Francois Payard is a French pastry chef and has made macarons all of his life. His father and grandfather were also pastry chefs and passed down their recipes and techniques to Francois throughout the years. Sine the early 1900’s, some serious macaron-making has occurred in the Payard household. Francois has macaron ganache running through his veins. 


Francois introduced his macarons to New York City in 1993, at restaurant Daniel Boulud as petits fours. Customers raved about them. In 1997, when he opened his own restaurant, Payard Patisserie & Bistro, Francois offered macarons packaged in boxes for the first time ever to the American market. Francois wanted to show the elegance and deliciousness of the macaron and promote the idea of gifting the delicate cookie.


When Francois opened Payard, he also decided to change up the original macaron shell's recipe. He started making his recipe with an Italian meringue, a more stable meringue compared to French or Swiss meringue. Through time, he has skillfully mastered the perfect consistency of macarons.


Francois has gone through a rainbow of flavors throughout the years. Not only does he serve them on their own, but he has used macarons as added ingredients and decorations to an array of desserts. From weddings to children's parties, his macaron creations are consistently a hit.  Francois has served macarons at many special events, as well as donated thousands to charity causes. His macaron confections have delighted millions of people worldwide.


In 2010, with the permission of Relais Desserts International and La Maison du Macaron by Pierre Hermé, Francois brought "Macaron Day" to New York City. "Macaron Day" is a holiday to celebrate macarons in all their entirety on the first official day of Spring. The annual event has two specific and equally important purposes. The first is to introduce the macaron to everyone, and educate people about the cookie itself. The second is to raise money and awareness for City Harvest. A portion of all proceeds on Macaron Day in New York City is donated to City Harvest each year.


Francois' newest (and most fun) idea is to let you become Mr. (or Mrs.) Macaron yourself! You can now purchase macaron shells by Francois Payard with a recipe booklet to create your very macarons.  We invite you to get creative. Make a classic flavor or create your own and share it with us on our website. We'll see you in the kitchen!

  Anatomy of a macaron

First things first!

This is a coconut Macaroon (\ˌma-kə-ˈrün\)

A baked confection of egg whites, sugar and shredded dried coconut. Light but dense consistency.

This is a French Macaron (\ˌma-ka-ˈroh\)

Delicate and airy, the French Macaron has an almond, sugar and egg whites-based shell. The shells have a light, crunchy texture on the outside and are slightly chewy on the inside. These shells are held together by a filling, typically made from a ganache butter-cream, meringue or jam.






According to Dominique Michelle, (Historian of food and kitchen), the earliest records for the base of the macaron cookie recipe dates back to the Renaissance. She finds its origins in Arabic countries, such as Syria (which still is today one of the top 10 exporters of almonds), because of the "Age of Exploration and Discovery", which is the time when Europeans explored the world.






The almond from Syria is exported towards Europe because of Europeans who were forced to embark to the sea after the Fall of Constantinople.
Almonds and almond paste finally settle in the Italian kitchens.


The word "macaron" comes from the Italian word "macaroni" or "maccherone". According to "Les Origines de la Langue Francaise", it is defined as "a pasta dish with cheese'". Indeed, the word macaron was used on an egg-based pasta dish, but also as the well known cookie which was prepared with a similar recipe but adding almonds. These macarons were more similar to a marzipan though than a cookie. The name came about because almond paste was the main ingredient in this ancient macarons.

This almond paste was introduced initially to Italy "near the year 1500" (Museum of macaron, Monmorillon). It remains as a dry cookie which was consumed more as a food product than a dessert.





It came as a food paste, without color or fragrance, through Catherine de Medicis, the future wife of the Duke of Orleans, Henri. She grew up in Italy, and learned of this macaron paste through her father.



The well-known French writer Rabelais was one of the first published writers to mention the macaron as a "petite patisserie ronde aux amandes", meaning the "small and round almond pastry" (Museum of macaron, Monmorillon).





First during the 1660's, produced in Montmorillon, macarons were baked for special occasions, fairs, and holy celebrations. In Saint Jean de Luz, macarons appeared with a pastry chef named Adam to be offered at the wedding of Louis XIV and Marie Therese of Spain in 1660.


Thereafter in France, variations of macarons were born. Reims, Nancy, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Châteaulin, Boulay, Montmorillon and Amiens went on to develop their own recipes in their own way and made this small almond cookie their gourmet specialty.



When Louis XIV chosen to live in the Castle of Versailles in 1682, macarons were served to the King and it was the tradition until Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. The officers of mouth named Dalloyau, ancestors of those who will establish in 1802 the house of gastronomy of the same name, were served macarons to the King and it was the tradition until Louis XVI and his wife Marie-Antoinette.

First, a macaron was just single almond cookie, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. In the 1830s, macaron shelves were assembled two by two, topped with jam, spices or liquors.

The brightly colored macarons we so often see today didn't look like that at all in the past. In the 1890's, Pierre Desfontaines, second cousin to Louis Ernest Laduree, began sandwiching the two cookies around butter crème, jam, compote or ganache.



According to the city of Nancy, the macaron was crafted by religious communities, and the 1792 decree abolishing religious congregations allowed Benedictine Sisters Marguerite Gaillot and Marie-Elisabeth Morlot to sell their macarons. They were on the brink of absolute loss but this permission to make macarons saved them. Later on, the macaron of Boulay's recipe was created in 1854.

A few years later, the colorful cookies became prominent as La Maison Ladurée began cranking out a variety of flavors and colors.



These Parisian macarons became famous around 1890's in the neighborhood of Belleville, France.

Daniel Boulud open his first restaurant "Daniel" in New York City. Along with him a the head of the pastry department was Francois Payard. He was eager to showcase macarons in many of his creations. At this point, macarons were almost unknown to Americans for they were used very little by a few other French pastry chefs. Francois went through an array of flavors and styles while working with Daniel. Dinners would rave about them and often ask if they could buy them to go.



Francois Payard open his own restaurant (Payard) in the Upper East Side in NYC. Payard restaurant and bistro featured a boutique section where for the first time in America customers were able to purchase macarons to go in beautiful gift boxes of multiple sizes and on many different flavors. Extensive research shows that at that time, there was no other shop in the United States that offered macarons in boxes. Some French restaurants would use them as ornaments for their desserts or as petit fours. 

La Maison Pierre Hermé establish "Jour du Macaron" (Macaron Day) in Paris , to promote the macaron, and participate in a joint venture to raise money for charity. The idea behind "a macaron for a gift" was that for every free macaron given out, hopefully a donation would be made for charity. Ever since, Paris has seen an extremely successful outcome from this event.



Thereafter Francois Payard open his restaurant (Payard) at the Caesars Palace Resort and Casino in Las Vegas launched with a tremendous bang of macaron sales.

With the permission of Relais Desserts International and La Maison du Macaron by Pierre Hermé, Francois establish "Macaron Day NYC" in New York City. On this day, in conjunction with Macaron Day in Paris, participating macaron bakeries offer a free macaron to all for the opportunity to discover and taste the French cookie.



It is the perfectly baked round-shaped cookie that sandwiches the macaron filling (ganache). Francois Payard has made them all of his life, just as his father and grandfather did.

MakeCaron is basically and almond cookie shell. Chef Payard's idea is that it is time to let America take full ownership of the flavors in a macaron. As you know, these little macarons have taken off all throughout the United States. However, you're limited to the flavors your local shop will produce. With the MakeCaron, flavors can go anywhere your desires and fantasies wish to take you. And it is your macaron desires and fantasies that we want to hear about! We would like you to come up with your favorite flavor and post it right here on our website.  Just go to the “Share Recipes” section of this website to post your creative ideas.

The MakeCaron includes a booklet with 4 basic traditional ganache recipes, but the idea is that you experiment with whatever filling you'd like!

The MakeCaron shells are made with the traditions almond flour recipe and then colored with food coloring so most of them taste the same, with a few exceptions such as the chocolate ones that have a hint of cocoa powder. What gives the macaron most of its flavor is the filling (ganache).  From now on, you will have the power to decide what your macaron will taste like.  This will make this macaron product so uniquely yours.  We count on America to rewrite macaron history!  What was once solely a typical French pastry treat will now become an American free-spirited staple!  So, go to the fridge and give it a whirl :-)


After watching dozens of "make your own" macaron videos on YouTube, Francois realized that the macaron cookies (shells) are very temperamental in the regular kitchen. They tend to betray you when you pull them out of the oven :-( There are a few chefs that get it right.  However, if you watch the videos carefully, you'll realize that there are so many steps, tools needed, and small details to take into consideration to achieve perfect consistency.

On the contrary, the ganache (or filling) can practically be made by a child. All it takes is heavy cream and white chocolate, plus your flavor. However, you're no longer limited to the typical ganache, because you can stuff them with hazelnut/chocolate spread, marshmallow cream, peanut butter and jelly, etc. As long as it is sticky and has a gooey consistency, the MakeCaron will perfectly sandwich your creation.


Hey, America!  Show us what you've got!  Post a photo, YouTube video, or just simply your very own original MakeCaron recipe right here.

Be creative!  Combine flavors!  Add a decoration!  Make it savory!  You decide.

How original can your MakeCaron be?  Show us now!



1293 3rd Avenue  |  New York, NY 10021  |  (212) 717-5252


SUBWAY:    77th St - 6

HOURS:  Monday through Saturday - 8:00 am to 9:00 pm  | Sunday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm


1 West 58th Street  |  New York, NY 10019  |  (212) 759-1600
Concourse level at the Plaza Food Hall


SUBWAY:    5 Av/59 St - N, Q, R  |  59 St - 4, 5, 6  |  57 St - F

HOURS:  Monday through Saturday - 9:00 am to 7:00 pm  |  Sunday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm


116 West Houston  |  New York, NY 10012  |  (212) 995-0888
Between Thompson St. & Sullivan St.


SUBWAY:    West 4th St - A, C, E, B, D, F, M  |  Prince St - N, R

HOURS:  Monday through Saturday - 7:00 am to 8:00 pm  |  Sunday 9:00 am to 8:00 pm 


210 Murray Street  |  New York, NY 10282  |  (212) 566-8300
Between West St. & North End Ave.


SUBWAY:    Chambers St - 1, 2, 3, A, C  |  City Hall - N, R

HOURS:  Monday through Friday - 7:00 am to 8:00 pm  |  Sunday 9:30 am to 6:00 pm


1775 Broadway  |  New York, NY 10019  |  (212) 956-1775
Corner of 58th and Broadway


SUBWAY:    57 St/7 Av - N, Q, R  |  59 St/Columbus Circle - 1, A, C, B, D

HOURS:  Monday through Friday - 7:00 am to 8:00 pm  |  Saturday and Sunday 9:30 am to 6:00 pm

PAYARD - Las Vegas

3570 Las Vegas Blvd South  |  Las Vegas, NV 89109  |  (702) 731-7849
Caesars Palace Hotel (click HERE for details)


PAYARD - Japan

Odawara Seibu Department Store

208 Nakazato, Odawara-Shi  |  Kanagawa, 250-0872  | 


PAYARD - Japan

Ikebukuro Seibu Department Store B1F

1-28-1 Minami Ikebukuro, Toyoshima-Ku  |  Tokyo, 171-8569  |  (03) 5949-2083


PAYARD - Japan

Yokohama Sogo Department Store B2F

2-18-1 Takashima, Nishi-Ku, Yokohama-Shi  |  Kanagawa 220-8510  |  (045) 465-5432


PAYARD - Korea

Centum City Shinsegae Department Store 1F

1498 U-Dong, Haeundae-Gu  |  Busan, Korea |  +82 (51) 745-2229


PAYARD - Korea

Gangnam Shinsegae Department Store 3F

19-3 Banpo-Dong, Seocho-gu |  Seoul, Korea |  +82 (2) 3479-1658


PAYARD - Korea

Myeong-dong Shinsegae Department store 6F, Trinity garden  

Chungmuro 1-ga, Jung-Gu  |  Seoul, Korea |  +82 (2) 310-1980