Gabriel PAILLASSON was born on July 30th 1947 in the French town of Feurs, situated in the Department of the Loire. He is the son of a weaver-craftsman.
With his primary education diploma in his pocket, he began his career in pastry at the age of 14 at the Henri Humbert pastry shop in Panissières, where he spent 3 years learning his profession.
In 1964, he passed his Pastry C.A.P. (professional diploma). He worked for several establishments in Lyons before setting up his own pastry business in 1973 in Saint-Fons, on the outskirts of Lyons, where he still practices his profession today.
In 1972, he won the medal of the Best Pastry Craftsman of France, and in 1976, the medal of Best Ice-Cream Craftsman of France. To date, he is the only professional in his field to have been awarded these two medals by the age of 29.
Gabriel Paillasson has trained 25 apprentices, of whom 23 have been accepted, and of whom 2 have been awarded title of Best Pastry Craftsman of France. He takes in many trainees from France, and all over the world. 37 of his trainees have become Pastry Chefs or Master Craftsman.
Gabriel Paillasson is the author of several books including, "Le feu sucré", published in 1990 ("Grand Prix Auteur" of the French National Cuisine Academy in 1991) and "L'Art Ephémère", published in 1995 ("Grand Prix Editeur" of the French National Cuisine Academy in 1996). In 1999, he created the Album of the 10th World Pastry Cup Anniversary, and has recently published a book on chocolate "Passion Pâques" (2003).
Since 1976, he has taken up many representative functions with the Rhone region Pastry and Ice-Cream Markers' Professional Association. In 1999, he was elected National President of the Ice-cream Craftsmen Association and of the French National Confederation of Desserts and Confectionery, he was re-elected in 2004 and 2007. He is also member of the "Conseil Economique et Social" (president of the craftsmen section), member of CGAD (Professional association of retail food and catering) and vice-president of UPA (Craftsmen Professional Association).
Gabriel Paillasson is president-founder of several competitions, including the World Pastry Cup. Since 1997, he is also President Founder of the National Association of the Best Craftsman of France for the dessert professions. He will officiate as Commissaire Général for the 23rd "Exposition du travail" at Lyons in 2007.
Since 1970, Gabriel Paillasson has won over 300 national and international awards, including 60 Gold Medals and 13 Grand Prix. In 1982, he won the Culinary Trophy for the Best Chef of the Year. In 1984, he was seven times on the first step of the podium for the Cuisine and Pastry Olympics organised in Frankfurt.
Gabriel Paillasson has received many distinctions such as: "Légion d'Honneur" 1994, Officer of the Order of Academic Palms in 1999, Officer of the National Order of Merit in 2002. He is also Silver Medallist of the Permanent Assembly of the "Chambres des Métiers" (Chamber of Trade), and Gold Medal of Lyons City.
He is the initiator of several new professional techniques such as:
- chain saw ice sculpting,
- bubble sugar,
- carbonic sugar,
- openwork sugar,
- sugar in 90° proof alcohol,
- Chocolate sprayed with CO².
Some of the specialities he has created include: the Tuiles du Vieux Saint-Fons in 1998, "Bâton de Guignol" in 1981 (Intersuc Cordon Bleu, 1984) and the "Rhônalpin".