Meet Grand America’s Pastry Chef.
There are so many things to be wowed about when it comes to a wedding: the couple’s love, the gorgeous dress, the epic venue, the merry entertainment and the taste-teasing menu. Be it a casual barbecue-inspired buffet or formal plated meal; the wedding dining experience almost always ends with one thing: an impressively-designed, architecturally-built, meticulously-concocted wedding cake.
The multi-tiered confection does not just appear out of nowhere. It takes time, detail and years of experience. Grand America’s Executive Pastry Chef Xavier Baudinet checks off each one of those on the list.
Pastry, chocolate, gelato, and confectionary—all these creations he exceeds at with ease and skill.
Chef Baudinet began his culinary adventure at the young age of 16 in Metz, France. He says his father was his ultimate motivation. “We worked together in our family-owned bakery called Baudinet Boulangerie-Pâtisserie,” Baudinet says. Pastry became his life-long passion as he eventually went to study at the International Culinary School and honed his craft traveling from France to Florida, Virginia and then finally joining the team at the Grand America in 2014.
Chef Baudinet finds inspiration not only in the roots of his culture but also the beauty of nature.It is hard to get away from the mountains that surround Salt Lake City. In fact from almost every corner of The Grand, one has a view of the Wasatch or the Oquirrhs.
He takes his work seriously. “For me, working at the Grand, you always have to be consistent and the best in what you do,” he says. Baudinet’s pastry expertise operates at the highest level for every single bride and guest that passes through the hotel’s elegant ballrooms.
You are in great hands with Chef Baudinet when it comes to creating the delicious spread that will wow your guests. “Honestly, the best part working for weddings is meeting amazing and kind people,” Baudinet adds. “When I create a wedding cake, it is key that the form and taste of the cake are the top priorities.” However, if you have a particular craving, fear not, he loves collaborating with brides and grooms as well. “Not so long ago, a couple requested a crêpe wedding cake and another couple wanted a chocolate wafer wedding cake.”
Some of his favorite ingredients to work with are chocolate. “With chocolate, you can do everything. I love creating chocolate candy, showpieces, chocolate entremets,” he explains. “Also for me, chocolate reminds me of its great history known as a delicacy.”
It is not all sugary sweets for Chef Baudinet. Some of his guilty pleasures include foie gras and classic French cheese with a well-baked baguette. When the kitchen closes, you will not see him lit by the glow of a freezer digging around for a frozen midnight snack. For him, it is “simply just fish, beef, vegetables with a fresh salad and, of course, my French baguette.”
There is an entire team of energy and creativity supporting Chef Baudinet both in catering and weddings, as well as, working in the hotel’s bakery La Bonne Vie. “Sharing my passion and communicating with others and giving happiness to people is truly heartwarming in my field. At the Grand, I feel we are all true builders of happiness.”
You do not have to go to a Grand wedding to sample Chef Baudinet’s pastries. La Bonne Vie is open to the public and filled with fresh-baked pastries, cakes, cookies, gelato and delicious macaroons.
The Grand America Hotel
555 South Main Street Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Call 801.258.6770 to learn more about weddings and events at The Grand America Hotel.
Dress: Gateway Bridal
Florals: Grand America Hotel Floral Team