Pastry Chef Cédric Grolet Turns Dessert Into Works Of Art

Cédric Grolet has amassed nearly three million followers on TikTok with his drool-inducing videos. His clips show the start-to-finish processes of a variety of pastries and sweets as Grolet carefully transforms ingredients into beautiful treats that are often deceiving to look at.

The Guardian describes Grolet as one of the greatest living patissiers. He has been recognized with a long list of accolades, such as Best Chef Confeiteiro of France in 2015 and Gault & Millau's Best chef of Pâtisserie in 2018 (as per Gastronomos). By the time he was 11, Grolet was helping out in his grandparents' hotel kitchen, and by age 15, he was winning awards for sugar art. 

Food is clearly often on the man's mind: He revealed to Financial Times that the best souvenir he ever brought home was a batch of Tahitian vanilla beans, an ingredient he uses to make pastries, cakes, ganache, biscuits, and creams. Yet the desserts he is most known for incorporate a technique referred to as trompe l'œil, a term that has been borrowed from the worlds of art and architecture. 

Looks can be deceiving

Trompe l'œil is French for "to deceive the eye," and the practice was first recognized when Grecian artists painted grapes so realistically that birds would try to peck and eat them (via Royal Academy). From street art to architecture, artists continue to trick viewers into seeing one thing when the perceived object is something else entirely (per Creative Bloq). This same technique has been brought into the food world. 

In Grolet's case, he uses sugar to make illusions, turning ingredients into objects like fruits, nuts, and coffee beans. His artful desserts so closely resemble the imagined object that the sugary compositions could be mistaken for something that was plucked from a vine or tree. According to Dorchester Collection, Grolet creates wonderful fantasy worlds of pastry. Grolet's sweet world, surely filled with cakes and fruit, is certainly one that we'd like to live and eat in (via Dorchester Collection).