The Edit

Meet executive pastry chef Cédric Grolet

Le Meurice
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 a chef?

My grandfather owned a hotel restaurant and when I was a kid 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 child I knew I wanted to become a chef.

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.

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 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 Le Meurice?

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 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 food pleasure?

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.

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 me plenty of opportunity to discover new fruits, new tastes and new textures.

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 stories to tell, and they 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% focused on what I’m doing and listening to rap music would be rather noisy!

Experience Cédric’s Grolet’s exceptional creativity by taking afternoon tea at Restaurant Le Dalí or dining at Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse. You can also discover his beautifully reinvented French pastries at our La Pâtisserie du Meurice par Cédric Grolet.