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Cédric Grolet Creates First Savoury Pastry for La Prairie’s Caviar Pop-Up

Cédric Grolet Creates First Savoury Pastry for La Prairie’s Caviar Pop-Up

La Prairie and renowned French chef Cédric Grolet partner up to celebrate the life-infusing richness of caviar, the signature ingredient of the brand’s Skin Caviar Collection, with a decadent Caviar Egg masterpiece that also marks the patisserie chef’s first savoury creation.

La Prairie started a tradition many years ago, when it became a long-standing partner of Art Basel, to support and celebrate artists by commissioning them to create works that spoke to the brand’s heritage and legacies. For some years, these works of art have included artworks and sculptures, even neon light installations – but this year sees the Swiss luxury skincare house go a little out of the box with a chef collaboration.

But Chef Cédric Grolet is no ordinary chef; he’s an artist. His whisks and spoons are his tools and his pastries are nothing short of art. His grandfathers, he claims, shaped him to become who he is today. One a chef and the other a painter, Grolet grew up learning the rigorous ways of the kitchen and the romantic ways of painting. The countryside also proved to be fertile grounds for inspiration – “It’s the trilogy of my philosophy,” he tells me in French. “And the meeting point of it all inspired me to create desserts shaped like nature.”

Cedric Grolet
Cédric Grolet

Most famous for his trompe l’oeil fruit creations – stunning sugar confections that can fool one into thinking they’re real fruit – Grolet says the inspiration came when, as a 25-year-old, he realised all the chefs in Paris were designing cakes that were square-shaped or round. “But nature offers you so much generosity, there’s so much inspiration that you can find in nature. So why not take that inspiration and sculpt the shape of these foods as cakes? I like to say now that every single chef on my team are actually sculptors.”

When La Prairie came knocking with a proposal to create something out of the ordinary, Grolet was intrigued. “I never imagined I would work with a beauty brand but this represented a real chance to do something different and I wanted a challenge,” says Grolet. La Prairie wanted to celebrate caviar, and caviar was an ingredient that Grolet had not worked with. The beautiful result of this unexpected collaboration is L’Oeuf Caviar (the Caviar Egg), which also marks Grolet’s first-ever savoury creation. The golden egg, topped with a generous spoonful of caviar, is presented in La Prairie’s signature cobalt blue box. Encased in an eggshell-thin layer of white chocolate that’s painted gold, the egg cracks open to reveal a light parmesan mousse filling and a jammy, decadent yolk centre. It’s an egg, and yet, not an egg. It’s trompe l’oeil, an edible work of art, and a delight on both the eyes and the palate.

Cedric Grolet with L'Oeuf Caviar he created for La Prairie
Cédric Grolet with L’Oeuf Caviar he created for La Prairie

“I ate a lot of eggs in the process,” says Grolet, laughing. “When I taste my desserts, I don’t just take a spoon, I eat the full dessert so that I can put myself in the client’s shoes and have the experience of eating it fully.” He shares that he also never eats his desserts hungry so his palate is open to all flavours. “If you eat when you’re hungry you might just validate the food not because it’s good but because you’re hungry.”

The challenge of making The Caviar Egg just right came down to perfecting the egg’s centre. “It was very difficult to make it the perfect consistency,” Grolet reveals. “We had to make sure it was not too heavy, and when you eat it, you still want to have another spoon.”

See Also

The Caviar Egg is now available to savour at The Caviar Pop-Up, which opened on March 28 to celebrate art and caviar in all its forms during Art Month. Located on Queen’s Road Central, The Caviar Pop-Up is also home to an art piece by street artist Wong Ting Fung, who was inspired by the caviar beads and La Prairie’s cobalt blue to create his abstract and vividly coloured work. Visitors to the Pop-Up can also discover La Prairie’s re-imagined Skin Caviar Eye Lift, and interact with fun activations like claw machines and a floral cart.

La Prairie x Cédric Grolet – The Caviar Pop-Up is open now until April 7. Register for the exclusive experience here.

Source: Prestige Online

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