IMAGES Francois Guillemin
Sintered stone brand Neolith® is specified throughout the interior of master pâtissier Cédric Grolet’s Paris apartment.
Cédric Grolet, one of the most exciting and creative talents in modern cookery, has won multiple awards for his pastry work, including the prestigious Gault Millau Pâtissier of the Year and 50 Best’s Best Pastry Chef, the highest accolade of its kind in the profession.
Cédric’s work is characterised by visually striking patisserie, including his iconic (and much imitated) Rubik’s Cube Cake and his trompe-l’oeil desserts that accurately mimic freshly-plucked fruit.
When it came to renovating his Parisian apartment, the overall concept was developed by the chef himself, with an overarching vision of creating a space that delivered a big, aesthetic statement while allowing for a degree of practicality, essential for exercising his culinary feats.
“I wanted a space which would give me the freedom to experiment without restricting my imagination,” says Cédric. “I completely remodelled my apartment from top to bottom. I wanted to give it that idiosyncratic ‘Cédric’ 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.”
Cédric never adds unnecessary decoration or flourishes to his pastry work, an attitude that was central to his overall design vision. He wanted to combine simple, white marble-type surfaces with exposed stone walls and unvarnished wooden flooring throughout the property.
Primarily, he wanted to communicate a “closeness to nature,” which visitors to his apartment would sense the instant 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, Cédric spotted Neolith and was immediately impressed by its performance qualities. “What I like about Neolith is that it is non-porous and very easy to clean, an essential requirement for precise pastry work,” he says. “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 marble-like feature that 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.
Cédric’s philosophy also extends to other aspects of the property, particularly to the bathrooms, where waterproof materials that are easy to clean are indispensable.
Neolith Calacatta Polished was used for a minimalist, mounted vanity and wall-to-wall for a magnificent wet room 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 creating a soft, gentle and relaxing effect.
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.
Ever striving for perfection, Cédric sees this project as the start of an ongoing journey with Neolith. “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.”
For more information, visit neolith.com.