Thanks so much for stopping by and seeing what Merci Boulangerie is all about. Here's a little blurb about me and my ever evolving business.
For those I've never met before, my name is Natalie Cumberbirch and I am a Red Seal Baker, born and raised in Vancouver B.C.
With family scattered throughout the Mediterranean in both France and Spain, I have had the good fortune to regularly travel Europe since the age of two. Food, drink, family and community have always played a big role in my upbringing and I believe my passion for the culinary and pastry arts stem from these experiences early in life.
After completing my Culinary and Pastry schooling at Vancouver Community College in 2016, I staged at two German Bakeries, and a restaurant in Barcelona. Little did I know that was the beginning of my life abroad.
After a brief stint working as Head Pastry Chef at the Tofino Resort and Marina, I received a call that would change my direction yet again. I was offered an entry level position at the two Michelin star restaurant, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon. With my bags packed, I was headed to Paris 3 weeks later.
After a year of working 18 hour shifts in a high intensity, high pressure kitchen, I rose to the position of chef de parti and learned the dedication and effort it would take to be a truly excellent chef. Feeling a need to expand beyond chocolate, sugar, and plated desserts, my true passion of bread and pastry needed to be addressed. The only downside: I would no longer be serving dessert to Scarlett Johansson.
Once again, good fortune and an interview conducted in Spanish (who knew!) landed me a position at one of the premier, up and coming, much celebrated, boulangeries of Paris. Mamiche.
For the next year, I would work under some of the most passionate and technically skilled bakers I've had the good fortune to know and learn from.
Both jobs, while uniquely different, were both rich in lessons and experiences that moulded me into who I am today. They taught me the ever evolving process required to reach perfection; that simple ingredients can be elevated and refined to another level of elegance and complexity, while remaining simple in their truest form.
Merci Boulangerie is my attempt at bringing a small part of Paris to you. The smells, the sounds and the scenes.
It's the sounds of store front shutters being opened on your way to work; patio chairs being shuffled over the cobblestone streets. The constant chatter of children on their walk to the lycée, hand in hand with their parent, and some freshly baked chouquettes. It's the smell of the croissant you can taste before you've even taken a bite. Its more than a pastry, its an experience.
Sitting down with friends on the bank of the Seine, ripping into the heel of a baguette with a piece of Comte, Duck Rillette and chilled Rose. Watching the sky change from blue, to pink, to orange, with the Eiffel Tower peeking out from the uniquely Parisian skyline.
Elegantly simple products made with quality ingredients, meticulous care and countless hours spent perfecting.
Bon appetit- I hope you enjoy the experience.