Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Artsy Wednesday: Pastry Architecture

Yesterday, Cooper's cousin Sarah sent me an article featuring French chef Sebastien Gaudard, of recent Selby fame (and also Sarah's new future boyfriend, if she can only track him down). The article touches on pretty much everything that gets me excited: food as art, historical anecdotes about food and art, the importance of research. Plus, France.

I mean, check out these quotes:
By the early nineteenth century, chef Marie-Antonin Carême, the great codifier
of pastry technique, could claim, “The fine arts are five in number: painting,
sculpture, poetry, music, and architecture – whose main branch is confection.”

“Pastry is the closest thing to architecture in the food world,” says
Paris-based sculptor and food artist Marc Brétillot. “It’s all about
construction.”...Brétillot’s projects have included performance-art pieces
involving live music and chain-reaction machines, inspired by Rube Goldberg,
that open and serve individual bottles of champagne and squirt dollops of icing
onto cookies.

When the pastry chef Sébastien Gaudard created a cake called the “Auguste” for
the high-end Paris food emporium Fauchon, he based his approach on field
research. “The first thing I noticed was people tend to buy little cakes rather
than big ones,” he said.

In other words, the “Auguste” is not just a cool object: the design is
intimately married to the taste...Gone are the gratuitous maraschino cherries
and sugar flowers of old; there is coherence between interior and exterior.

It's almost more than I can handle.

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