Traveling around the world in this job taught me on thing: Anything a human feels passionate about can be transformed into art.
During the Las Vegas Back of House Tour with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, journalist had a chance to visit the sprawling confection and dessert kitchens at the Aria Resort and Casino.
A visit to the land of cakes and truffles might not seem like the manliest way to spend a trip to Sin City, but the behind the scenes look unveiled countless creations almost too beautiful to eat made by professionals absolutely dedicated to their craft.
Mathieu Lavallee, Executive Pastry Chef at the Aria, led the tour — taking reporters from the chocolate kitchens (where truffles rolled off a tiny assembly line before getting boxed up for visitor welcome boxes) to the cake decorating tables where artists forged elaborate baked sculptures with amazing speed. Nearby, chefs prepared caramel, marzipan, frosting and everything else you'd find if Willy Wonka exploded.
Journalists had the opportunity to sample some of the smaller goodies during the tour. I can't pass that along to you, but you can enjoy the imagery.
Edible sculptures (above) often adorn table tops at banquets and wedding receptions at the Aria.
Meanwhile elaborate cakes (below) demonstrate the mystifying artistry of the Aria's cake designers and creators.