Sugar Coated Memoriesby Camea Smith | 15.03.18
A tribute created by Michal Bouton to her grandmother’s wedding meal.
The Pastry chef Michal Bouton is renowned for her relentless creativity. Her signature desserts are featured in various local restaurants and she has developed dessert menus for venues such as Asia, TYO, Dinings and Social Club. She lovingly creates the pastries, desserts and baked goods for HaBasta, a market-to-table restaurant located close by to the stalls of the Carmel market (4 Hashomer Street, Tel Aviv). She bakes croissants, brioches, scones and financier cakes for the breakfast assortment and whips up decadent desserts inspired by the seasonal produce available at the market. At HaBasta, Bouton enjoys orchestrating the process from beginning to end: conceiving the idea for the dessert as well as preparing it to perfection.
Incidentally, Bouton stumbled onto her vocation by pure chance: she replaced a friend in a pastry course held by the ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and has never stopped baking ever since. She worked in a boulangerie in Paris and at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, a gourmet restaurant owned by Joël Robuchon, the chef with the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world. Currently, Bouton consults leading food and beverage companies and collaborates with Studio Appétit. The studio is based in the Netherlands and specializes in designing culinary experiences and edible installations for high-profile events, including the design weeks in London and Milan.
In 2016, she paid tribute to her great-grandfather, the baker Shaul Petrushka, in an exhibition at Beit Hamidot in Tel Aviv. According to her grandmother, Etta Baltman, her father helped to reconstruct the wedding cake of queen Elizabeth when it was damaged in an airplane accident in 1947. For the exhibition, Bouton re-enacted her grandmother’s culinary memories: she created a replica of the royal wedding cake, she remade the meal Petrushka prepared for his daughter’s wedding in 1953 and she recreated the cookies baked in Schweig wafers, the family’s biscuit factory. Following the exhibition, Bouton was offered to teach a course alongside the designer Noa Schwartz in the Visual Communication department at Shenkar college. Their course explores the food culture through the perspectives of the culinary arts and graphic design, unearthing personal narratives connected to eating and consumption.
Michal Bouton and her grandmother, Etta Baltman.
Schweig wafers, recreated by Michal Bouton.
Michal Bouton and her grandmother, Etta Baltman, next to the replica of Queen Elizabeth’s wedding cake.