Who's the clientele?
I think it's a nice place for ladies to hang out in the afternoon. Maybe they're going to buy a ring downstairs and have a cup of hot chocolate upstairs. We have five kinds of hot chocolate.
One of the verrines has a very cool presentation: I think it's a little bit shocking. It's a white chocolate sponge, then a compote of cranberry and balsamic vinegar—don't worry, it's not shocking yet—and after that there's a dark chocolate creme brulee and a white chocolate sponge. There's a plastic syringe filled with the compote, so you can take a little more balsamic into your cake.
Did Mauboussin request you do anything in particular? Alain Nemarq [chairman of Mauboussin] just wanted me to make one special thing for him because he loves something very, very dark, very French, like 75% chocolate—and he wants a pinch of salt in the dark chocolate. That's in the works.
Are you looking in any neighborhood in particular?
I'm very open—Payard was the Upper East Side but I love downtown too, sometimes. Right now there are so many places empty, so many bad landlords. Maybe I will find my dream.
Where do you like to eat yourself?
I may shock you—I love to eat vegetarian. I just met the people from Candle Cafe. I even did something very interesting with them: they asked me to go to Harlem and to teach some kids how to eat healthy. I did a pizza for the kids with red sauce and beans and tofu.