Heir to four generations of Alsatian bakery and pastry-making tradition, Pierre Hermé arrived in Paris at the age of 14 to start his first apprenticeship with Gaston Lenôtre, called by Vogue "the Picasso of Pastry" and who revolutionized pastry-making with regard to taste and modernity. With "pleasure as his only guide", Pierre Hermé invented his own unique world of tastes, sensations and pleasures, an original approach to the profession of pastry chef which led him to revolutionize even the most firmly entrenched traditions.
He created the Maison Pierre Hermé Paris in 1998 with his associate Charles Znaty. The first Pierre Hermé Paris boutique opened in Tokyo in 1998, followed in 2001 by a boutique in Paris, located in the fashion district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés at 72 rue Bonaparte. Success was immediate in Tokyo and Paris alike. Every day, enthusiastic gourmets discovered Pierre Hermé pastries, macarons and chocolates while connoisseurs from around the world flocked to these temples of sweet delights. In late 2004, a second Parisian boutique with its very innovative interior design opened at 185 rue de Vaugirard. In early 2005, Tokyo saw the inauguration of the latest Pierre Hermé Paris concepts: the Luxury Convenience Store and the Chocolate Bar. Both establishments are situated in the Omotesando district, where all of the major imported brands and fashion houses active in Japan are also present. In 2008, Pierre Hermé and Charles Znaty launched the first Macarons & Chocolats Pierre Hermé Paris boutique on rue Cambon in Paris. In 2010, they inaugurated the Maison Pierre Hermé on rue Fortuny in Paris, home to the Atelier de Création. The brand, who also operates an online boutique at www.pierreherme.com, is a member of the Comité Colbert and has an established partnership with the Raffles group and Ritz Carlton group and Dior since the opening of the Café Dior by Pierre Hermé in 2015 in Seoul
The company has been expanding strongly since 2010 on the international scene with several boutiques now located in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Preferring discreet pastry decors and "uses sugar like salt, in other words, as a seasoning to heighten other shades of flavour" and refusing to sit on his laurels, he is always revising his own work, exploring new taste territories and revisiting his own recipes. As a result, praise has often been lavished on Pierre Hermé, who has been called "pastry provocateur" (Food & Wine), "an avant-garde pastry chef and a magician with tastes" (Paris-Match), "The Kitchen Emperor" (New York Times) and "The King of Modern Patisserie" (The Guardian), along with honours and decorations, as well as – most importantly – the admiring gratitude of connoisseurs of gourmet sweets.
Hermé was the youngest person to be named France's Pastry Chef of the Year, and is the only pastry chef to have been decorated as a Chevalier of Arts and Letters. He was awarded "Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur" by Jacques Chirac in May 2007.