French pastry chef’s ‘food porn’ has millions drooling on Instagram

When Cedric Grolet takes out his pastry knife, millions of mouths water. The young Frenchman, named the top patissier on the planet last month by “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list, is an Instagram superstar.

Videos of him slicing through the exquisite fake fruit he creates to reveal their tastebud-teasing interiors get millions of views on social media.

Millions more drool over images of his glossy hyper-realistic pears, apricots, lemons, peaches and even tomatoes, with Vogue — a magazine not  known for its championing of high-calorie desserts — saying they “leave you wanting to lick the screen”.

“His fans cry, fall into his arms and demand autographs” and selfies, said the usually sober French daily Le Monde.

His work is pure “food porn”, it declared, with only a select few getting the chance to consummate their desire every day at the top Paris hotel where he works.

With high tea at Le Meurice featuring his cakes sometimes booked weeks in advance, Grolet opened a tiny boutique there in March.

Its shelves empty within hours every day.

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The Best Pastries in Paris, According to Top Chefs

When someone offers you a Parisian dessert, you will always say, “Yes.”

The French capital is home to the masters of the pastry universe, dating back to Marie-Antoine Carême, who in the early 1800s popularized such elaborate confections as the millefeuille, the croquembouche (a caramel-enrobed tower of cream puffs), and strawberries Romanov, a parfait-like concoction of marinated berries and whipped cream. It’s one reason he became the world’s first celebrity chef.

The city’s pastry scene is more dynamic and expansive than ever, ranging from modern trompe l’oeil treasures that Carême would covet to exquisite classics and even some outrageous cookies. Dessert appreciation runs so high that one of Paris’s top patissiers has just opened a shop in the valuable real estate of le Meurice hotel. His is one of a baker’s dozen of the best pastries to try, as recommended by expert chefs who know a thing or two about making magic out of flour, butter, sugar, and cream. [. . . ]

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