10 Edible Works of Art That Are Far Too Pretty to Eat

3 December, 2018

Nowadays, pastry chefs are so skilled they are elevated to straight-out artists, crafting breathtaking desserts that we’d be shy to poke a fork at. Here are some of those beguiling creations that toe the line between food and artistry.

1. Carolina gold rice pudding

To sample this unreal take on the rice pudding, you’ll have to venture to Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta, Georgia. The work of executive pastry chef Jen Yee, it’s made with Carolina Gold rice, local strawberries (or blueberries, depending on the season) and purple ribbon sugarcane.

2. Presidential cupcakes

On Valentine’s Day 2009, Zilly Rosen, a pastry artist in Buffalo, New York, crafted portraits of Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln with little more than 5,600 cupcakes. The exhibit was displayed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum to honour Lincoln’s 200th birthday.

3. Chocolate paint tubes

Japanese design studio Nendo chocolates is behind these chocolates disguised as a set of 12 oil paint tubes, each containing a flavoured syrup within, from honey lemon and brandy, to grape, melon and blueberry. Sadly, they were designed as a limited-edition set for a department store, so you can’t jump online and add to cart.

4. Snow-skin mooncakes

Janice Wong is the edible artist and pastry chef behind Singapore’s 2am: Dessert Bar. Her sweet CV includes a marshmallow ceiling, lychee gum drop wall, and brioche chandelier – needless to say, she loves whimsy in her creations. For mooncake season, which this year fell on September 24, Janice made a special mould that allowed her to hand-paint chocolate shells and cast them with snow skin (glutinous rice flour), plus a variety of fillings.

5. Animal pancakes

Pancake Dad, AKA Nathan Shields, is an illustrator, maths teacher and dad in Washington who first began entertaining his kids with animal pancakes in 2014. The idea was to teach his kids about animals in a fun, sensory way.

6. Gaku carvings

This Japanese chef Takehiro Kishimoto carves designs into fruit and vegetables using a thin, sharp pencil knife, sharing his designs on his Instagram account. The apples pictured below took him about three hours each to carve. He refers to his practice as “Thai” carving, as Thailand is where the tradition of carving food originated.

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7. Banana art

Keisuke Yamada is another carver of fruits. During the day, he’s an electrician, and outside of that, he devotes his time to banana sculpting. The patience and steady hand required are impressive.

8. Geometric cakes

Dinara Kasko is a Ukrainian architect turned pastry chef who has made a name for herself with her geometric cakes, some constructed using moulds made on a 3D printer.

9. Not quite fruit

Cédric Grolet, a French pastry chef crowned World’s Best Pastry Chef 2018, is renowned for crafting fruit sculptures. What looks just like an apricot is, in fact, a sugary shell housing spiced fruit. His goal is to preserve the original flavour of a fruit, not to overpower them with sweetness.

10. Charming characters

Food artist and interior designer Song Rattanakosate, who goes by Song Sweet Song on Instagram, is the talented eye behind countless cutesy food creations, both sweet and savoury. In one of her most swoon-worthy, a rasher of bacon becomes the blanket for a hard-boiled egg character who sits snugly atop a bed of white toast.