Putting the painting into pâtisserie

Charente students recreate paintings in their cake-making

Trainee pâtissiers at the Barbezieux campus of the Chambres de Métiers et de l’Artisanat in Charente are putting the art into cake-making.

They are continuing the tradition of France’s first celebrity chef, Marie-Antoine Carême, who was inspired by art and architecture, by making gâteaux inspired by the oil and acrylic paintings of Clare Avery, an Anglo-Franco artist who lives near Barbezieux.

She had an exhibition in December and it is after seeing it that Myriam Maillet from the training campus, put the idea to the students. The results were stunning confections, all decorated to be similar to the paintings.

Fanny Cottard in front of a painting called ‘Equinox’

Two identical gâteaux were made by each of the four students and their trainer, with one being shown and eaten with Clare Avery, and the other put on show at the campus open day. “I never imagined that my paintings could inspire such wonderful treats,” said Clare.

“The decorations were wonderful and for me when each one was cut open and the different layers inside were revealed it was very exciting.”

The students, most of whom are nearing the end of five years training, were equally enthusiastic. “The colours and textures in the paintings were wonderful and I tried to express some of the feelings I got from them as I worked,” said Eva Rouquette who chose a large oil painting called Honeybow II as her inspiration. Her gâteau had a honey and biscuit base, lychee cream, a green tea, cherry flower and rose petal bavaroise with a raspberry coulis.

Read how France’s first celebrity chef, Marie-Antoine Carême, put the art into French cuisine here.

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