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Following the success of their Collingwood store, popular French boulangerie Gontran Cherrier has opened a second location in Hawthorn. A Corporate Member of the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce, Gontran Cherrier supports all FACCI Breakfast events in Victoria.
Cherrier, a fourth-generation French baker, says his bread is “totally different” from the stuff he grew up with at his parents’ bakery. His signature sourdough baguette is the best of both worlds – long and elegant in the French tradition but also crusty and slightly chewy in the Italian way, and famously only made with Cherrier’s favourite French flour and butter. Cherrier also isn’t afraid to colour outside of the lines – go for the miso rye bread or black-as-night squid ink and nigella seed baguette to see just how far.
Then, of course, there are the pastries: rows upon rows displayed behind the counter, advertised in hand-drawn black cursive letters along the glass cabinet: chocolat viennoise, Normandy tart, saucisson baguette. The croissants will make your socks roll up and down. He’s also got Gallic lunch classics on the menu, such as bacon-and-gruyere quiche Lorraine and le croque monsieur Parisien.
Cherrier says Hawthorn – like Collingwood – reminds him of the Paris neighbourhood Montmartre, where he opened his first bakery in 2010. Though unlike Smith Street’s melting-pot/creatives appeal, here it’s the swarms of families and school students that caught his attention.
“In France [the bakery] is the place to be before you go to school,” he smiles.
Cherrier has also created some special local items, including Australian chickpea-miso brioche, pumpkin and apple turnovers, and – come summer – lemon-myrtle custard eclairs.
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