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The theory of creativity in pastry by Graham Mairs

Graham Mairs so good #20

January 4, 2019
Fernando Toda
Graham Mairs so good #20
The theory of creativity in pastry by Graham Mairs

There is a motto that pastry chef Graham Mairs uses as a leitmotif: ‘Do not be afraid of being different, be afraid of being the same as everyone else’. But how can you find the difference in the pastry trade when there are so many professionals looking for new products and at the same time adapting ideas from others? Graham Mairs is committed to applying a theory of creativity that helps you channel your ideas towards truly amazing results.


Discover so good #20


C3D: connectors, elements, and dimension

As explained by this British professional at #sogood20, the theory, called C3D, ‘is a simplified way of not just creating patisserie but how can we truly push the boundaries that can be easily understood by simple innovation’. In particular, this creative method is based on the combination of three essential components: connectors, elements, and dimension: ‘Keeping these at the forefront of everything I do, I am able to explore, experiment and ultimately, create truly immersive and sensory culinary experiences.’

Graham Mairs’ objective is to create something that is recognizable from the sum of design, art and lateral thinking. ‘The process is quite simple, but you need to understand the layers of how to use the formula to create something that looks modern but delivers beautiful balance flavors.’ Thus, in each pastry making process, the rules are sought to be broken through visual surprises and unique taste associations that do not usually combine more than three flavors.

‘Keeping these at the forefront of everything I do, I am able to explore, experiment and ultimately, create truly immersive and sensory culinary experiences.’


And is that, as he says, ‘the mind is a wonderful, but the human brain cannot stand with more than four flavor profiles at once and can result in confusing combinations. By just taking three core ingredients you can create magnificent balanced textural dimension patisserie.’

Graham Mairs' C3D
A. Connectors

This is the most crucial part of the creation.
Questions I ask to search for start the creative process to create

  1. key flavor profile
  2. what our ingredients connect
  3. what processes are attached to the ingredient
  4. what’s the DNA of the ingredient
  5. what is the molecular make up of ingredient

what grows surrounding the ingredient scientific analysis of the soil or foundation it grows from (with this I need to actually know exactly where it came from).

B. Elements

The elements are simply the core 3 ingredients that make up the creation which derive from the connector process.

C. Dimensions

Once connectors & elements are understood we can them create dimensional textures by means of the core ingredients we will use.
However, the dimension just doesn’t come through ingredients, it can also come through the way we plate present so that everything connects together in an understandable way.

Do not be afraid of being different

Following the motto with which we opened the article, Graham is convinced that in pastry ‘no item should be replicated to produce the same experience.’ For this reason, he works with young talents and artists from the United Kingdom, so that they can demonstrate to the public that they have a unique style. In his case, he is always developing new collections and series of artistic works that open different paths and that may soon be seen and requested by subscribing to his Academy of Patisserie club. Mairs also works as a professional collaborator of the firm Dobla.

‘My journey has brought me to this moment in time, throughout out my journey I have witness lots of chaos, conclusively this has brought me, an abundance of many images..!’ I’m now ready to play out those images!

You will find these creations at so good #20


Discover so good #20