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French chef's coffee confections perk up city's diners

Updated: 2022-08-26 08:29 ( Xinhua )
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The Shanghai Coffee Culture Week.[Photo/Xinhua]

During the recently concluded Shanghai Coffee Culture Week, Corentin Delcroix, a Shanghai-based French chef, indulged the city's caffeine addicts with his desserts that contain a touch of coffee-nonalcoholic, whiskey flavored coffee caramel puddings.

He shared his recipe with Chinese internet users via social media, gaining thousands of "likes "for his delicate design.

Shanghai, an international metropolis with diverse tastes, boasts more than 7,000 coffee shops and 940 Starbucks outlets-the highest number in a single city globally. For Delcroix it's just a 15-minute walk from home to the nearest 10 coffee houses.

Having observed the city's coffee consumption market for decades, the Frenchman found the city's innovative spirit the most impressive. "There is a various assortment of flavors, and you can always find new beans and recipes," he says.

"Innovation, as the unique flavor of Shanghai, is what attracts me most to this city. And it can be tasted in the coffee here," he adds.

Like many other foreigners in the city, Delcroix enjoys a cup of coffee in the morning. In his case, he takes it sugar-free and black, brewed in a French press, with his wife every morning. When it comes to afternoons, he prefers to share coffee and desserts with colleagues in the studio to perk themselves up.

Hailing from Douai, northern France, the gourmet recalls family members enjoying coffee at teatime during his childhood. As a child, he would wonder what he would think of the bittersweet taste of coffee as an adult. "Coffee is a little bitter for children, and I thought I would be a true grown-up when I could savor it."

Though the chef always comes up with new ideas on novel dishes, he regards himself "quite conservative about coffee". He finds many coffee products in Shanghai are different but still taste great, while maintaining some of the traditional flavors.

The Frenchman was fascinated by Chinese cuisine when he first visited China in 2002. After further studying French cuisine in his home country, Delcroix returned to China and started his own business in Shanghai, developing new dishes while publishing food blogs.

"I once put some preserved vegetables in foie gras to add some Shanghai flavors and it was a success. Therefore, it became quite natural to add coffee, which is popular among Shanghai residents, when making the caramel pudding," he says. Many of his ideas are inspired by his wife, a Shanghai local.

Now, Delcroix hopes to contribute more to the splendid food culture exchanges between China and France, while continuing to share his novel recipes and enrich the dining experience for his customers.

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