A.Lecomte opened in 1968 as Japan's first specialty shop for French pastries and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018.
Please join us as we continue our journey of the making of nostalgic yet modern pastries for another 50 years.

History of André Lecomte


Carte du monde Le A. Lecomte.


André Lecomte was born in 1931 in Loire, a large grain-producing area that stretches to the south of Paris. Populated by the villas and castles of former aristocrats, the region was known as the “food storehouse of Paris” because of its abundance of delicious wine, dairy products, fruit, and agricultural produce.
The natural features of Lecomte’s hometown deeply influenced his life’s work.
There was a small garden and large apricot tree in the yard of this home, so it's not surprising that tarts filled with apricots, strawberries, and other fruits made up a large portion of the typical sweets.
Lecomte’s sense of taste was well cultivated in the tranquil nature by the produce with which the rich Loire River basin is blessed.



After studying for four years under Master Marcel Renan in the town of Montargis in the Loire region, Lecomte passed the state examination for cake, chocolate, and ice cream making. This enabled him to move to Paris and start working at a shop on the Champs Elysees. At that time in 1949, he was an 18 year old youth.
When men reached the age of 20 in France, they had to complete two years of military service. In the military, Lecomte’s skills as a confectioner were recognized, and he delighted others by providing delicious cakes. For the particularly fussy generals, he made pomponettes and other elaborate cakes. Sweets for the soldiers had to be made in large quantities, so he made bread pudding and others sweets using pans.
Pleasing many people in the restricted environment of the military was further motivation to master confectionery making.


Petit fours

When his military service ended in 1953, Lecomte was fortunate enough to find employment at the George V, a well-established hotel in Paris. The George V Hotel is now the Four Seasons Hotel George V, and one of the world’s top class hotels. At that time as well, it was a very prestigious hotel at which the celebrities of Paris gathered.
It was in this kitchen that Lecomte began to acquire his skills as a cake artisan and chef. Lecomte was 22 years old at the time, but thereafter the first-class stage of George V Hotel and its famous clientele would raise him to the Legion of Honor at the class of Knight. Lecomte was a young man with many dreams smoothly celebrating the prime of life in the blossoming city of Paris.
Photographs from the time show a man with swept-back hair wearing stylish neckties. This young man with the faint smile was the epitome of happiness.



In 1955, Lecomte was dispatched from the George V Hotel to Jamaica in the West Indies. At the Round Hill Hotel, he exhibited his skills as a chef.
His memories of Jamaica are not only of food and desserts at the hotel.
He made sweets for the Kennedy family, who visited to escape the summer heat, and learned many things from the famous customers that visited from around the world. The Kennedy family was particularly fond of the crème caramel that Lecomte made.
It was here in Jamaica that Lecomte encountered rum, which remains an essential ingredient in his sweets.


Napoleon mille-feuille

After returning to Paris from Jamaica, he started working again at the George V Hotel. While there, he received an offer to work for Mohammad Reza Shah and the royal family of Iran. After accepting the offer, he departed for the desert country of Iran, and spent 2 1/2 years in Tehran and Abadan. The Shah particularly enjoyed “Napoleon mille-feuille”, the top of which was glazed with special pink and chocolate brown cream and made using Lecomte’s unique recipe.
This cake was known as the “King of cakes” and had a deliciousness and elegance appropriate for the name.
Lecomte traveled all over Iran, and the deserts, historic ruins, sandstorms, and even mirages became inspirations for his confectionery making.
He even became accustomed to desert life, and many Iranians enjoyed his French sweets, so his time in Iran was productive and enjoyable.



After 2 1/2 years of a dreamlike stay in Iran at the invitation of the Shah, he returned again to the George V Hotel in Paris.
While working hard daily on his confectionery making as a pastry chef, he heard that the Olympics would be held in Tokyo and decided to go to Tokyo simply because he wanted to see the Olympics.
It was here that Lecomte’s connection with Japan started.
Lecomte was invited to be a technical advisor for French sweets at the Hotel Okura Tokyo, which would open to welcome important people arriving from around the world for the Tokyo Olympics.
This provided another opportunity for customers from around the world to be aware of his sweets. It was at this time that genuine French sweets were first introduced in Japan.



The “A.Lecomte” French-pastry shop opened in Roppongi, Tokyo four years after the Olympics on December 17, 1968. By that time, Almond, Nicola's Pizza House, Meidi-ya, and other well-known shops had opened in Roppongi, and the area was changing to new fashionable district.
One memorable episode from the opening of the shop was that because the team was so focused on the preparation of the cakes, necessities such as shop original cake boxes, shopping bags and wrapping papers had not arrived in time for the opening. Instead they used stamps to make them look as if original for the time being.
Many customers visited the shop, and sweets for adults that utilized liqueur were popular with both women and men. There were many ingredients that could not be obtained in Japan at the time, and some items were gathered by direct-order from France.
In this way, customers in Japan gradually became aware of genuine French pastries.



A.Lecomte’s specialty is fruitcake, which are made with dried fruits of various colors, have the aroma of full-bodied rum, and shines like a jewelry box.
Fruitcake have their roots in medieval Great Britain. In those times, they were frequently made for special banquets, and even today, they are still baked for Christmas and wedding days in Europe.
A.Lecomte’s fruitcakes were created using a special recipe Lecomte learned from a senior apprentice who worked as a pastry chef at Buckingham palace in Great Britain.
These sweets have been treasured since the opening of the first shop in Roppongi.
Cherries, plums, cranberries, and other dried fruits are marinated thoroughly in rum for some time, and a lot of butter is used.
These fruitcakes are somehow nostalgic, but offer new discoveries with each encounter, and still brighten up the shop.



A “souris” (French for mouse) is shaped like a mouse and is one of the cutest cakes that have been created. This sweet was originally made using biscuits and vanilla buttercream, but the mouse figure was later improved by making it with puff to make it moist. In addition, custard cream and white and brown fondant for glaçage form the eyes, nose, and tail and give birth to the “souris”.
Although there are many cakes for adults, this sweet was created wholeheartedly for children to enjoy. When the “souris” are lined up in the display case of the shop, its atmosphere changes completely. Creating one’s one and only special display case is a great joy for a confectioner, and he always aimed to create A.Lecomte's unique display case.



If you look at the window of the shop, there are conspicuous cakes lined up alongside the “souris”. It is a group of swans that look like cute ballerinas with white costumes peeking out from the wings.
Because the puff of whipped cream alone was not enough, a puff that was bent into the shape of swan was added, and so the swan was born. The swan spread through Japan starting from this charming form.
Lecomte hoped that when children held swan cakes in their hand, they would happily say that it is delicious, but also enter a dreamy state of mind like they are listening to fun music.


Baked cheesecake

Around the time that the Roppongi shop opened, Mr. and Mrs. Lecomte would frequently visit the Jewish-cuisine restaurant of Madam Anne Dinken. Mr.Lecomte considered the cheesecake made by her was the most delicious in Japan. When Madam Anne Dinken decided to return to her hometown of New York City, she taught him how to make the cheesecake as a thank you. The way of making the cheesecake was very elaborate, and there were many hidden secrets and tricks in the ways of mixing, baking, and even eating of the cheesecake. This recipe has been further improved upon, resulting in the current “baked cheesecake”. Madam Anne Dinken’s way of making cheesecake takes a lot of work and is by no means efficient, but Lecomte felt that it was the way to make a truly valuable cake while pursuing supreme deliciousness.
This is how A.Lecomte inherited the secrets to “Japan's most delicious cheesecake”, which is still loved by many customers.



At A.Lecomte, a cream puff is known as a “parisienne”. This sweet has been popular since the shop opened in Roppongi in 1968. It was originally called a “praline cream puff”, but the label of the sweet in the display case was thought to be difficult to read in the Japanese syllabary, so the name was eventually changed to “Parisienne”, and the name stuck.
The secrets of the deliciousness of this sweet is chopping almonds into powder and forming it into caramel to make a slightly crispy surface. The center is filled with a light, soft cream to infuse it with spirit.
Even as times change, the Parisienne remains a feature of A.Lecomte’s display case.