#FOODMISSION 2024 – Antonio Bachour, Bachour Miami, Florida, United States

Chef Antonio Bachour developed a deep passion for cakes at a young age, inspired by his family bakery. Bachour’s visually stunning desserts have appeared in prestigious confectionery publications around the world, and he is the author of acclaimed books on the art of confectionery. As a culinary ambassador, he collaborates with renowned chefs around the world. His unique talent earned him the title of The Best Pastry Chef in the world in “The Best Chef Awards” competition in 2018 and 2022.

The Best Chef: How did you come to be a pastry chef?

Antonio Bachour: You know, I always had a passion for cooking, especially making desserts. From my mother, we grew up in a big family of seven brothers, and my mom used to cook a lot. She used to cook for my seven brothers, my father, and me, and she always made one dessert for dinner. It was my passion first to see my mother cook every day, and that started my passion to be a chef.

The Best Chef: How has your life changed?

Antonio Bachour: You know, my life has completely changed in the past few years. I travel to more than 40 countries every year, visiting different places every week, covering more than half a million miles annually. I’m involved in consulting, dinner collaborations, and teaching classes. For instance, last year in 2023, I was at home for only 20 days, and this year, from January until now, I’ve only been home for three days. It’s a busy schedule, with everyone calling me for collaborations and classes. But I’m very happy because it’s my passion. I love what I do, I’ll keep doing this.

The Best Chef: What is your secret?

Antonio Bachour: My secret is passion. I’m passionate about everything I do, I want to do right. You know, I never get tired because, for me, the secret is that I see this job as a hobby. I don’t see it as work. No, I wake up every day excited to do something new. I don’t wake up thinking, “I have to go to work.” I believe that’s the secret.

The Best Chef: What are you doing now in Miami?

Antonio Bachour: You know, Miami is changing for everyone. For me, I’ve opened a restaurant that’s more than just a dessert or pastry shop. I opened a Lebanese restaurant in Mexico. In Miami, we’ve introduced a French-Lebanese concept called Tablé by Antonio Bachour. You know, I feel like I’ve matured more now. While I’ve always like cooking savory dishes, I believe it’s time for me to delve even deeper into savory cuisine. I can apply my pastry techniques to savory dishes and create something truly special. 

The Best Chef: Which transition is more challenging: from being a chef to becoming a pastry chef, or from being a pastry chef to becoming a chef?

Antonio Bachour: I think it’s more difficult to go from being a chef to becoming a pastry chef because it’s hard for the savory chef to learn the new techniques, how to make dessert because dessert is very precise. You need to be precise. When you’re cooking, you’re not precise. When you’re cooking, you’re not always precise; you cook with technique, but sometimes you rely on your instincts, just on eyes. In pastry, you cannot rely on instincts. Everything is measured. Everything is detailed. Everything is precise. For pastry to be a chef… I know many pastry chefs with restaurants who have become very famous because it’s very easy for them to implement pastry techniques into cooking savory dishes.

The Best Chef: What does it mean to you to be the best chef today? What qualities does a chef need to possess to be contemporary—a complete package encompassing culinary skill, business acumen, and marketing savvy?

Antonio Bachour: I believe that to be the best chef today means to be an inspiration for the younger generation of chefs,to inspire people. I think me, what I love is to inspire people to show them that you can do whatever you want with your passion. Also, a good chef needs to have passion, needs to have business, needs to have a book, needs to travel. It’s a mix of everything today to be a good chef. 

The Best Chef: And for you, is it more about business or passion?

Antonio Bachour: For me, I’m not a businessman. I have more passion than a business. That’s why my brother takes care of the business side; he recognizes my intense passion for cooking. With me, we don’t focus solely on making money.  I want to buy the best things and we use the best things, but we always buy new equipment, spending a lot of money on equipment. Cooking is my passion; I’ve dedicated over 30 years to this career. This career saved my life and then everything I have is thanks to this career and then it’s my passion. Always, I follow my passion before business. 

The Best Chef: What is your goal, considering you’re already one of the biggest pastry chefs in the world? And if you were to transition from this role, what aspect of it would you want to leave an impression on?

Antonio Bachour: My goal is to be the same. My goal is always, I always say, my goal is to have the same passion that I have now. For the last 30 years in this career, I have done everything I do now, traveling the world, teaching people, inspiring people, cooking with people and sharing with chefs. It’s my life. This is what I love. This is for me. My goal is to maintain what I have been doing for a long time.

The Best Chef: How do you see the future of pastry chefs?

Antonio Bachour: I believe the future of pastry chefs is incredibly promising because everybody needs pastry chefs today. You know, there is currently a lack of good pastry chefs. I think the new generation of pastry students or culinary students now have a good chance to secure great jobs in this industry. I think savory chefs now understand that they need a pastry chef in the restaurant. They need a good pastry chef, not only to make dessert but also to be part of the kitchen and to help create new techniques for savory dishes. I think today the pastry chef has become one of the most important figures in the kitchen after the executive chef. Before, there was a separation, a division between the pastry chef and the chef. Today, they need to work together to have a successful restaurant. In most gastronomy restaurants, many dishes, even from the snacks at the beginning, are inspired by the pastry chef. Many techniques and even the dessert itself complement a great menu from the beginning to the end.

The Best Chef: Your next dream?

Antonio Bachour: My next dream is to be happy right now with my wife, to travel the world, and to enjoy life. I feel incredibly blessed by God for everything I have. I didn’t ask for everything I have today, but to be happy with my wife has always been my dream. I always pray to God to fulfill this dream, to be happy with my wife, to travel the world, and to continue pursuing my passion for creating desserts and food, as well as sharing my knowledge.

The Best Chef: For the next generation to be a successful chef like you, what is the one piece of advice they should never forget?Antonio Bachour: I believe that for the new generation of chefs, the one thing they should never do is give up. People will close doors. If someone closes a door on you, keep following your dream and your inspiration. If someone says you’re not a good chef, work harder. There will be thousands of doors open for you. Never give up, work hard, and follow your dream.

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