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Born in Nice, Payard grew up spending much of his time in his grandfather’s pastry shop, Au Nid des Friandises, on the Riviera.
After moving to New York City in 1990 from traveling around Paris honing his skills in three-star Michelin rated pastry kitchens, chef François Payard began his New York City career at Le Bernardin and Restaurant Daniel where he earned recognition in the kitchen as the 1995 recipient of the James Beard Association "Pastry Chef of the Year" award, honoring him for his unique pastry designs and high attention to flavor.
In 1997, Payard opened his first Pâtisserie and Bistro with Payard Pâtisserie and Bistro on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Currently, Payard has locations in Brazil, Japan, Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, and New York.
Payard is the author of several cookbooks, "Bite Size: Elegant Recipes for Entertaining," "Simply Sensational Desserts" and his most recent "Chocolate Epiphany: Exceptional Cookies, Cakes, and Confections for Everyone."
Payard's recent creations include Soy Chocolate Mousse and upgrades to the classic Payard Holiday Yule logs.
- "Serve elegant hors d’oeuvres at your next party. In his new cookbook, ‘Bite Size,’ the legendary chef Francois Payard shows you how to make delicious appetizers without much fuss. Try these at home". Today: Food: Recipe - MSNBC.com. October 24, 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- "Recipes: Delicious Desserts From Francois Payard Sweet Treats Anyone Can Make At Home". ABC News: Nightline. July 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- Rosenberg, Sarah; Christina Carol (June 2, 2008). "Why Francois Payard Will 'Never Complain'. One of the Best Pastry Chefs in the World Shares His Recipes". ABC News: Nightline. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- Rinella, Heidi Knapp (September 24, 2008). "Start the day right. Go beyond the bland for the first meal of the day". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- Shimabukuro, Betty (October 8, 2008). "Party on the pier. The fish auction site is transformed to host Roy Yamaguchi's 20th-anniversary dinner". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
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