An ex-Pimco guy is doing croque monsieurs. A BNP risk manager is about to leave for crepes. What will you contribute? If Boeuf Bourguignon is out of your comfort zone, tear up some pieces of a baguette and smear some chocolate on them and call it a day.
Cohen, a risk manager for BNP Paribas SA in New York, is leaving France’s largest bank next week to start a crepe business. The 34-year-old said he’s opening Crepes & Delices within the month to bring French flavors and quick service to Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “I was very happy at BNP, but I wanted to do something different and I wasn’t as excited as I used to be working in finance,” said Cohen, a French native who previously traded derivatives and mortgage debt during eight years at the bank. “I didn’t go to a culinary school but I did a two-week-long training program in France to learn to make crepes.”
Cohen is the second French bond executive in the U.S. to quit finance and pursue cooking dreams in the last month. Jeremie Banet left Newport Beach, California-based Pacific Investment Management Co. to start a food-truck business selling croque monsieurs, or ham-and-cheese sandwiches, in Los Angeles and Orange County. Cohen said he devoured the French staple during economic undergraduate studies in Paris. In February he went to Brittany, France, to hone his skills making the thin pancakes, which are filled with sweets, such as chocolate spreads, or savory ingredients, like cheese and meat. He’s found co-investors for the restaurant from New York and France and plans to expand to beyond Manhattan.