When in 2011 Guillaume and Elodie Bichet opened their eponymously named Confiserie-Pâtisserie in an enticing shop near the medieval stone fountain on Coppet’s charming Grand-Rue in Canton Vaud, clearly fine-food lovers were in for something special.
In a region blessed with an abundance of gourmet chocolate shops and bakeries, it was evident from first sight and first bite that the Confiserie’s exquisite variety of chocolates and bonbons, mouthwatering macarons, temptingly beautiful pastry confections, and selection of homemade breads and croissant, together with warm and courteous service, spoke of one thing: quality of the highest order.
A delicate and contemporary approach
From my own personal experience, I can vouch for the delicious fresh fruit and lemon tarts that I served at my birthday party this year; for the fig-and-nut bread and wholewheat croissant that my better half and I enjoy for Sunday brunch; for the fruity macarons that won warm approval as a thank-you gift for a friend; for the indulgent dark-chocolate truffle pastry “Mme de Stael” (named for the 18th-century owner of the nearby Château de Coppet) that I occasionally indulge in with my afternoon coffee; and for the crunchy yet tender caramelized Piedmont hazelnuts covered in white-, milk- and dark-chocolate — resembling elegant marbles — that are a Confiserie speciality.
Whether it’s Christmas time, Easter time or anytime, Guillaume’s contemporary approach to his craft truly shines. Each unique piece springs from his imagination and reveals his talent for creating modern interpretations of beloved classics … from the sweetest, streamlined bunnies and hens to his bug-eyed roosters that have a futuristic, lighthearted look about them.
Dedication, hard work and learning from the best
You’d think the breadth and depth of skills on show must surely have evolved from many years of supervision and practice — and they have — yet Guillaume is a mere 29 years old. Then again he’s been ‘at this’ since the age of 14, when he would sneak out of his home in Limoges at 2am, past an understandably protective mother, to fulfil an apprenticeship with his mentor, the local confectioner.
His dedication and hard work paid off and by 21, the young pâtissier was leading a team of four for Philippe Chevrier, the illustrious and entrepreneurial chef of Geneva’s Domaine de Château-Vieux, from whom he gained a direction for his life’s work and “precious counsel” that he values to this day.
A precocious talent
In 2011 Guillaume represented Switzerland at the prestigious international “Mondial des Arts Sucrés” competition in Paris, finishing fourth from among 18 competitors. The following year he returned as a member of the jury, symbolic of the growing recognition his precocious talent was gaining among his peers.
In his wife Elodie he’s found a skilled business partner with a like-minded passion for quality and professional excellence that she acquired while working at Geneva’s artisanal chocolatier-confiseur La Bonbonnière.
Together with their team at the Confiserie de la Fontaine they’ve created an oasis of hospitality, quality and service offering a diverse range of culinary delights that cannot fail to please your eye and seduce your taste buds.
Update: You can now enjoy all of Guillaume’s pastries, gourmet teas and coffee, as well as an à la carte lunch menu at Guillaume and Elodie’s Salon de Thé, which opened in 2016. Read about it and the other lovely shops on Coppet High Street here.
Guillaume Bichet Confiserie-Pâtisserie: Grand’Rue 38, 1296 Coppet, Tel: 022.960.11.01. Guillaume Bichet on Facebook. Open Tuesday-Friday 06.30 to 18.30; Saturday 06.30 to 17.00; Sunday 06.30 to 16.00. Open over the Easter weekend, closed Easter Monday.