Hugo & Victor, a patisserie inspired by literature
The patisserie Hugo & Victor on Boulevard Raspail in Paris mixes the personality and passions of its two founders: patisserie and literature.
Hugo & Victor is first and foremost a story of friendship. Hugues Pouget, an outstanding pastry chef, and Sylvain Blanc, a food-loving polytechnic graduate, have known each other since they were children and dreamed of opening their patisserie to take luxury desserts out of gastro-restaurants.
In February 2010 their dream became reality. In homage to Victor Hugo, whose house sits opposite the shop, they named their patisserie Hugo & Victor and explored this duality into the conception of their products.
Each flavour comes in two ranges: the Victors, classic pastries, and the Hugos, a more innovative interpretation, in the image of the rational polytechnic graduate and of the inventive pastry chef who make up this extravagant pair. And as the two are both food lovers, the flavours also come in chocolate sweets.
The culinary inspirations and high-quality products come from the vast experience of Hugues Pouget (elected French dessert champion in 2003), but also from an artistic domain which captivates the two partners: literature. Once inside: the chocolates are displayed in ‘authors’ journals’, the creation of Easter 2011 was an ink well with its quill, and the shop windows display cakes that would almost make you think of a library. For father’s day, Hugo & Victor came up with a novel called ‘A golden dad’… filled with… chocolate sweets.
The Parisian patisserie has in fact been described as ‘an office of sugary curiosities’ by its two founders:
“We walk here as if in a forest of patisseries displayed in lit cases and with the effects of transparency. A place with sleek lines which allows people to enjoy the original, colourful creations of Hugues Pouget.” And it’s true, the shop’s in-store set-up is remarkable: sleek, dominated by black, with sumptuous vertical shop windows showcasing gourmet creations as if they were items of jewellery… or precious books.
Despite the commitment to sophistication, making this almost a luxury patisserie, the price of the cakes remains accessible to all wallets: €5.20 for an individual slice, €6 if it’s a ‘Hugo’ pastry. This desire to remain accessible to the greatest number of people is fundamental for Hugo & Victor.: “I created my patisserie to share my passion with people. I myself am a food-lover, so when I create a new cake, first of all I have to be happy with it, then I want to share it with other people,” explains Hugues Pouget to Idées Mag.
Staying faithful to its gastronomic position, the Parisian patisserie also offers grand crus wines to accompany dessert, picked out for their taste and perfect harmony with one sweet creation or another. Just what is needed to top off the patisseries picked out to complete a meal – if they are even needed!