Carl Kleiner: Flour Power

The Swedish Photographer Captures Culinary Artisan Sebastien Boudet’s Inspired Pastries

Photographer and filmmaker Carl Kleiner’s geometrically composed still lifes portray the delectable ingredients and produce of French-born chef Sebastien Boudet’s celebrated Stockholm patisserie-café-bistro, Petite France. With work featured in Wallpaper* and Dansk after some iconic collaborations with Ikea, Kleiner illustrated Boudet’s new book of simple culinary dishes, Den Franske Bagaren [The French Baker], which brings together the chef’s French-inspired cuisine with the tricks behind baking superb viennoiserie and the Swiss killer breakfast: a healthy bowl of muesli. “To me, a recipe is a living thing, it has a soul and should be continuously redefined,” says Boudet, who has almost two decades of kitchen innovation as a restaurateur, baker and pastry chef behind him. Journeying with the gastronome through the south of France to shoot confit de canard, cassoulet, and pistou, Kleiner experienced Boudet’s idealism at first hand. “He’s a political activist in his area, trying to force the big Swedish flour companies to produce better and healthier products,” rhapsodizes Kleiner. Here the baker behind the most popular sourdough bread in town reveals his desert island pastry and love of Swedish berries.

What sets your baking style apart? 
I go with a feeling that I have from my childhood. I grew up in a bakery. I care about the flour, the wheat, how it is grown and treated. I take time to meet with the person who makes my ingredients. I can look my customer in the eyes because I know exactly what has gone into the product.  

Is there a particular Swedish ingredient that you are crazy about? 
I love the berries. These you can only find here. And these give the French pastries amazing taste. It is produced in a natural way and I love that. 

Anything you absolutely cannot stomach? 
I hate Kalles kaviar [Swedish brand of fish roe spread]. 

How do you create the perfect pastry? 
You have to put your soul into it. When you serve a dessert, you are telling a story. You are telling people who you are and what you are.

If you could only eat one pastry for the rest of your days, what would it be? 
Depends on the mood. But I would choose a strawberry chocolate cake with vanilla cream or almond cream, with raw pistachio nuts and with Espelette pepper. Put that on top of the strawberries and I’m set.

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