A MASTER pâtissier has brought a touch of French sophistication to Malton.

The newly-opened “boutique” sits in the corner of the Talbot Yard food court, at the top of Yorkersgate.

It’s a new venture by award-winning pastry chef Florian Poirot, and the latest step in a journey which has brought him to Malton from his hometown in France, via Paris and York.

He said: “I started studying pastry from the age of 14. I did an apprenticeship near Nancy, and I went from a basic diploma up to a Masters. But it came to a point where Nancy was too small for me to evolve.”

He moved to Paris with his wife, where he worked for Franck Daubos, a pastry chef and chocolatier, who taught him about the artistic side of the craft.

Then out of the blue, an opportunity to move to England came up.

“I had the call that there was a job in York in the UK. It was to work for Nestle, doing research and development. I didn’t speak any English at all. But I’ll be honest, it was a two-day interview, and it was all paid for - a weekend in the UK. I’d never been to the UK.

“I went and I got the offer. I called my wife, she said: ‘Let’s go for it. We can learn English in six months’.” He laughs. “We wish!”

It’s clear they were very taken by York, and he enjoyed his work at the chocolate company. “The city’s lovely. I was developing new recipes, looking at future trends.

“It was on an industrial scale, but it’s actually very good for someone with an artisanal background like me to stop a few years in a big company. You learn things that you would never learn in a smaller business.”

After around four years, missing the “artisanal flair” of small-scale baking, he asked his boss if he could start selling macarons at the weekends, and began selling them at Malton market.

He’s since been doing the market for five years, on and off, and in the last few years has been recognised with awards. He was named UK Pastry Champion, and Chef of the Year for Yorkshire Life magazine in 2016, but the big one was winning a “prix sucre” at the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie, the pastry World Cup, held in Lyon.

Part of the UK team which eventually came eighth in the world, he was also awarded the sugar prize for the best sugar showpiece in the world, a gargantuan structure based on Marvel comic book heroes.

Now his chocolate creations line the walls of his new boutique, which will change with the seasons offering new flavours and decorations.