Host Profile: Chef Simon of Atelier Sucré of New York

Host Profile: Chef Simon of Atelier Sucré

A childhood hobby turned profession

Simon Herfray is an acclaimed pastry chef based in New York, owner of Atelier Sucré. His story is short and sweet (pun intended), but exciting nonetheless.

Tell us a bit about yourself: what brought you into the world of cooking, pastry in particular?

Since I was a kid I always loved to bake -- my mom was cooking for the family but always let me bake. I never used recipes, so not all my dishes were a success! Haha!

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What made you pursue your passion? 

I was able to spend a week at my Grandparents' friend's bakery when I was 13 or 14, he welcomed me in and showed me what it was like to be a Pastry Chef.

I liked it! Then I signed up for an apprenticeship at age 15; from then on I never stopped loving my work. Pastry is my whole life, pretty much...

What are your major achievements/meaningful moments in your business thus far? 

The day I was able to live with my own business, being able to do exactly what I love to do. I'm not "working" anymore, since I do what I love.

What were the initial hurdles that you had to get through?

Leaving a job in order to create your own business is scary because you don't know if it will work. At first it was not easy to build my company, find costumers, etc... I had a tough first year financially. 

Do these challenges still exist now?

Yes, I always need to make sure people find out about me. It's the base of a business, having costumers coming to you.

Any advice for other people who want to pursue what they love and follow in your footsteps?

Don't rush it! Think a lot before starting and get advice from experienced professionals. Food business are really difficult to handle, you need to know all the rules and make sure your business plan is correct.