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. Inside, the shop gleams white, with an array of jewel-like macarons and artisanal chocolates nestled within the counter.

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 comes from the north-east of France; a small city called Nancy.

“I started studying pastry from the age of 14,” he says over a glass of chilled pear juice. “I did an apprenticeship near Nancy, and I went from a basic diploma up to a Masters - that’s why I can call myself a master pâtissier. But it came to a point where Nancy was too small for me to evolve.”

He’d met his wife there, and together they decided to go to Paris.

“We thought we’d go for a year or two, in order for me to expand my skills. We actually stayed for five years. We were near Versailles. I was working for Franck Daubos, a very good pastry chef in Paris.”

Daubos, a pastry chef and chocolatier, taught him about the artistic side of the craft.

But 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 ever 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!”

They decided to come, thinking they might stay for a year. “A year in England isn’t much,” he says. “We’d learn English which is a bonus.

“That was 10 years ago.”

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 - the only place which gave him the chance.

“I found the people in Malton not only direct and friendly, but I noticed that people knew what they were talking about when it came to quality and food.”

He’s since been doing the market for five years, on and off.

In the last few years he has also been recognised with awards. He was named UK Pastry Champion, and Chef of the Year for Yorkshire Life magazine in 2016 - the first time it’s been awarded to a pastry chef.

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, in a range of different shapes and figures, including frogs and ladybirds. “My wife loves ladybirds - and also they are good luck in France. When you open a shop, you always need a bit of luck.”

The delicate macarons are perhaps the key attraction. Their colours are as vivid as their flavours - a passionfruit one zings intensely. But also on offer are chocolate bonbons, each with a bright brush of colour to indicate its flavour. And then there are the dessert pots, each designed with contrasting textures and tastes. One of them, the Rum Baba, is a favourite of Florian’s. “This I want to be my signature dessert, this will always be available,” he says. It’s a brioche soaked in a rum syrup, with vanilla cream on top. “It’s a very simple dessert but it’s just beautiful.”

The boutique will change with the seasons. Flavours will change, decorations will change. There will be pumpkins for Halloween, chocolate Santas for Christmas. The flavours of the macarons and dessert pots will change throughout the year as different ingredients become available.

In the summer, Florian plans a little outside seating area, to be shared with that of the Groovy Moo ice cream parlour, where people can have a cup of tea or one of his seven different types of hot chocolate. The yard is a sun-trap, with views past the Talbot Hotel away to the hazy Wolds to the south.

Will he be going for any more world-beating prizes?

“The prize I get for my macarons is how many I sell and how many people come back for them,” he says. “My job is also my passion, and my hobby.”

There is a sign above the counter which says “Come as a customer, leave as a friend”. It seems likely that confectionary connoisseurs for miles around will do just that.