Amaury Guichon: how the internet’s favorite chocolatier is shaking up French confections

Big chains and a ladder. In a room decorated like a dentist’s office, the bust of a standing giraffe waits to be placed on its feet. The welding operation requires the intervention of a scalpel. Who is in charge? A young man, in a white T-shirt, hazel eyes and a predatory smile. He shapes and caresses his pet. Decapitated, the giraffe waits while its creator works to give it a face. Standing up, he sprays it with brown paint and suddenly our giraffe is dressed in his dress. The operation was filmed and edited into an Instagram reel. Rhythmic images. Soft music. The animal’s hypnotic birth lasts less than a minute. It has been viewed 125 million times. “To make this sculpture, I used 72 kilograms of chocolate,” says the giraffe’s father. Her name ? Amaury Guichon, 31, the Franco-Swiss candy star known for his viral and spectacular videos. A specialist in chocolate sculptures, he has amassed 42 million followers on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Among them ? Dwayne Johnson“The Rock,” who was entitled to his own set of chocolate barbells made for his 49th birthday.

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The former wrestler is one of the lucky few to have had this privilege. For ordinary people, it is impossible to taste the confectioner’s chocolate. Without a shop open to the public, Amaury Guichon’s cakes can only be enjoyed on video. “Right now, marketing my chocolate is not my priority, it’s not the career choice I’ve made,” says the star from his office in Las Vegas, near Caesars Palace where Celine Dion used to live. Queen of the City has half the subscribers than him.

Ten years have passed since Amaury Guichon built his life in Nevada. His French accent is very popular with Americans. After a visit to Jean-Philippe Maury at the L’Aria casino, he created his own school in Las Vegas, the Amaury Guichon Academy, in 2019. The promise? “Learn to bake pastries like the ones you see on social media and Netflix chef series. “Therefore, small groups of students follow modules to make small cakes, ice cream and of course to get to know chocolate. In terms of enjoyment, he reserves it for students and “friends and family.” Too bad for the public: according to Amaury Guichon, “it’s the best chocolate in the world.”

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But before he could join Uncle Sam on the other side of the Atlantic, he had to prove himself. Failing school during his adolescence, Amaury Guichon turns to a professional sector. It was at this time that he discovered sweets and felt “finally in [son] element”. He then cut his teeth at the prestigious house of Lenôtre. He holds several positions and is “really starting to reach a good level”. In the evenings he trains outside work hours to make compositions and of course chocolate sculptures He then did a stint with pastry chef Victor et Hugo in Paris, where he took his first position as executive chef. “I had responsibility, I had to think and cook cakes and manage seven employees,” he recalls. The founder of the house, Hugues Pougetdid not forget this “talented and very ambitious boy” who “already knew what he wanted”.

In France, he witnesses methods he doesn’t like: a lot of pressure, verbal and physical abuse in the kitchens. “I’ve seen chefs slap students or throw pans,” he complains. Amaury Guichon is therefore looking for a future elsewhere. He dreams of America: a country that protects the culture of “e suit ” (legal proceedings). We don’t touch the students there. He has only one thing in mind: to leave. “L’the american dreamit’s something we’ve heard since we were little and it makes us all dream,” he admits from Nevada.

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It’s the small screen that will change his life. In 2013, France discovered a very young 21-year-old Amaury with a childish face but a confident gesture. He participates in the reality show “Who will be the next best pastry chef?” “. Created by Christopher Michalak and broadcast on France 2, it will be the first image experience for an Amaury Guichon, who admittedly says he is “a little stressed”, but looks very comfortable in front of the camera. His career on the show ends abruptly at the gates of the final, but the pastry chef earns a surety: eating there is a future on the screen. The show allows him to be spotted by Christophe Michalak, voted the best pastry chef in the world in 2005. The latter takes the future star under his wing and uses his connections to help him realize his American dream.

It is no coincidence that Amaury Guichon joined the casino capital. He’s not the only French pastry chef to thrive among the vending machines. For several years now, Las Vegas resorts have been trying to attract tourists for something other than gambling. And good tables are very popular. “There was real competition between the casinos: you had to have the best restaurant possible,” recalls Hugues Pouget, who himself arrived at Caesars Palace in the early 2000s. Joel Robuchon lands at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, Alain Ducasse in Delano and Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the Bellagio. “For every restaurant there were colossal tools. We are talking about a lot of money that was thrown on the table to welcome the chefs”, explains the pastry chef. Exit from France and its budget constraints. “Chefs go where they will be free to do what they want without asking themselves this question”, insists Hugues Pouget. Local cuisine in Las Vegas is overpriced. Truffle, caviar, chefs use the best products in the world to present French cuisine. Chefs are obsessed with flavor and aroma, not yet carving.

feed the food

Despite his devastating smile, young Amaury Guichon must find a place for himself in the city, among the giants of French confectionery. “I’m coming and starting over,” he said to himself. After “learning to fit in” and “proving his worth”, in 2016 Amaury Guichon had the brilliant idea to look into internet culture. Instead of opening his own shop or settling in a mansion, he chooses to publish his work on social networks. With the advent of “satisfying video,” she’s hitting the market with the right thing. That means: fluid images made of chocolate flows, precise cuts, spread of material, it offers the complete set of video that is pleasant to watch. His seductive chocolate sequences land in the fountains between cuts of soaps, ASMR and other videos of urchins in their bathroom. And it works. “The idea was to show backstage [les coulisses] of my work,” he says with a bright look. At the rate of one video per week, chocolate builds hundreds of objects. He uses his skills as a sculptor inherited from his training in France to design and build a handbag, a shark, a dragon, a chess set or even the Statue of Liberty. “I’m not very creative, but I have a real ability to bring to life an image in my mind, which I first turn into a sketch”, he analyzes, showing to do list who sits in his office, mentioning his future creations.

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