Bringing French Flair to South EndJune 30, 2017 7:14 pm
When French Chef Sylvain Rivet first opened his Charlotte pastry shop, he was thrown off when someone asked if he made real éclair. “I was curious and asked my wife ‘What is a fake éclair?’” Chef Sylvain says in his thick French accent. As a classically trained French Chef, Sylvain is passionate about pastries, using only real butter, fresh fruit and the highest quality ingredients at his bakery, Renaissance Patisserie. The two-year-old business tucked away in a row of shops on South Boulevard blends into the neighborhood from the outside but the bright colors and tantalizing smells are sure to catch your attention once you arrive at the front door.
“When you walk in, you’re definitely going to smell the croissants and the brioche,” says Jessica Rivet, Chef Sylvain’s daughter who works at Renaissance Patisserie. Glass cases display the day’s array of freshly baked pastries and treats while a refrigerator offers take-home options including quiches and French soups. Each day, Chef Sylvain prepares fresh breads and pastries, with specialties varying by the day.
Chef Sylvain got his start in cooking at fourteen years old, beginning as an apprentice and eventually traveling the world as a chef for hotels. Sylvain and his wife temporarily settled in California where he had the opportunity to own an award-winning restaurant and work for celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Sharon Stone and the Michael Jackson family. When his wife’s career brought the family to Charlotte, Sylvain first introduced the city to his pastries at farmer’s markets.
“After two years we decided to open a little bakery and we are very, very busy,” says Chef Sylvain. “I love what I’m doing and I want to keep my customers happy.” Chef Sylvain’s focus on quality and customer service has paid off, earning the bakery the titles of Best Butter Croissant in Charlotte in 2015 and Charlotte Magazine’s 2017 Best of the Best Award for Best Croissant.
Along with the classics, Chef Sylvain keeps Renaissance Patisserie’s menu fresh with rotating bread types and seasonal macaron flavors. For summer, the bakery has added Rosé, Mint Chocolate Chip, Bubblegum, Chamomile & Honey, Lavender Lemonade and Strawberry Milkshake macarons to the menu alongside pastries starring in-season produce like strawberries and peaches. Whether you stop into Renaissance Patisserie for a staple croissant or a seasonal treat, Chef Sylvain’s authentic, quality creations are sure to leave you feeling satisfied.
Renaissance Patisserie is located at 2809 South Boulevard. Learn more about the bakery here.