Florian Bellanger is the chef and co-owner of Mad Mac, "The Authentic French Macarons and Madeleines," serving retail, food service and the hospitality industries. Mad Mac was founded in 2006 and has been quickly recognized as a leader in quality and innovation on the macaron market. Mad Mac will soon open a retail store dedicated to macarons, cakes, chocolates and ice cream in Miami’s Bal Harbour shops.
As French macaron powerhouse Fauchon's Executive Pastry Chef in the United States, Florian Bellanger headed a team of fourteen pastry chefs to create pastries, special occasion cakes, cookies, ice creams and sorbets for the now defunct French epicurean emporium's café and store in New York City. There he experimented with innovative twists on classic French pastry, like éclairs flavored with orange zest, and raspberry-chili pepper sorbet, and arresting celebration cakes.
A veteran of pastry kitchens around the world, Bellanger was the pastry chef of Le Bernardin in 1996 when the restaurant earned its four-star status. He was the pastry chef in the French Military Officer's Club in French Guyana.
Growing up in Paris, Bellanger knew from an early age that his career would take a culinary path. Not only did he indulge in decadent cakes and pastries as a child, but he often spent his free afternoons in the kitchen, baking them for his family. A childhood allergy to chocolate ironically prevented him from relishing such treats for nearly six years, but luckily he outgrew it. At the age of fifteen, Bellanger applied to Paris's prestigious pastry school, L'Ecole de Paris des Métiers de la Table. Although his application was rejected because he was a year too young to enroll, in 1983 the future chef was accepted and graduated with degree in pastry arts and a specialty in chocolate and ice cream.
Boldly inventive Bellanger was named one of the "10 Best Pastry Chefs in America" in 2004 and 2003 by Pastry Art & Design magazine. In 2002 and 2001, the James Beard Foundation recognized Bellanger's accomplishments with a nomination for Outstanding Pastry Chef. He and his pastries have been featured on Epicurious TV, Forbes, Bride's, Modern Bride, The New York Times, Pastry Art & Design, Food Arts, Chocolatier, PastryScoop.com, Delta Sky and New York Magazine.
Bellanger is a member of City Harvest's Food Council and a guest chef faculty member at the French Culinary Institute. He also donates his time to charities such as the Anthony Spinazzola Foundation and the Jean-Louis Palladin Foundation.