Photography by Chelsea Bloxsome
“I make edible ponies to cosmic disco.”
The Curious Confectioner is no ordinary baker. As his name suggests, he transforms sugar and spice and all things nice, into dazzling oddities for the eyes and taste buds.
“I love the beastly allure of beautiful objects,” says The Curious Confectioner. This goes some way to explain why his sugar-coated confections demand consumption, and yet repel you at the same time.
Take his miniature, ornate song birds: sculpted from dark chocolate and adorned with a gold leaf beak and feathered wings - they are too beautiful to eat. Yet with a truffle of exploding candy hidden inside - how can you not eat one? These birds turn eating into a dastardly playful indulgence, as taking a bite leaves you looking like a mischievous cat with a bird caught in its teeth.
“Curiously enough, I don’t take sugar in my tea. I don’t even really like sweet desserts,” says The Confectioner, “I just became fascinated with the possibilities of sugar.” He describes with relish how children at the Hackney Wicked Arts festival were bamboozled by his sweet take on burger and fries: “The children knew what burger is supposed to taste like: and this wasn’t it.” Instead they found themselves eating chocolate brownie burgers in a cupcake bun, served with sugar biscuit fries. Nothing is as it seems in the world of The Confectioner; his creations touch the darker side of an ingredient more commonly misunderstood as an innocent or childish treat.
If all this culinary meddling sounds a bit ‘Heston’, then you’re not far off. The Curious Confectioner could well be a sweeter, younger version of the (in)famously innovative chef. “I am a conceptual artist,” explains The Confectioner, “it just so happens that I now work with food.” Having trained in Fine Art, and later worked in special effects and makeup design, The Confectioner first “built” cake just over a year ago; he has been hooked on the art of sugar crafts ever since. Tucked away in his North London kitchen of curios, The Confectioner makes all his own moulds from food-safe silicon; so as long as he can craft it, he can bake it.
Yet amongst the whizz-bangery of popping candy and glitter, The Curious Confectioner does not compromise on taste or artistic values. Each product is carefully researched and developed to ensure the flavours possess as much integrity as the artistry that shapes them. “Not everyone can make a silicon mould at home,” admits The Confectioner, “But that’s not the point. The Curious Confectioner’s practice is about love and joy, colour and fun, inspiration and optimism.”
It is easy to fall in love with The Confectioner’s joyful approach to dessert: food doesn’t necessarily have to be practical, when it is vibrantly beautiful and explodes in your mouth.
Curious? Visit The Confectioner's blog or find him at this year’s Land of Kings music and arts festival in Dalston where The Confectioner has been commissioned to create a spectacular dessert for the Rebel Dining Society’s pop up feast. Click here for a LoK preview and information on how you can win free tickets.
By Lisa Harris