Desserts and sweets have always enchanted and delighted foodies and the general population.
Recently, platforms like YouTube Shorts and TikTok have seen a rise in creative desserts, from towering cakes to intricately designed sculptures made from ingredients like chocolate and candy.
Pastry Chef Amaury Guichon is the undeniable king of pastry, taking social media by storm with his wondrously detailed, and often life size, chocolate sculptures and whimsical desserts.
With over 25 million subscribers across the major video platforms, Guichon creates working pastry versions of items like a compass and a Ferris wheel that spins.
He also creates enormous chocolate showpiece sculptures such as his overwhelmingly popular giraffe and squid.
Who is Amaury Guichon?
Guichon was born in Switzerland. He realized that food was his passion from a very young age, dropping out of traditional school at age 14 to attend culinary school at École Hôtelière Savoie Léman in France.
He started out there as a traditional savory chef, but it didn’t excite him. He transferred to Germany to specialize in pastry at Wolfsburg College, where he won a notable award in the Apprentice Chocolate Showpiece Contest, a preview of the success he would find with the medium over the rest of his career.
He finished his education with a focus on chocolate at Lenôtre in Paris, where he was awarded the title of “Best Apprentice of France.”
Not long after completing his education, he returned to Lenôtre as an instructor. He taught aspiring pastry artists while also mentoring five apprentices. During his time as a teacher, he won the prestigious “Les Delices de la Mediterranee” pastry contest.
After a short time teaching, Guichon moved to Paris to become the Executive Chef at all three Hugo & Victor locations in the city.
Two years later, he took his passions overseas to the United States for the first time. He found his place at the Jean Philippe Patisserie in Las Vegas where he remained for three years.
Departing once more, he decided to travel around the world teaching a Masterclass to students at some of the finest culinary academies on every continent.
As his world tour concluded with the rise of COVID-19, he began uploading his creations to social media.
The School of Chocolate
About a year into the pandemic, his Netflix show aired on the platform. In School of Chocolate, Guichon turns the competition reality show genre on its head.
Instead of fierce competition and eliminations, participants (chefs, entrepreneurs, and instructors of their own right) become students to enter Guichon’s Wonka-like world.
According to an interview he gave Eater, the launch of his Netflix series catapulted his name and videos into the mainstream.
“It started right about when COVID started to heat up in 2020, and TikTok was really just emerging. It was very slow at first, but when my Netflix show came out, people started to look my name up on the platform,” he explained.
“That created a lot of interest, and the algorithm started pushing people my way. The account started to get a lot of attention, and my very first viral video was posted around last Christmas. It was a drummer boy, all made in chocolate, who was holding a Black Forest cake drum. I think that video got something like 60 million views.”
He also regards his most popular creation, a life-size giraffe that is over eight feet tall, as a feat of chocolate engineering.
“About two months ago, I posted a life-size giraffe that was more than 8 feet tall, and that got over 307 million views. That was our biggest video ever on the platform and actually ranks as one of the biggest videos on all of TikTok.
A showpiece of that magnitude, without wood or metal reinforcement, just 100 percent chocolate, had never really been done before. I didn’t even know if it was possible. As I was building it, I was always thinking that it was going to collapse, but thankfully I took enough precaution.”
Not all of his creations are so grand in scale.
He is also known for his delicate, modern desserts, from a chocolate bee on a meringue hive to a realistic rose under a sugar glass dome.
Where is He Now?
As a result of his travel throughout the world teaching, Guichon published a book called The Art of Flavour which discloses the techniques and secrets behind his signature pieces through recipes and comprehensive guides.
He has also settled back in Las Vegas. He opened The Pastry Academy in the city where he makes appearances as a consultant and instructor.
The Academy provides an intensive 10-week course that promises to leave graduates with all the skills vital to succeed in the pastry industry at an entry-level.
He is still posting videos to social media aided by his wife, Fiona Guichon, who takes all of the photos and videos for his social media accounts.