Pastry Chef Max Pouvreau
Max Pouvreau creates elegant, imaginative desserts celebrating the Bay Area at Radius. Through highlighting the intensity of seasonal flavors, he finds he does not need to rely on overly rich, heavy, or sweet preparations. Pouvreau specializes in finding balance with surprisingly compatible textures and ingredients, whether he’s tempering the tartness of a thick lemon curd with a light-as-air Italian meringue or pairing the fruitiness of olive oil with the creaminess of locally made vanilla ice cream. “I want our guests to end their experience on a beautiful note, so I come up with desserts that are both pleasing to the eye and taste light and refreshing,” he says. “I hate the feeling when I go to a restaurant and the desserts are so sweet and rich that I can't even finish them.”
Pouvreau’s lifelong love affair with baking and pastry can be traced back to his childhood in France. As a young boy, he’d make cakes with his mother in his hometown of Saint Sever. His career in the kitchen began with culinary training in the south of France and New Zealand. He went on to work in Exeter, England, under Chef Michael Caines at ABode, and under Chef Alain Senderens in Paris and the three Michelin-starred Le Meurice.
In 2009, Pouvreau moved to San Francisco, assuming an assistant pastry chef position at Coi under Chef Daniel Patterson. There, he fully immersed himself in Californian cuisine and embraced the array of locally grown ingredients. “Moving here and discovering all the amazing produce available really influenced my desserts,” he says. “I learned to be more respectful of the produce and to adapt my recipes to bring out the subtleties of California’s fruits and vegetables.”