Nicole Arroyas, is born and raised in London. When she was seven when she started working as a hostess at Archie’s, the fish-and-chips restaurants owned by her parents, Alain and Donna Arroyas. At 13, she started working in the kitchen. She thrived on the rush and bustle of the kitchen and was managing the restaurant by the time she was 16.
After high school her passion for food led her to move to France, where she studied at one France’s leading culinary schools, Institute Paul Bocuse, in Lyon. Nicole interned with chef Pascal Barbot at Astrance, a 3 start Michelin restaurant. She finished up with another tough, but rewarding internship with Alain Ducasse, one of the world’s star chefs at the 5 star Plaza Athenee. She passed her Red Seal Certification in Culinary in 2002.
After being asked to create her cousin’s wedding cake in 2003 she got the thrill for cake decorating and immediately enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America for a wedding cake decorating course. She then began a small wedding cake business out of the basement of her parent’s restaurant and helped out at Archie’s at the same time.
Things started to change when the word spread that Chris Squire was selling the building at 460 King St. that housed the Auberge du Petit Prince. The Arroyas family decided to purchase the building. They renovating the 125-year-old building and brought back the name Auberge du Petit Prince. Nicole ran the restaurant for 5 years before the love of pastry could not hold off any longer. With her pastry chef, Nathan from Auberge, Nicole decided that it was the right time and opportunity to open Petit Paris in The Covent Garden market.
The patisserie soon became a success! Nicole and Nathan expanded their business to not only be a retail patisserie but to also supply some of London’s finest Hotels, Restaurants and Catering companies. Nicole’s true love for pastry pushed her to give up the restaurant and focus solely on her dreams.
Nathan Russell has been baking from an early age. Days of standing on a chair beside the oven breaking eggs for his Mom’s Christmas baking company began his love for the art and science behind the Pastry Arts. Then, throughout is childhood, every family vacation was centered around finding the best bakeries Ontario had to offer. Summer road trips spent stopping in any little town or pit stop that had a “Fresh Baked Goods Ahead” sign only fed his love of baked
After high school, spent working in his home towns local restaurant. Nathan decided it was time to get some formal training. He received a scholarship to attend George Brown Chef School in the Baking and Pastry Arts Management Course in Toronto. While there he worked under Michelle Edgar as a pastry chef apprentice at one of the Toronto International Film Festival’s hot spots Bistro 990 where he learned a great deal about the rigors of the culinary industry.
In 2006, School was finished and Nathan was given the opportunity to begin his internship under Nicole Arroyas at Auberge du Petit Prince. Since then he has earned his Red Seal as a Patissier and has gained a great deal of experience in all aspects of his trade. Nicole and Nathan’s passion for pastry has grown into the creation of Petit Paris. Their shared belief that a delicious dessert is simple; made from whole products and unmistakable flavours; of course it must taste as good as it looks!