..." /> An Exclusive Interview with Elisabeth Holder Raberin: Le Macaron, a delicacy adored by all of Paris and the Whole World - French Quarter Magazine


Published on December 9th, 2021 | by Isabelle Karamooz, Founder of FQM


An Exclusive Interview with Elisabeth Holder Raberin: Le Macaron, a delicacy adored by all of Paris and the Whole World

It was not until around 1830 that the macaron became known in the Paris region. The first pastry chefs had the ingenious idea of pairing the velvety shells together and filling them with a ganache. Maison Ladurée then popularized it, calling it the Parisian Macaron.

French Quarter Magazine recently had the pleasure of interviewing the co-president of Ladurée U.S., Elisabeth Holder Raberin, who tells us about her New York life, her collaborations with chefs who have joined the group and the adorable Ladurée “collaboration boxes.”

Co-president of Ladurée U.S., Elisabeth Holder Raberin.
Photo Credit: Ladurée Collections

How did you end up being a Parisian in New York?

My family and I moved 11 years ago to launch my family business Ladurée in the United States – starting with our Madison store and growing the company nationwide – specialized on macarons and opening one store at a time. I always wanted to live in New York. It was my dream since I visited the country in my 20’s for an internship at Ralph Lauren’s!

What do you miss about Paris? What do you love about New York?

I used to be in Paris every month so I had no time to miss it. My work travel schedule was intense. Now, with the travel restrictions and the pandemic, I have not been in France for a very long time and I miss everything – mostly my family, the cafes and terraces, the bread, the market, the shopping, the exhibitions, the French attitude – everything we can think of about Paris!

What I love about New York is its efficiency, the amazing spirit of the New Yorkers – the “we will survive mentality” – the way they adapt to everything so quickly. It is such an amazing town.

I love the people I meet here, the entrepreneur mentality and raising my kids in New York has been great, how lucky they are!

What do you think is the best part of having a new pastry chef, the highly rated Julien Alvarez, joined the Ladurée group as head of creation last May?

Ladurée is a very established house, but we always look for new creativity – just like a fashion house, a new designer – the patisserie world is having its moment, a renaissance so to speak. But also, we make creations and collections that look like ART meets pastries, similar to the 17th century still life painting. The beauty of the pieces is as important as the taste. And, Julien is the perfect incarnation of that movement. His new collection is ALMOST too good to eat. ALMOST.

Designed Teapot.
Photo Credit: Ladurée Collections

Why do you think Ladurée speaks to people? How do you adapt your menu to U.S. culture? What sets your macarons and your sweets apart from the others? 

Ladurée and its macarons were the first ones in the world with the Paris tea salon. Macarons and our pastries are the supermodels of the food industry and, in the age of Instagram, it is only normal to reach the sensibility and sense of aesthetic of our audience.

Interiors and food at the new NYC Flagship Ladurée tea salon and restaurant in Soho.
Photo Credit: Ladurée Collections

The U.S. menu has U.S. classics such as a kale salad (food for rabbits according to our French chef), an egg white omelet, avocado toast, a matcha latte – basics for this part of the world that actually became basics for the rest of the world too!

And, of course our Vegan options created by chef Matthew Keeney are amazing.

Can you talk about your box collaborations? People collect them. I collect them. You have worked with several fashion designers, the newest one is Antoinette Poisson and LA DOUBLE J (more recent). 

Ladurée works like a fashion house with collections and guest designers. We always have creative collaborations with designers, artists, and other chefs to surprise and excite year after year. The last one was with LA DOUBLE J offering the special collectable boxes and a tea set in the amazing “tree of life” design. We always have an organic way of collaborating… On the Holidays, we will have collectible boxes inspired by famous jewelry designer MALLARIO (the first name established Place Vendôme), and of course, 2022 will be very exciting.

Collaborations Boxes.
Photo Credit: Ladurée Collections

On a more personal note, what are your hidden talents or hobbies?

I am a trained opera singer – no just kidding! That would be lovely if I were one… Actually, if this can be considered a talent/hobby, I love L’Art de Recevoir (the Art of Entertaining) – not cooking but staging, setting the mood to share the best moment with friends.  I love “chiner” (bargain-hunt) vintage tableware, also I love Art in general and I always look for a nice gallery or exhibition to visit and discover.

About the Author

is originally from Versailles, France. Isabelle harbored a lifelong fascination with exploring the world. Her journey began at 17 when she seized the opportunity to study abroad in Rhonda, Spain, igniting a passion for travel that took her across continents. From vibrant Hong Kong to picturesque Ireland, from the historic streets of Italy to the enchanting landscapes of Morocco, she embraced diverse cultures and experiences, truly embodying the spirit of a global citizen. After several years of exploration, Isabelle found a sense of home in Los Angeles, where she immersed herself in the vibrant cultural scene while working at the French Consulate. With a deep-seated love for the arts and history, she pursued her academic endeavors, earning a Bachelor's degree in History from the University of California, Berkeley. Furthering her dedication to education, she has studied to pursue a Master's program in teaching at the University of Southern California, eventually sharing her knowledge and passion as a French instructor for aspiring students at UNLV and CSN in Nevada. Driven by her passion for storytelling and cultural exchange, Isabelle founded French Quarter Magazine, where she serves as the Editor-in-Chief. In this role, she orchestrates the publication's diverse content, from conducting interviews and pitching story ideas to capturing captivating moments through photography. Currently, she is channeling her creative energies into her first English-language work, a novel that delves into the compelling life of Coco Chanel. Filled with adventure, intrigue, and a touch of romance, her debut novel promises to captivate readers with its rich tapestry of history and emotion.

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