Three years ago, pastry chef Yohann Le Bescond set out looking for a job anywhere that wasn't in France. He had lived and worked in the country all his life and wanted a change. A job posting on a Facebook group for pastry chefs led him to Le Macaron in Miami, a baked goods wholesaler specializing in macarons, the classic French cookie. Only 20 years old, Le Bescond started as a sous chef and worked his way up to executive chef in just one year.
Le Macaron's client list includes the SLS Hotel, JW Marriott Marquis, the Sagamore Hotel, and American Airlines Arena. Individual clients can custom-order specialty cakes and pastries as well as large orders of macarons. Prices vary, but macarons typically cost $1 apiece. Chef Le Bescond is especially known for his eye-catching macaron towers that are popular for parties and special events, including New Year's Eve.
French macarons (pronounced "mack-ah-
Under Le Bescond's watchful eye, the macarons he and his team produce are made entirely from scratch and by hand — qualities he says distinguish the product from many competitors. The almond flour is sourced from California, the vanilla comes from France, and real eggs are used to make the meringue. Le Macaron offers these flavors: vanilla, pistachio, passion fruit, caramel salted butter, coffee, cotton candy, rose, chocolate, hazelnut, and coconut.
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Le Bescond quit high school at the age of 15 to study the intricate art of pastry making in Rennes, France, earning the highest degree a pastry chef can be awarded. Although he's in Miami, the chef remains vigilant about respecting classic French baking techniques. That said, he enjoys having fun and getting inventive with his creations. For example, to commemorate Bastille Day, the national day of France, he concocted red, white, and blue-hued macarons for Air France. Meanwhile, Bruno Mars specifically requested gold macarons for his 24 Karat Magic World Tour afterparty following his show at American Airlines Area. Le Bescond says he started with vanilla-flavored macarons and sprayed them with gold dust. "They look nice but you end up with glitter all over your hands and mouth," he says.
Le Bescond knew he wanted to be a pastry chef since he was a young boy watching his mother in the kitchen in Brittany. He is passionate about what he does and hopes to stay in Miami, where he wants to eventually own his own sweet shop or work as a pastry chef for a fine dining restaurant. "Macarons are not like this big slice of cake; they are sweet little cookies you can bring to people, and I find that very cool."
Le Macaron. 7835 NW 15th St., Miami; 786- 409-4759. Open for custom orders only.