois Payard Bakery for six years, his first position in the States before moving from France. Garry began his career at the age of 14 as an apprentice at a two-starred Michelin Restaurant in France, La Chapelle Saint Martin. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out Garry's beautiful Instagram profile.
Kamel Guechida started his career in France with a two-year apprenticeship with Mazi Francis, an esteemed 3 Michelin-starred chocolatier in Perigueux. He was later part of the opening team for L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Paris in 2003 and Joël Robuchon Monte Carlo in 2004.
In 2013, Guechida was approached by Wolfgang Puck and asked to join the company as Corporate Director of Pastry for the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, the collection of national and international restaurants of the world-renowned chef. In this position, Guechida is responsible for creating and overseeing the dessert and bread programs throughout all of Puck’s 21 restaurants plus creating pastry programs for new properties as the group expands its presence into Dubai, the Arab Emirates and Asia.
Valrhona: What inspired you both to enter the world of pastry?
Garry: Both of my parents are chefs and I always wanted to be one.
Kamel: My uncle is a chef at a three-star Michelin Restaurant, he inspired me to become a chef.
Valrhona: Where do your inspirations for new creations come from?
Both: Social media, seasonal items, new chocolates!
Valrhona: Who in your life’s have been the biggest mentor/inspiration in your career?
Garry: Mr. Borzeix-Besse, a French member of the international “Relais Dessert Association”.
Kamel: Freddy Girardet and Joel Robuchon (both named best chefs of the century).
Valrhona: What are your most famous dishes?
Kamel: Dark Chocolate Soufflés
Garry: Burned Salted Caramel Chocolate tarts with Caramel Brittle
Valrhona: What is your favorite type of pastry to make? To eat?
Garry: Coffee eclairs for sure!!
Kamel: Milk chocolate and passion fruit macarons.
Valrhona: What is your favorite kitchen tip?
Garry: Always anticipate the needs and growth that your company needs to take.
Kamel: Always push forward to inspire your team members.
Valrhona: When pairing with chocolate, what is your favorite flavor combination?
Garry: Pralines in general!
Kamel: Aged Port wine.
Valrhona: What is the corporate initiative you’ve implemented and are the proudest of?
Kamel: Throughout the years with WP, I always implement and develop our Oscars Menu to create a unique experience every year.
Also, I love seeing Chefs that I have invested time and energy and see this person grow into a chef that inspires me.
Which do you prefer Celsius or Fahrenheit?
What is your Favorite Restaurant?
Gary: Gjelina in Venice
Kamel: Chalet Swiss in Lausanne.
Which do you prefer Wine or Cheese?
Both in unison: BOTH!
What is your Favorite Kitchen Tool?
Gary: Common Sense!
Kamel: A Whisk
Which do you prefer Cake or Tart?
What is your go to snack?
Gary: Reese’s Pieces
Which do you prefer Coffee or Tea?
What is the Craziest delicious flavor combination you have ever experienced?
Gary: Chocolate Cake and Bacon
Kamel: Citrus Wasabi Panna Cotta and Fuji Apples