A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity that celebrates the most amazing marketing campaigns from around the globe. As part of a Ketchum creative crew sent to soak it all in and report back the best creative morsels to colleagues and clients, I traveled to France hungry for some new inspiration.
What I actually found was that some of the most beautiful examples of creativity were not formally competing. Instead, they were found in the window displays and on the dessert menus of the best the French Riviera had to offer. Here are my top three favorite purveyors of works of edible art that I was lucky enough to experience:
Stop #1 – Jean Luc Pele, a local chocolatier, designs the most beautiful chocolate creations I have ever seen. From the treasure chests filled with tiny delicacies to the macaron towers constructed with every flavor in the rainbow to the flowing chocolate fountain wall, there is no way a passer-by could resist. Each day, I allowed myself two macarons, coercing myself to choose one from their sweet collection and one from the salted collection. Caramel with sea salt is all you need to know, period. Check out the gorgeous menu items at http://www.jeanlucpele.com/fr.
Stop #2 = Ladurée, conveniently just a few blocks from my hotel, was a pastel patisserie paradise. The color palette of every food item, display case and gift box was magical. Every nook and cranny was intentionally designed to be a feast for the eyes that tempted the taste buds. It was like a museum of confection collections. New Yorkers can check out their SoHo location to indulge and for those who don’t have Cannes on their wish list; take a virtual trip @ https://fabricantdedouceurs.laduree.com/en_int/
Stop #3 – And for the pièce de résistance: the dessert art that we discovered at Aux P’tits Anges, a quaint little restaurant hidden on a tiny back street of Cannes. Case in point, or should I say, lipstick case in point, as pictured below. The pastry chef created a sauvignon blanc “lipstick” gel that was served in an authentic case that could be (and was) used and then enjoyed by the diner. Pretty in pink indeed. And another sweet masterpiece was the trio of raspberry towers. Note that the far left tower contains a paint tube that was filled with raspberry frosting so you could decorate your own plate or add a little extra love to an already decadent finale.
So, if your travels ever take you to Cannes, be sure to prepare yourself for more than just a taste of the local culture from the macaron museums, chocolate creations and dessert designs. Cannes you taste it?!