I met with Carol Boosaba for a coffee meeting as I wanted to know who was behind the most delicious pastries in Bangkok. We met at her outlet at Open House @Central Embassy.
As a typical French, pastries are a big deal for me. While I try to eat healthy, if I am going to have a piece of cake, I want it to be real! with full flavours, and full of all the ingredients that make French pastries what they are: dense, intense, buttery (and awesome).
Where to have that in Bangkok? At Paris Mikki, where the pastries do taste as good as they look, and here is a sum up of the conversation I had with Chef Carol, answering some of my questions about her journey into French pâtisserie.
A one way ticket to Paris
Carol’s initial career path was into the corporate world. Born and raised in Thailand, she then studied in Los Angeles before making a career as a banker.
There was this little voice though… whispering her that this wasn’t it for her, and she felt the need for a change of environment. And there, she booked a one way ticket to Paris.
It didn’t take her long until she fell in love with the French culture and food. She joined a training programme to gain some skills in cooking and baking, and pursued her French dream with an internship at a local restaurant and pastry shop. And if this wasn’t enough work! Carol was also attending French classes at La Sorbonne University when she wasn’t in the kitchen.
Through her experience, she realized she liked to cook, but above all: she loved baking. I believe that many would emphasise on Chef Carol’s experience mentioning the famous maisons La Durée and Angelina, but truly, what shaped her skills and allowed her to develop her talent as a Pastry Chef with more depth was her encounters with 1/ Arnaud Larher, awarded MOF 2007 (“Meilleur ouvrier de France”), and 2/ Pastry champion and former creative Chef of Café Pushkin in Russia.
If we had to shortlist the top 2 items that Chef Carol learnt to master since the begging of her career? – Macarons and croissants…oh yes, you have to try Paris Mikki croissant: buttery and flaky, just as it should be!
The Thai market
Eventually, Carol returned to Bangkok and started to cook from the fully equipped kitchen her parents built for her in their house. From word-of-mouth, it didn’t take long before the word was spread about this Chef bringing the Thai pastry scene to a whole new level…
Although looking for top notch pastries might not be completely anchored in the Thai culture yet, Paris Mikki managed to create a shift in the Thai consumers behaviors, as Thai seem to be the main customers at the Central Embassy outlet (vs. expats at the Asoke branch).
Using imported and quality ingredients, as well as having the founder herself to bake, comes with a price. Count 95 THB for the pain au chocolat, or 200 THB for the individual chocolate tart (which is Chef’s Carol favorite by the way!).
As spending a bit more to have a lot more quality is a no brainer for some of us, in a city known for its street food, and very cheap eateries, we can understand where others are coming from! (but well, we can’t really compare, right?!).
Paris Mikki, Bangkok
Maybe one day, Carol will go back to her Parisian dream and open a store there… but in the meantime, you can taste Carol’s sweet creations at her flagship store near Asoke, which set up is reminiscing of the Parisian cafés where you could sit outside and watch passengers go by. The second venue is at Open House, Central Embassy: you can’t miss Paris Mikki’s corner as it is right in front of you when you come from the escalators.
The latest? Paris Mikki is partnering with the Kitchen Group crew and has been taking over the dessert buffet at Pesca brunch!