Gaston Lenôtre (1920-2009) was a French pastry chef known as a possible creator of the opera cake (opéra gâteau), the founder of "Lenôtre" a culinary empire; whose brand includes restaurants, catering services, retail concerns and cooking schools, and one of the three founders with Paul Bocuse and Roger Verge of Les Chefs de France at EPCOT in Orlando, Florida. In 1932, when Gaston Lenôtre was 12 years old, he made his first dessert. The next year he became an apprentice in a bakery shop in his native Normandy. In 1936 Lenôtre went to Paris where he spent the next four years perfecting his baking skills, then returned to Normandy and was employed as a pastry chef before opening a shop of his own. He constantly experimented with new recipes and improved traditional pastries. He made desserts that were light and elegant, and his reputation grew each year. In 1957, he and his family moved to Paris and open a shop there. Parisians were soon flocking to the shop and Lenôtre’s reputation was established. He enlarged his shop and began his now famous catering service and by 1970, there were four Lenôtre shops in Paris, each one serving pastry as perfect and distinctive as ever. That same year, Lenôtre also opened his own school for professional chefs which now trains up to five hundred chefs a year. This book was published in French in 1975 and translated to English in 1977. Enjoy his recipes for Chocolate Butter Cream, Cherry Almandines, Brioche Mousseline, Uncle Tom’s Cake, Ivory Coast Cake, Upside Down Orange Cake, Wells of Love, Caramel Almond Puffs, and Miniature Fruit Tarts.