Two minutes with the man behind the Maison Kayser empire

Two minutes with the man behind the Maison Kayser empire

After opening over 100 bakeries around the world, Eric Kayser set his sights on London. Housed inside a huge Baker Street site (see what he did there?), Maison Kayser opened in January and specialises in freshly baked sourdough bread, sandwiches from a deli counter and more substantial dishes in the adjacent restaurant. We caught up with Eric to discuss all things dough (and tried a cake or five). 

Words: Eamonn Crowe

Maison Kayser London restaurant bar pastry chef Eric Kayser

Why did you wait so long for London?

You need to find the best street to open a bakery on – Baker Street is perfect! It’s tough to open in London, so it was important to find the right location and that takes time.

How is this London restaurant different?

It’s a combination of the best bits of our bakeries in Paris and New York. We’ve joined all of those bits together in London which, of course, is the best city of them all.

Maison Kayser London restaurant bar pastry chef Eric KayserMaison Kayser London restaurant bar pastry chef Eric Kayser

What’s your favourite thing on the menu?

I love the tartine bread as you can eat it however you like. For example, by adding butter, tomatoes and olive oil, you’ve got the type of food that we ate 200 years ago.

Where does your coffee come from?

We use a New York brand working with beans from Mexico and Kenya but we also tried to find very good tea too, as we know that’s very important here!

Maison Kayser London bakery French restaurantMaison Kayser London restaurant bar pastry chef Eric Kayser

How do you spot a great piece of bread?

Great bread should be golden in colour and crispy. There should also be small and big bubbles, which means there’s been good fermentation. Also, the inside should be cream-coloured, not yellow.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

I love those crocodile jelly sweets from Haribo, I eat and eat and don’t even realise. Because I’m so active, sometimes when I stop to sit down I don’t notice what I’m doing.

Maison Kayser London restaurant bar pastry chef Eric KayserMaison Kayser London bakery French restaurant

Maison Kasyer is open now. You can book on 020 3897 2900 and read our full review right here:

★★ Very good – discover our rating system here

Eric Kayser’s Baker Street location is a minimalist lesson in Scandi style, all grey marble counters and beige banquettes. The multi-purpose site has room for an all-day bakery and deli, as well as a 60-cover restaurant, which is great for a casual meal. The menu covers light bites including soups, salads and sandwiches, while also catering for hungrier customers via loaded burgers and hearty casseroles.

On our visit we loved the juicy and filling ‘classic’ burger, a cut above the average thanks to its candied tomato purée filling and a premium patty. Don’t skip the vast selection of homemade sweet pies, pastries and tarts either; we settled on a beautifully presented mandarin eclair with a white chocolate topping.

To drink, there’s a pick of fresh fruit juices and a strong selection of French wines by the glass. The amiable staff, reasonable prices and buzzy atmosphere all contribute to Maison Kayser’s status as a little slice of baking heaven.    

This article was published 16 February 2017

Two minutes with the man behind the Maison Kayser empire
Maison Kayser London restaurant bar pastry chef Eric Kayser

We catch up with baking supremo Eric Kayser and review his first UK bakery and restaurant, which has just opened in Marylebone