The Sweet Life of Cedric Grolet
If – as they say – we eat with our eyes, then Cedric Grolet's culinary masterpieces would easily be devoured. The 32-year-old French pastry chef combines high aesthetic design with a childlike playfulness, the results captivating the internet. While he’s primarily focused on his role as the head pastry chef at the Le Meurice hotel in Paris, Grolet is also an Instagram darling, with his daily experiments earning tens of thousands of likes per post.
Here, the sheen of red apples hide an apple confit inside; there, life-like pocs dimple a lemon – complete with stalk.
In October, Grolet was named the world's best restaurant patissier at the Grandes Tables competition, earning him a title befitting the artistry he presents.
We sat down with Grolet – over pastries, of course – to talk about his process, producers, and planning the "next big thing".
How long have you been practicing pastry? How did you get started in it? I started working in the kitchen at my grandparents’ restaurant at the age of 13.
How did you develop your process? How do your creations evolve from idea to final product? Has it always been like this? I am very passionate in my work. I try to keep in mind my original idea and work a lot to get a final product as close as possible from this idea. But of course it can evolve. What is very important for me is to respect the nature in my work.
Where do you find inspiration for your creations? I find inspiration for my creations in my everyday life, in all areas.
Does design (drawing, artwork) play a big role in your conception process? Design plays a huge role in my conception process and allows me to not have any limits.
Have there ever been pastry concepts you’ve come up with that you haven’t been able to accomplish? There is one concept I’ve come up with that I haven’t been able to accomplish. It was in the concept of sculpted fruit with the raspberry.
What is the creation that you are proudest of and why? I am very proud of the Rubik’s cake. It is really about sharing here which I believe is very important in pastry.
Do you listen to music while you work? If yes, what’s your ideal pastry-making playlist? No, I don’t listen to music at work. I am very concentrated in what I am doing.
How important are producers and ingredient suppliers in the execution of your creations? Producers and ingredient suppliers are essential in my work. Therefore, I only work with seasonal products of high quality to obtain the best result as possible.
What wisdom can you impart to aspiring pastry talents? I would say that patience, curiosity and work are keywords to succeed in pastry.