Todd Coleman, SAVEUR's executive food editor and resident photographer, is shown here shooting chef François Payard holding a tray of pain au chocolat. We arrived at Payard Bakery on West Houston Street in New York City late on a July day. The bustle of early morning production had died down; only a handful of exceptionally skilled pastry chefs were still working. One was painstakingly making tiny passion fruit-filled macarons, and another was piping the thickest of creams into the plush almond croissants. Chef Payard eased a weighty block of softened butter into the middle of a mass of springy dough, folded the edges around, and rolled it into a thin sheet with the grace of an orchestra conductor. He then divided the dough into triangular strips, which were rolled around bits of luscious dark chocolate, left to rise, and then baked into crisp, flaky things of perfection. It was a wonder to witness a master at work.