Meet executive pastry chef Cédric Grolet
Discover why Cédric Grolet at Le Meurice is the undisputed master of his art and winner of the prestigious ‘World’s Best Restaurant Pastry Chef’ award, as we meet the man behind one of the most sought-after afternoon teas in Paris.
What made you want to be chef?
My grandfather owned a hotel restaurant and when I was a kid and I would help him in the kitchen. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by the bustle of the kitchen and even as a I child I knew I wanted to become a chef.
What inspires your creations?
I find everything in nature an inspiration, from all the different fruit varieties to simple and exotic flowers. I’m lucky to travel a lot, which gives my plenty of opportunity to discover new fruits, new tastes and new textures.
What food could you not live without?
Pastries, of course, and every day it’s a different choice. If I had to recommend one thing for you, it would be my much-loved sculptured ‘fruit’ desserts.
What are your three favourite ingredients and why?
It’s hard to choose only three but I would say a really good quality honey for the sweetness, a rich praline for its crisp texture and depth of flavour, and fresh citrus fruit for acidity to balance the sweetness of my desserts.
What do you like to cook at home for friends?
I love to create colourful mixed salads, using an array of different varieties of seasonal vegetables. They are easy to make, yet look impressive and can be served with so many different things.
What are you most proud of at
I’m very proud to be the first pastry chef to open a pâtisserie in a palace hotel. It was an important challenge for me and I’m very proud of my team’s success, especially when we can see people patiently queuing to get in.
What’s your secret of success?
For me, the most important thing is to work hard for what you want, to never quit and to keep learning. There’s always something new to learn and it helps me to think creatively.
What’s your favourite kitchen gadget?
My favourite must-have utensil is definitely my pink knife from PCB Creation. It looks the part and does a great job.
What’s your favourite food memory?
That would have to be making ice cream with my grandfather and being allowed to dip my finger in the ice cream maker for that first taste.
What’s your guilty pleasure food?
Anything with chocolate in it as I have a real weakness for chocolate.
Chefs work long hours, how do you like to spend your time off?
I love to stroll through the Tuileries Garden and I like visiting Parisian roof terraces to relax and admire the city. When I get the chance, it’s also great to drive out of Paris for a few hours to immerse myself in nature.
What do you love most about the city?
I love the architecture of Paris and the history behind all these great buildings, it seems like they all have great story to tell and add to the natural beauty of the city.
Do you listen to music while you cook?
Only when I’m cooking at home, at work I want to be 100% focussed on what I’m doing and listening to rap music would be rather noisy!
More like this
View the latest issue of Collect, our bi-annual magazine featuring a curated mix of culture, art and lifestyle, together with the latest news from Dorchester Collection hotels.Discover more