Patisserie part deux

[attach]4614[/attach]Nadège Nourian is such a natural at cooking up recipes, she can do it in her sleep.


“Seriously, it’s true, sometimes I sleep and I dream of it and I wake up and I just write it down,” she says. “I know it sounds silly, but that’s how it happens.”

The story of how this fourth-generation pastry chef from Lyon, France, wound up opening a sweet shop in Summerhill — her second in the city — is one that’s rooted in love.

After growing up in the family trade, Nourian honed her craft as a pastry chef, chocolatier and ice cream maker at a top school in Normandy and then trained under some of the highest ranked chefs in her field — those with the prestigious distinction Meilleurs Ouvriers de France.

“Here people are very into school, but school is not everything you know,” she says. “You have to train after for years to get to a certain level. So that’s what I did. I went to some of the best places in France and in the world.”

While she was in London, England, where she spent eight years climbing up the ranks until she was in charge of 25 pastry chefs, she met Toronto-based Morgan McHugh — who is now her partner in business and life.

The couple spent a few years together in Europe and before deciding to move to Toronto to start their own company. They opened the first Nadège Patisserie, a café style pastry shop near Trinity Bellwoods Park on Queen Street West in 2009 with the goal of eventually opening up this second location.

The new Yonge Street spot, near Summerhill station, is what Nourian calls a patisserie boutique, which can best be described as a take-out dessert counter. Unlike the Queen Street shop, it has no seating area or coffee and it revolves mainly around chocolates, cakes, macaroons and croissants.

“That really is the accomplishment of a great chef, as a pastry chef to just have something around sweets,” she says.

Although she says the store is in the perfect spot because people can do their grocery shopping at the nearby butcher and fish shop and then come to her place to pick up dessert, the location actually picked her and not vice versa.

“The owner of the building, through connections found out about us and was a big fan,” she says.

She says the owner, Paul Oberman of Woodcliffe Landmark Properties, was unfortunately killed in a plane crash right after they finished negotiations.

“He was actually a very big fan of what we do and asked us to take over the spot and we were greats fans of what he did,” Nourian says. “He was an amazing man, saving heritage buildings in Toronto and Canada. So we really connected and this building is a heritage building. So it was just great to go there, it was making sense for everybody.”