Ben Churchill creates his desserts as if everyday was Halloween. Worms crawling over the plate, a rotting mandarine, instead of serving a rose – delicately made out of marzipan, he serves up a sweet ashtray full of glowing cigarette butts!
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We wanted to find out, where he gets his ideas from.
KTCHNrebel: Please briefly introduce yourself: How did your start your career? What is your professional background? What did you do before you started your „business“ as food illusionist?
Ben Churchill: I have been a professional chef for over ten years, but three years ago I realized there was one area of the kitchen, I had never really dabbled in: pastry. I soon become tired of the conventional stuff and asked myself: How far can desserts go? So I started experimenting.
KTCHNrebel: How do you earn your money?
Ben Churchill: I still have a day job, cooking in a restaurant in a private company. It’s pretty busy so keeps me on my toes.
KTCHNrebel: Where do you get your ideas, the inspiration for your creations?
Ben Churchill: Anywhere: TV, games, the natural world. Inspiration can come at any time.
KTCHNrebel: Is there anywhere, where we can actually try your creations?
Ben Churchill: My food illusions are all created at home. With my book „Food Illusions Vol. 1“ you can try some of my earlier desserts yourselves.
KTCHNrebel: Which „one“ food illusion do you love yourself best?
Ben Churchill: Definitely my Ashtray and my Iron Throne. The two were real labours of love.
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KTCHNrebel: Why are you using social media so intensely? What is the advantage for you as a chef to have more than 100.000 followers?
Ben Churchill: It sort of happened accidentally! I didn’t plan it that way, but it’s good for getting my ideas across.
KTCHNrebel: What are the difficulties – or let´s say ´challenges´ – for a pastry chef?
Ben Churchill: For me, who trained myself, it’s finding the right techniques for the right task. Like what process is best for making an edible washing up sponge, for example!
KTCHNrebel: What advice would you offer young chefs who are just starting their careers?
Ben Churchill: Explore, try stuff out, have an imagination, but learn as much as you can from people willing to teach you!
KTCHNrebel: And what are your personal plans for the future? Where will you be in 10 years time?
Ben Churchill: Hopefully, I will have a few more books out!
KTCHNrebel: Last but not least, we are curious to know: Are you related to Sir Winston Churchill?
Ben Churchill: Haha.