Neolith® is specified throughout the interior of master pâtissier Cédric Grolet’s Paris apartment.
Cédric Grolet is one of the most exciting and creative talents in modern cookery. The meteoric rise of this inventive and original chef has seen him achieve multiple awards for his pastry work. Only last year he received the prestigious Gault Millau Pâtissier of the Year and was awarded Best Pastry Chef by 50 Best, the highest accolade of its kind in the profession.
Grolet’s work is characterised by visually striking patisserie, including his iconic (and much imitated) Rubiks Cube Cake and his trompe-l’oeil desserts which accurately mimics freshly-plucked fruit.
This playfulness is masterfully contrasted with his firm grounding in classical French cuisine, having trained under Fauchon’s legendary Christophe Adam and culinary superstar Alain Ducasse. His imaginative work is supported by a deep understanding of gastronomic absolutes and precise, correct cuisine. For Grolet, there is no place for gratuitousness or gimmickry.
He regards himself as a guardian of France’s culinary heritage, constantly refining his art to bring his mouth-watering concepts to exquisite reality. His creativity, ambition and hard work make him one of the best pastry chefs of his generation.
Grolet’s duality also applies to his approach to interior design, and was perfectly realised when he decided to renovate his Parisian apartment.
The overall concept was developed by the chef himself, with an overarching vision of creating a space which delivered a big, aesthetic statement while allowing for a degree of practicality, essential for exercising his culinary genius.
As Grolet explains, “The word ‘Creating’ is at the heart of everything I do. Bringing a gastronomic concept to life is so enriching and the feeling of seeing your ideas become reality is intoxicating. It encourages me never to rest on my laurel. As such, I wanted a space which would give me the freedom to experiment without restricting my imagination.”
He continues, “I completely remodelled my apartment from top to bottom. I wanted to give it that idiosyncratic ‘Cedric’ spirit, reflecting my personality and beliefs. This meant it had to be as simple and unfussy as possible, using the very best materials available on the market.”
Grolet detests frippery, never adding unnecessary decoration or flourishes to his pastry work. This attitude was central to the overall design vision.
To capture his intended look he wanted to combine simple, white marble-type surfaces with exposed stone walls and unvarnished wooden flooring throughout the property.
Primarily, Grolet wanted to communicate a ‘closeness to nature’ which visitors to his apartment would sense the instance they stepped over the threshold. As such, it was essential to ensure these materials were 100% natural in their composition. Working with highly-skilled fabricators J. Léger and La Marbrerie Contemporaine he set about bringing his dream to life. Having tested a number of different surfacing options, Grolet alighted on Neolith and was immediately impressed by its performance qualities.
As he explains, “What I like about Neolith is that it is non-porous and very easy to clean, an essential requirement for precise pastry work. For example, I can knead and roll directly on the surface and it doesn’t stain or tarnish. It also offers a neutral, crisp backdrop which allows my cakes and desserts to stand out, perfect for my instagramming activity.”
Neolith Estatuario Silk was specified for the kitchen island, worktops, and splashback. In an unusual twist, the island’s surface spills over onto the floor and up the wall creating a marmoreal feature which suggests organic continuity within the space. Contrasted with parquet floors, a limestone wall and pure white cabinetry, Neolith works in harmony with the kitchen’s other elements to deliver a relaxed atmosphere without detracting from the room’s main purpose.
Grolet’s philosophy also extends to other aspects of his property, particularly to the bathrooms, where a balance between the rapturous and the robust must be achieved. Materials which are waterproof and easy to clean are indispensable. Neolith Calacatta Polished was used for a minimalist, mounted vanity and wall-to-wall for a magnificent wetroom with a waterfall shower.
Adding an element of contrast, Neolith Iron Frost was used for the guest bedroom’s walk-in shower, the unobtrusiveness of the surface’s colour creates a soft, gentle and relaxing effect.
Neolith’s underlying ethos perfectly dovetails with Grolet’s, resulting in a serendipitous meeting of minds. The Sintered Stone brand’s dedication to creating surfaces of the highest quality, using the best, 100% natural, raw materials echoes the pastry chef’s commitment to sourcing the very best produce. Furthermore, akin to Grolet’s desserts, Neolith is the product of many years of accrued skill and experience, which yields an exceptional level of knowledge and creativity. This translates into surfaces which combine unrivalled beauty with unparalleled performance.
Ever striving for perfection, Grolet sees this project as the start of an ongoing journey with Neolith. He concludes, “Having observed the potential and versatility of the material in my own home, I am already imagining specifying it for a future project; I will definitely use Neolith surfaces again for either a culinary laboratory or a patisserie.”