The time has come, Francophiles, to get in line – Parisian star baker Gontran Cherrier has opened his first official Australian store.
There are now 27 (and counting) Gontran Cherrier boulangeries around the world, but it's no chain restaurant; the menu at his Collingwood outlet was designed to reflect Melbourne tastes, Cherrier says: it's "a bridge between two cultures."
He's using native Australian ingredients like lemon myrtle and pepperberries, and there are Asian influences too: think rye paired with miso, or a sesame and soy-sauce baguette.
Cherrier's been on the ground in Melbourne this month perfecting his croissants, made in enormous Bongard ovens with imported French flour (he sent 6000 kilograms) and rich Lescure butter; head baker Misato Kikushi will fly in from Japan soon to take the reins.
Melbourne's is the first Cherrier boulangerie in the world to double as a cafe; there's a cool blue-grey interior courtesy of Eades and Bergman, and Pope Joan alumnus Travis Welch is at the pans mixing top-notch local produce with Cherrier's buttery carbs – expect all-day breakfast and St Ali coffee.
Open daily 7am-6pm.
140 Smith Street, Collingwood, gontrancherrier.com.au