This year’s summer season at the Château Saint-Martin & Spa will be marked by the arrival of a brand-new Head Pastry Chef, Malo Le Cras. The young 27-year-old pastry chef has been appointed to work at two Oetker Collection palaces – the Château Saint-Martin & Spa in Vence for the summer season, and L’Apogée Courchevel in the winter. Malo Le Cras’ interest in pastry was first sparked as a child, baking in the kitchen alongside his mother. It was at the age of 15, however, that the flame was truly lit when he headed to Éric Jubin’s chocolate and pastry shop at Pont-Aven, in the Finistère, for his school work experience placement. That experience inspired him to sign up for a vocational training course at the Lycée Le Paraclet, in Quimper, where he obtained his Vocational Baccalaureate in Baking and Pastry in 2012.
His passion for pastry was then further fuelled on joining the Hôtel de La Pointe at Cap Coz in Fouesnant, in the Finistère, as a trainee commis pastry chef. The teamwork, pressure, exacting standards and creativity so crucial in this profession nourished his appetite for hard work.
In 2013, Malo Le Cras made the decision to leave his native Brittany behind him, heading to Paris to join Alain Ducasse’s restaurant, Rech, as a trainee pastry chef, where he earned his Restaurant Desserts Diploma. Ever hungry for a challenge, he entered the French Desserts Championships, walking away with 1st prize in the junior category for the Ile-de-France region. He pursued his training and career working for numerous different establishments, including the Terre Blanche Hôtel Spa Golf Resort in Tourrettes, in the Var, and the Hostellerie de la Pointe Saint-Mathieu at Plougonvelin, in the Finistère, with its single-starred Michelin restaurant. He joined Oetker Collection for the 2013-2014 season for the opening of L’Apogée Courchevel, then went on to work at the Eden Rock-St Barths on the island of Saint-Barthélemy in 2016, and more recently the Château Saint-Martin & Spa, where he was appointed Sous Pastry Chef in 2018.
“What I love about pastry is its ability to give people pleasure and introduce them to new taste sensations. I love the creative side, the textures, smells and flavours. But what I love more than anything is sharing my passion with others.”
Having always had a passion for travel and culture, in November 2018 Malo Le Cras decided to head off on a solo trip exploring South East Asia, extending his trip by six months by obtaining a Working Holiday Visa in Taiwan, where he ran pastry classes. As a fan of Asia’s omnipresent Street Food, he then decided to set himself a new challenge – that of introducing the local population to Breton crêpes, one of his region’s specialities. He got his business off the ground by purchasing an electric tricycle, which he kitted out to produce crêpes on the go. It proved to be a resounding success and one of which he is extremely proud of. The trip as a whole opened his eyes to another culture, giving him the opportunity to make some amazing connections and above all filling his head with unique and unforgettable memories.
Now back in France, he has started 2021 by joining Château Saint-Martin & Spa as Head Pastry Chef for the iconic Oetker Collection establishment: “I’m both delighted and honoured to be joining the Château Saint-Martin & Spa team this season. It is a Collection underpinned by values that I truly admire, such as authenticity, creativity and family. I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity to share my creations with guests and spark emotion and pleasure through my pastries.”
At the Château Saint-Martin & Spa, Malo Le Cras will be adding his signature touch to the dessert menus right across the establishment, including at the one Michelin-starred Le Saint-Martin restaurant, the summer restaurant, L’Oliveraie, and the venue’s bar, Le Rossini. He will also be responsible for the sweet breakfast and Room Service menus.
Jean-Luc Lefrançois, Executive Chef at both the Château Saint-Martin & Spa and L’Apogée Courchevel, is thrilled to be welcoming Le Cras onto his team: “Malo is a young and indulgent Head Pastry Chef with an appetite for discovery and travel. Discrete yet passionate, he draws on his wide-ranging experiences to showcase a high degree of creativity that knows no bounds.”
An array of subtly indulgent surprises await guests at the Château Saint-Martin & Spa this summer.