Payard is a third generation French Pastry Chef, born in Nice
on July 16th, 1966. François cultivated his passion for the
art of pastry as a child in his grandfather’s acclaimed
shop, Au Nid des Friandises on the Riviera. Having grown up
surrounded by delicious French pastries, François continues
his family legacy, hand-crafting traditional and class
French pastries today.
After honing his skills in classic pastry by his family’s
side, François moved to Paris where he learned the artistry
and refinement of transforming traditional desserts into
exquisite plated presentations. The tastes, textures and
originality of his work opened up new opportunities for his career.
dedication and passion earned him positions in several of
France’s highly regarded kitchens. In 1988, Payard held his first
position as Pastry Chef in Paris at La Tour d’Argent (***Michelin). The following year he went on to become
Pastry Chef in the kitchen of Alain Senderens at Lucas
Carton (***Michelin). In these renowned restaurants,
François excelled at creating dessert menus worthy of a three
star Michelin rating.
François’ desire to travel and explore new cultures
brought him to New York City in 1990. He was eager to
experiment with new ideas, flavors and techniques in the capital of cosmopolitan
tastes. His first Pastry Chef position in New York at Le Bernardin (****NY Times), challenged him to create a new
dessert repertoire. It was here that he was made popular for his beautifully
presented and delicately flavored desserts. In 1993, François Payard joined Chef Daniel Boulud
for the opening of Restaurant Daniel (****NY Times). He delighted guests with his chocolate and seasonal fruit
menus. In 1995, The James Beard Foundation named François
“Pastry Chef of the Year” in recognition of his accent on
flavor combined with a unique sense of pastry design.
In August of 1997, François turned his childhood dream of opening his
own restaurant into a reality. Located on 1032 Lexington
Avenue, François strived to innovate, perfect, educate and
contribute his ideas and passion to the field of pastry.
Considered as one of Manhattan’s finest culinary
destinations for 12 years, the establishment closed its
doors the first week of July 2009, due to the loss of its
In 1998, François was again acknowledged for his talents being awarded
“Pastry Chef of the Year” by the Bon Appétit Food &
Entertainment Awards and again in 2001 by the International
Pastry Competition Committee-Beaver Creek. In July of 2004,
François was honored with the prestigious Ordre du Mérite
Agricole, Medal of Honor by the French Government. And in
2005, he received Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for
having one of the most outstanding wine lists in the world
as well as being selected in 2006 as a member of Relais
Desserts International a professional association of the 85
Best Pastry Chefs in the World.
François was also honored with the Dom Pérignon Award Of
Excellence in 2010.
Branches of Payard opened at Caesars Palace
in Las Vegas, Japan and Korea. In November 2009, the
François Chocolate Bar opened in New York City. Described
as “a chocolate jewelry shop,” this shop was devoted to Chef
Payard’s chocolate creations. In September 2010, François
a casual bakery on West Houston Street in
downtown New York City.
is the first of several collaborative projects from
and restaurateur Marlon Abela of Marlon Abela
Restaurant Corporation (MARC), whose
portfolio also includes the A Voce restaurants in New York
City, as well as other restaurants in the U.S. and London.
A second location of FPB opened in Battery Park City in
October 2012 and a third location opened in May 2012 at
Columbus Circle. Francois opened his first FP Patisserie at
the Plaza Hotel in the Todd English Food Hall in the spring
of 2012. In October 2012, he opened his flagship location of
FP Patisserie on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. FP
Patisserie features an elegant bar, pastry shop and salon de
Not just a chef, François is also the author
of the popular cookbooks “Bite Size: Elegant Recipes for
Entertaining”, Simply Sensational Desserts” and “Chocolate
Epiphany: Exceptional Cookies, Cakes, and Confections for
Everyone”. He is currently working on a fourth book, which
should be available at the end of 2013.
We welcome you to discover and delight in François’ favorite
confections, reminiscent of his grandfather’s days.