June 17, 2020 Hospitality/food

French and Caribbean cuisine.

Lemon meringue tart with almond shortbread, hazelnut frangipane and lemon curd – do we have your attention?

Here is the story of magnificent bite-sized Chocolate flourless cakes, Mango and raspberry cheesecakes, Raspberry almond friands – and that’s just some of the gluten free selection!

A fabulous French and Caribbean Patisserie is establishing itself in these difficult times in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It was literally a long journey to get here. As Chrisley, one of the twin brothers who own the business says “Having talent and not doing anything with it will not get you anywhere, but having talent and working hard will get you far.”

The journey begins in Lyon, the food capital of France, where Chrisley and Chris were raised. The brothers studied cooking extensively. Chris worked in fine dining, gaining a Michelin star. Chrisley was a pastry chef in the biggest brasserie in Lyon.

Travel beckoned and Chris was the first to move, heading to Australia. “I followed one of my school friends to Australia and at that time I wasn’t speaking any English. In the beginning things were quite hard. I was a skilled chef, but with no English I had to start as a dishwasher while I improved my English. After a couple of years, I found work as a chef in cafes, fine dining restaurants and even a winery. I learned from different cultures and traditions and they have influenced the way I cook today.”

Twin brother Chrisley left France in 2015 to work in Japan for a year as Head Chef in a 5 star hotel; developing his talents as pastry chef, baker, chocolatier and candy maker. After a year in Japan, Chrisley decided to meet Chris in Australia where he worked in cafes, pastry shops and catering agencies.

Chris says “I always wanted to have my own business, but I never had the opportunity and didn’t know where to start. I was told about NEIS – and that it was free. It was easy to apply and I got started at Holmesglen.”

“What I loved the most in the NEIS program was the knowledge of our teachers. All of them. Their knowledge was so valuable and often came from their own personal story. It still guides me as an entrepreneur today.”

The new business is Kanelle Patisserie. Things started slowly, with a catering service and private chef experience. Real momentum came with baking cakes for their local Caribbean Club. With very little promotion orders started pouring in through word-of-mouth about the unique modern Caribbean and French patisserie fare. “We are mixing personal techniques and creativity – not to recreate but to reinvent patisserie classics,” says Chris. “This is our niche and makes us unique. Creativity is our drive.” An example is their Chocolate mousse cake with a hazelnut brownie base.

January this year was the beginning of a much wider audience for Chris and Chrisley. Kanelle Patisserie became a regular fixture at markets including Eltham and Mulgrave Farmers Markets, drawing people in with their very visual and very delicious creations, laid out on swathes of traditional Caribbean fabric. Market days were usually sell-outs.

Then in March everything changed with lockdown. Chris is quite philosophical about it. “The Coronavirus pandemic gave us the opportunity to understand what the risks are with owning a business. We will stay humble and keep working hard on the business. There’s a lot happening behind the scenes.”

While they work on the Kanelle Patisserie website and the next stage of promoting their food, Chris and Chrisley are happy with the loyal trade they have built so far. Instagram is made for them, showing off the deliciously colourful, glazed fruit topped cakes and towering croquembouche wrapped in threads of spun sugar. “I believe that if you make quality food, people will promote you,” says Chris. Happy customers holding up their custom orders for a photo says the same thing too.

Do you have a great new business idea? NEIS is an Australian Government sponsored new business training program, to assist with self-employment. Use the postcode finder for your local provider and contact them for a chat.

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