... captivates his guests with sweet creations
Gilles Cavalieri stands behind the prepared ingredients for the planned dessert calmly and with the serenity of an experienced pâtissier. Today, his guests are being spoiled with cantuccini. The 53-year-old Frenchman has been the master of sweet creations at the Bad Horn Hotel & Spa for over 12 years. The trained chef reveals that he had no plans to work as a pâtissier at the beginning of his career. But as the French so aptly put it, "C'est la vie" and so Gilles Cavalieri assumed the role and proved to be successful.
Gille's journey in gastronomy began near his hometown of Riscle, in the south of France. He learned the basics at a culinary school and went on to successfully obtain the pâtissier diploma in his subsequent work placement. His former training manager and non-fiction author was considered a pioneering personality back then. Gilles still carries the memory of his former teacher with him in the form of a large cookbook. It contains all the compositions, on the basis of which Gilles creates and develops his recipes. He says proudly, “The book is like a Bible to me. It has accompanied me and inspired me in my career from that day on.”
After graduating from culinary school, the newly qualified chef moved to the nearby city of Toulouse. Contrary to Gilles' wish to work as a commis de cuisine, Gilles ended up in patisserie again. “It was like a jinx,” laughs Gilles. “In almost all restaurants, a main part of my job was preparing desserts. Sometimes for a whole year, a few months or a few weeks,” the friendly Frenchman remembers. However, thanks to his versatile way of creating salty yet incredibly sweet dishes at a high level, the young Frenchman quickly gained the attention of the culinary industry. A skill that ultimately led to Gilles’ departure from France, via the Principality of Liechtenstein and to Switzerland, to Horn.
Since then, Gilles Cavalieri has fully arrived in the intricate world of patisserie. When asked what the differences between the two types of cooking are, Gilles responds: “Creating desserts and other sweet dishes requires a great deal of intuition and precision. Just a single gram too much or too little can have a critical effect on the end result”. “A good example is a praline. Due to their size, the different flavour carriers have a completely different relationship to one another, which is why a pastry chef has to perfectly coordinate the individual ingredients. That doesn't mean the job of the chef is any less demanding, but the starting point is different,” Gilles points out. The Frenchman would no longer want to change his job and, after more than 12 years at the Bad Horn Hotel & Spa, he still spoils his guests with his wonderful and sweet creations.
Using the recipe of our head pastry chef Gilles Cavalieri
Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and then slowly add the eggs to the mixture. Mix the flour, almond slivers, baking powder, vanilla pulp, salt, ground cinnamon and lemon zest together and knead into the mixture. Cut the dough into 4 to 6 parts. Shape into evenly round logs using aluminium foil. Chill the dough for 30 minutes. Unwrap and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 15 minutes. Leave to cool a little and then cut at an angle into 1 cm thick slices. Place these back on the baking tray and bake for another 10 minutes at 180°C. The cantuccini should be golden brown in the end.