Stephane’s sweet dreams are full of surprises 

Stephane Fanny started his professional career as a pastry chef under the guidance of Chisholm's French pastry chef and teacher Frank Poirier. But the inspiration for Stephane to pursue a career in cookery came much earlier, under the discerning eye of his mother.

As a youngster, Stephane always tended to rush through, making the ideas in his head.

"But my mum said, '‘if you’re not going to do it well, don’t bother doing it.’

"Now that’s how I live my life."

Since studying at Chisholm, Stephane has been working for Marriner Group, where he is responsible for delighting customers with his opulent desserts during large events and functions, including at the palatial Plaza Ballroom in Melbourne's CBD. 

"At first I struggled, but within six months I was probably one of the best chefs here. Pastry has evolved a lot. The tradition of pastry making back then was a lot about butter, but now people are more interested in acidity so you’re seeing a lot less breads and more of the artistic side, so I play a lot with textures and looks, and I like to surprise people as well."

Inspired by great produce and spending time in the Prahran market where Stephane regularly shops, he talks about how crucial good produce is to providing ideas and inspiration: "I would normally start my week by going to Prahran market. When I pick up a fruit I smell it, I don’t smell the fruit, I smell flavour combinations.  I think, what can I do with this? That’s not a fresh apple – I can cook it, I can pickle it, I can puree it…"

Stephane learned the skills to make his dream reality at Chisholm. Regarding his course he says: ‘It was very hands on, just like in the (commercial) kitchens, so Chisholm provided the environment where you had to come in and perform. Then when you get into the workplace it’s a lot easier.’