Sherman's Food Adventures: Chez Christophe

Chez Christophe

I'll get this out-of-the-way first - I have a personal bias when it comes to Christophe Bozon.  His passion and dedication in crafting quality products is unquestioned in my mind.  I got to know him before he opened his store in North Burnaby with his wife Jess, so I had confidence it was going to be a success.  Lo and behold, a few years afterwards, he moved across the street into a newer and bigger space that now sports actual tables so one can enjoy his wares right there comfortably.  Nora, Diana, Amy and myself recently visited Chez Christophe for some treats, but also to get a sneak peak at his holiday creations (which are available now).

Rather than going for the basic butter croissant, we had the Hazelnut Pain au Chocolate.  This featured a crispy exterior that produced plenty of shattering pieces.  Inside, there was a decent amount of buttery layers encasing a sweet and nutty filling.  The aromatic hazelnut added a more complex flavour than a regular pain au chocolate.  We also sampled their version of a Creme Salee made with brioche dough.  I found the bread portion of the tart to be on the denser side, but the creamy filling was sweet and silky.

Onto some patisserie, we were presented with the Paris-Brest featuring choux pastry with almond hazelnut praline buttercream and kalamansi gel.  This was light and airy with an equally light cream (relatively as it was buttercream).  It was aromatic and only purposefully sweet.  The tart gel provided a nice brightness.  Continuing with the same tartness, the Kalamansi Chocolate Tart sported a sweet zingy curd on 70% dark chocolate ganache all encased in a chocolate crust.  Again, there was a nice balance between tart, sweet and a light bitterness.

Moving onto some savoury items, we had the Croissant Sandwich with Irish ham, provolone, arugula and aioli.  Now this may not seem like anything mind-blowing, but it was a good croissanwich nonetheless.  This was mostly due to the crispy and buttery croissant itself.  That was good, but the Beef Brisket Multigrain Croissant was even better!  Slightly smoky, the tender and moist brisket was on point.  The garlic aioli was aromatic while the caramelized onions added a rich sweetness.  This was so good, I bought an extra one to take home for Viv to try!

Of course, we also sampled his wonderful Chocolates (that is really what he is known for) and Macarons.  I didn't actually eat any of these this time around since I was pretty full.  But from my many past experiences, these truly represent what Chez Christophe is all about.  Furthermore, his whimsical Christmas chocolate creations are available now for order.  But if those aren't your fancy, I'm confident you'll find something you'll like there.  In fact, I was truly surprised I enjoyed the sandwiches as much as I did.  Usually, these are available "just because" and are generally afterthoughts.  Not here, as I'm still thinking about my next brisket sandwich.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- Quality crafted treats
- Surprisingly good sanwiches
- Now with actual tables for your eating pleasure

The Bad:
- On the higher end for North Burnaby, but well worth it



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