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From a stuffed cardoncello designed by the chef, Flavio Lucarini (Le Bistrot Flaubert), the ceramist Valérie Delarue has created a glazed stoneware Vanity with a baroque profusion that is breathtakingly true in its rendering of plant and animal materials. Oyster mushrooms, preserved grapes, and coiled eel skins… the colorful earthy glazes illuminated by the green of marjoram and the gold of mustard arouse the taste buds as much as the eye…

© Mallaury Gabsi

United by the work of the material transmitted by cutting, kneading, and cooking, and the secret alchemy of ingredients required to achieve a masterpiece, these two inspired artists are among the five duos of chefs and visual artists selected for the Balzac Prize for Contemporary Creation, which this year merges art and gastronomy. 

Julien Chevallier © Claire Curt pour Prix Balzac Création Contemporaine
© Sylvain Parisot

Among the other recipe transcriptions, Les Métamorphoses de la fougère by Sylvain Parisot (Jeanne-Aimée restaurant) and Noémie Sauve (an alchemist plastic artist who has created salt drawings and sculptures in crystal lava and fluorescent bronze inspired by a recent residency in Vulcano, in the Sicilian Aeolian islands) fascinate with their lightness and the subtlety of their combinations.

An artichoke base stuffed with egg cream, covered with a veil of one hundred-year-old egg, bristling with a fern stock, brushed with black garlic cream and kombu leaves with planed vinegar, is echoed by the marriage of baked fern ash and various sands and colored blown glass spread in opaline pools.

Noémie Sauve © Claire Curt pour Prix Balzac Création Contemporaine

Equally subtle and sensual is Sabrina Vitali’s Anatomy of Sorrow in a fine veining of flattened and polished brass wire, inspired by Mallory Gabsi’s decomposed lobster in a sea buckthorn dress, powdered with yuzu.

Beautifully photographed dishes and works to be discovered at the Maison Balzac until 6 June (until 12 June for the winning work) and in a photo catalogue, including the chefs’ recipes (published by Herodios).

Maison de Balzac
47, rue Raynouard, Paris XVI

Stéphanie Dulout