Home Arts & Entertainment GRCC Culinary Students Create a ‘Sweet’ Holiday Wonderland for DeVos Performance Hall

GRCC Culinary Students Create a ‘Sweet’ Holiday Wonderland for DeVos Performance Hall

Photo credit to The Collegiate staff writer Hayley Babbitt.

By Jessica Clark

Grand Rapids Community College culinary students in the CA 265 – Pastry Centerpieces and Wedding Cakes class are creating “sweet” displays for The Land of Sweets from the second act of “The Nutcracker Ballet” that will be displayed through December at DeVos Performance Hall. 

Professor Gilles Renusson, a certified master pastry chef and renowned sugar artist, led students in the capstone class to brainstorm ideas, design the display and create the components.  

Ballerinas in stained-glass sugar, bells from blown sugar, musical motifs in royal icing and marzipan, and a 6-foot croquembouche are all components of this semester-long project. Soon, the students will begin the meticulous process of transporting the fragile confectionary artwork to the DeVos Performance Hall’s lobby. 

 “For the students, this is a wonderful opportunity for them to gain practical skills and really master them and also to have their work be seen and appreciated,” Renusson said. “And we get to work with our partners in the city and tell people about the programs we have and work we do at the college.”

The display will open on Dec. 5 for the opening of the Grand Rapids Symphony’s Wolverine Worldwide Holiday Pops and will remain on view through the Grand Rapids Ballet’s final performance of “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 22.

The public will be able to see portions of the display through the hall’s windows, but only those attending the performances will be able to see it up close.

“My family has a tradition of going to see the Nutcracker every year,” said Zach White, 21, a GRCC student. “I think it’s pretty cool fellow GRCC students are creating this display. I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

To get tickets for these events, visit the DeVos Performance Hall’s website.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated Dec. 12 to include photos taken by The Collegiate staff.