Spotlight on Instagram Star and Legendary Chocolatier Amaury Guichon


Of all the ingredients in the sweet kitchen, none compares to chocolate as the ultimate but fickle muse for the pastry chef ’s creative side. Pursuing somewhat divergent paths, here are two stories of chocolate’s lure as played out by ACF Chef Amaury Guichon.

Born in Cannes, Chef Guichon, founder and CEO of Pastry Academy by Amaury Guichon in Las Vegas, pursued his basic training for two years in Switzerland and then started working at a young age on the savory side of the kitchen. Following a stint at Lenôtre, a legendary pastry shop in Paris, followed by an executive chef position there and appearances on a television show, he was ready to buff up his resume and moved to Las Vegas. Working for three years at the Aria Resort & Casino, his dream was to offer classes internationally. “I knew then that I had to have my own kitchen to take it to the next level,” Chef Guichon says. Finding the right partner three years ago led to the fulfillment of that dream with the founding of the Pastry Academy, a place where he ties together his love for education with his dedication to perfection.

“I believe in the primacy of flavor,” says Chef Guichon, who uses Cacao Barry chocolate exclusively. “People tend to overcomplicate taste nowadays. Instead, in my pastry work, I like simple tastes, the purity of a fruit’s flavor enhanced through interesting textures. It’s all about the flavor. I design my molded renditions of everyday objects around flavor. And in those, the thickness of the chocolate has to be just right since what’s inside is as, if not more, important as the thrilling accuracy of my renditions, whether a designer handbag, a grandfather’s clock, a wooden soldier, a dragon or a dinosaur.”

Using a large variety of molds, both silicone and polycarbonate, and creating his own, Chef Guichon is only limited by his imagination, reproducing these objects and more (see his weekly videos on Instagram that showcase in breathtaking detail every available skill and technique). “Combining blown sugar and tempered chocolate to create artistic showpieces is the ultimate challenge,” he says. “Every creation has its own difficulty, but in my versions, the dimension of taste is never shortchanged. I used to be trapped in a creative cage but now getting better at what I do, I can edit the videos and through them, open the possibility for others to do part of what I am doing. I always have a project in the works, a new thing every week which leads to sharing my passion with others.”

Although he cautions against looking too closely and too often at others’ work, he points to a hero and now a friend, Chef Christophe Michalak, the well-known Parisian pastry chef, formerly head of the sweets kitchen at the Hotel Plaza Athénée, about whom Chef Guichon says: “I owe him a lot. He opened my eyes to so much and championed me to further my career in many ways.”

This article was originally published in the January/February 2023 issue of National Culinary Review. Click here to view the issue.