“ He looks so happy. She has the best life. Have you seen their stories? They have the perfect family.” These are the statements we remark on while browsing through the feeds of the people we follow, but in reality, whose lives we know little about…
Before we became attached to our devices, a handful of role models inspired us. Elite athletes, actors, musicians; true talents whose actions we admired, but could only dream about emulating. But today, despite the undeniable pros of the internet, social media has become a powerful outlet for deception, a make-believe world, where it is displayed that all our dreams are perceived to come true. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the French term Trompe-l’oeil meaning to ‘cheat’ or ‘deceive’ the eye, is used to describe the edible art forms, that today have captured the attention of the world over. Beautifully crafted, artfully decorated, deconstructed, and reconstructed food made to look like the real thing. The fruits of master pastry chef Cédric Grolet might be the envy of the patisserie world, but how do they taste? In this article, the wonderful Cissy Difford accounts what impact social media has on our psyche today, and ponders whether it is possible that we use this outlet in a bona fide way. - Cúán.
Social media trending or misleading?
In recent years, there has been an astounding change in the way we (the consumer) interact with marketing techniques. We are no longer subjected to that 5 minute ad break between segments of our favourite TV show, which allowed us to make a cup of tea or fight with our siblings. Instead we are constantly bombarded with sponsored ads as we scroll through our social media feeds. Even when we aren’t being directly targeted by ‘sponsored’ content, we are being shown images or videos of people living ‘their best lives’ and influencing us into a capitalist dream. This constant barrage of images is undoubtedly going to cause shifts in our behaviour, our emotions and how we interact with one another. So, how has it had an effect on the food industry?
I’ll be the first to admit I probably spend a little too much time on my phone. I have a particular habit of unlocking it and immediately opening Instagram. It’s become an unconscious part of my routine; as soon as I wake up, over lunch, before bed, whilst watching TV, you name it. I’m very aware that it’s not a good habit but I’m sure I’m not alone in this (I see you!). It’s on this platform that I first came across Cédric Grolet. Grolet is one of the world’s finest pastry chefs, coming from humble beginnings in his grandparents’ hotel kitchen and working his way up from apprentice to specialising in patisserie. Since then, he has won many accolades and worked with some of the world’s best establishments and chefs, such as Alain Ducasse. He is renowned for creating sculptured desserts with lifelike qualities. Imagine, a dappled lemon picked straight from the tree, still attached to its green leaves but instead of containing sour pulp, it is filled with lemon gel, yuzu whipped ganache and dipped in a chocolate shell coated with a velvet mix of food colouring. Under the Dorchester Collection (a group of luxury 5-star hotels), he heads up the patisserie at Le Meurice and his own boutique Opéra, both in Paris and now at The Berkeley in London, where these desserts are showcased, along with your more traditional viennoiserie offering.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Ómós Digest to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.