MEET ANAIS OLMER FROM CHEZ BOGATO[:]

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For my 25th birthday, three years ago, I got the best present ever: a cake from Chez Bogato shaped like my very first book, Make My Party. It was heavenly. Forget about boring icing, my rose and raspberry cake was finished off with a very fine almond paste. If I close my eyes I can still see it... the decadence, as flavorful as it was beautiful. Now thanks to Make My Lemonade, I’m lucky to often get pastries made by chefs from brands celebrating their opening launch and I still find Chez Bogato’s work fun, colorful, and delicious. Chez Bogato, for me, sets the bar as far as treats go... You know about my sweet tooth for colorful cakes, remember our paper cake calendar? In that article I’d said that “I’ve been wanting to partner up with a pastry shop for a while to recreate on their entire menu in paper but the opportunity never came up or at least not yet”. A couple hours later, with the help of my friend Lili’s magic wand, I got an email from Anaïs Olmer from Chez Bogato. I literally jumped for joy! We met and I asked Anaïs Olmer to collaborate on my new cake baking book, Make My Birthday that’ll be released in a couple months. Talking with Anaïs and learning about her inspiring personal journey, I knew from the start she was perfect for the Good People section. I think she represents Girl Power perfectly this March 8th, which we’ve christened Heroine Day...
  • Career change question: From graphic design to pastries, isn’t that a big difference and a lot of paperwork?
Oh yes, it was a big change, there’s a huge difference between being a salaried employee and an entrepreneur. Each day and project varies at an agency. In baking, it’s a never­ending cycle, but I try to bring my passion for graphic design and color into my cakes. As an entrepreneur, you’re free to make your own rules, to take on new projects and to re­invent yourself everyday. You’re involved with everything from the interior design of the boutique, the accounting, and the psychological side of managing your teams! I really like the real­life artisanal aspect of baking. You can’t work ahead of time, everything is urgent in order to guarantee freshness, that’s the exciting part of our job. In 2009, when I founded Chez Bogato, there weren’t a lot of things for creative bakeries, no fun molds or tools, it was a real challenge to break away from classic, traditional pastries. Today, there are many more choices, with bakeries multiplying and artsy decorations more common, but most importantly I keep flavor and the love of baking in mind, rather than the art of assembling it all. It must be beautiful and delicious.
  • What’s Next’ Question: Today a boutique, a lab, a bunch of special orders for brands, what are your next steps?
We’d like to continue organizing workshops for parents and kids, birthday workshops, and especially team­building activities, pushing the idea of the workshop to its limits! I have something particularly high­quality in mind, far from regular, impersonal cooking classes. We’d also like to work on a global project, still offering decorations at the store but also proposing decoration help and set up on the big day, and why not develop Bogato brand products.
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  • ‘Master Yoda’ Question: What are three pieces of advice for someone wanting to reconvert to a culinary profession ?
be very dynamic and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty ­draw inspiration from your surroundings
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  •  ‘Experience’ Question: What’s your best tip as an entrepreneur?
My best weapon has without a doubt been my worry­free attitude, when it comes to my role as an entrepreneur. And not to give up when problems arise! To sum it up: face them!  
  • Girl Power Question: What does female entrepreneurship mean to you?
I wasn’t planning on only working with girls. I also hadn’t thought of having to manage people when I started out. But it’s a fact, I only got female applicants! And I wanted to break the mold of the ‘chef tough on their employees’, I wanted to bring kindness and well­being to the kitchen. It’s true, we’re able to handle a hundred things all at once, that’s no doubt what brought out my maternal instincts and what I find in the women I work with (wonder women).
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  •  “In Search of Lost Time” Question: what’s your first Proust Madeleine?
Passion fruit/chocolate ice cream and lemon/chocolate ice cream, an unlikely mix at first thought, but absolutely addictive.
  • ‘Throwback’ Question: What did you want to grow up to be?
A baker and veterinarian!
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Chez Bogato : 7 rue Liancourt 75014 Paris

Translated by Whitney Bolin

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