All French Fruits

Always bring macarons as a souvenir from Paris? Corn Non! Try Cédric Grolet's sweet fruits. Mademoiselle Lili took the bait a long time ago.

First comes the loud crack, then the fruity filling melts appetizingly on the plate like mouth-watering. The amazing trompe-l'oeil fruits are small works of art and great taste explosions at the same time. Whether lemons, pears, hazelnuts, strawberries or apricots - with them, Cédric Grolet has become a kind of rock star and food guru. What other confectioner signs autographs that fans queue up for and has 2.2 million followers on Instagram?

It's been a few years since my first encounter with the child prodigy of French patisserie, but it's unforgettable. Back then, I used my pastry fork to crack open an eyeball that was faithfully reproduced in white and black chocolate, and juicy pieces of apple squirted out of the inside. Admittedly, a slightly perverted feeling – but a calculated shock: it was a special creation for a haute couture collection for the house of Schiaparelli on Place Vendôme, the queen of surrealist fashion. Shortly thereafter, at just 33 years of age, Cédric Grolet was voted the best pâtissier in the world.

Cédric Grolet, born in 1985, had his revelation while picking strawberries in Auvergne: instead of making a strawberry cake, what would you do if you made the fruit itself the star and thus lead traditional pâtisserie into the future? At 13 he completed his first internship in a bakery in his homeland. Later in Paris he joined the Fauchon team. His job was to make macarons and work in the bakery. But he wanted more, reached for the stars.

In 2012, Cédric Grolet came to Le Meurice as sous-chef, but very quickly became head pâtissier of the famous Paris Grand Hotel. The beginning of a success story for the young Grolet, who quickly received numerous awards and honorary titles. His signature? Cédric Grolet stands for a metamorphosis of the classics of French patisserie in a new dress: his Saint-Honoré cake looks like a wedding dress full of ruffles, his apple pie looks like rose petals. Not to forget his Rubik's Cube made of small petit four bites, based on citrus fruits. Crispy, creamy, juicy: this delicious triad can be tasted in almost all of his sweet delicacies.


In addition, he brushed the previously stuffy image of a master confectioner against the grain. With his three-day beard and tattoos, he has become synonymous on social media with the transformation from a French country bumpkin to a Parisian hipster. And has given the profession of confectioner an undreamt-of attractiveness. After opening his own boutique in the Hôtel Le Meurice and collaborating with the equally hip southern French fashion designer Simon Porte Jacquemus for his "Café Citron" on the first floor of the Galéries Lafayette on the Avenue Champs-Elysées, he also runs his own stylish café near the Paris Opera Garnier. And recently, its sweet fruits have also attracted the taste of Londoners, at The Berkeley hotel.

When my guests ask me today where they can buy good macarons to take home as a souvenir, I say: If you want to surprise your loved ones with something really original, go to Cédric Grolet!