There are a number of characteristics that Yauatcha in Soho is recognisable for, not least the glass-fronted patisserie counter containing rows of petits gateaux, macarons and handmade chocolates, lined up like sparkling jewels in a department store.
Headed up by Executive Pastry Chef Graham Hornigold and Head Pastry Chef Sarah Frankland, the patisserie offering at Yauatcha has garnered much critical acclaim in the decade that the restaurant has been trading in London. Indeed, it is the marriage of patisserie, created using classical European cooking techniques, and Chinese cuisine, with its complex flavours and spices, that is so unique to Yauatcha. Over the years, the pastry team have won numerous awards for their work in the industry, including an award for the Raspberry Delice at the Cake Awards in 2013 and, most recently, a Gold Award for the Raspberry Rose chocolate at the Chocolate Awards.
We speak to Chef Graham Hornigold ahead of its opening.
What are you most excited about with the opening of Yauatcha Patisserie?
It’s something myself and the pastry team are really excited about. The pastry at Yauatcha is something I’m really proud of, and it’s a real testament to our achievements that Yauatcha Patisserie exists. We’re hoping that the patisserie becomes iconic and a destination in its own right, especially within an industry that is currently on the up.
What will be sold at the patisserie?
You’ll be able to purchase everything that is currently at Yauatcha in Soho, from the petits gateaux to boxes of chocolates and macarons. We’re also creating larger versions of a selection of the iconic cakes, such as the Raspberry Delice, that will be perfect for birthdays or special occasions. We’re also working on additional seasonal confectionery that wouldn’t necessarily be sold in Yauatcha Soho, such as Easter eggs and spiced panettone.
How many people will be coming on board to help out with Yauatcha Patisserie?
Four new pastry chefs have been added to our team, while some of our existing chefs have been given promotions or have moved over from other Hakkasan Group restaurants. Chef Sarah Frankland is heading up both teams, but Marco Pagos will be in charge of the everyday at Yauatcha City. I really have a great team of very talented chefs around me, so we are very lucky.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced when creating pastry for Chinese restaurants?
It’s important to get the flavours correct, so that each dessert or macaron or chocolate complements what has gone before – you should think about the meal in its entirety rather than as separate courses, and I think we’ve succeeded at creating patisserie that not only tastes delicious on its own but correctly follows the dim sum and wok dishes that precede it. It’s also imperative to create desserts that are palate cleansers, especially after eating strong flavours, and our patisseries are designed to give the eater a refreshed mouth feel.
What do you hope for the future with Yauatcha Patisserie?
For one in every major city.
Head Pastry Chef Sarah Frankland