Portrait #6 : Frank Adrian Barron
Immersion in the warm and poetic universe of Cakeboy Paris
On the occasion of our collaboration with him, Frank Adrian Barron, alias Cakeboy Paris, received us for a tea time in his beautiful apartment in Le Haut Marais. Frank spoke openly and cheerfully about his life and his passions for baking, decoration and travel. A true tribute to the French art of living by the most Parisian of American boys.
Hello Frank! Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself? How long have you been living in Paris?
I studied History of Art at university and then I left San Francisco to move to Paris in 2012. In fact, I started baking after I moved there!
What do you miss most about the United States?
I miss California sunsets a lot but I think what I miss most is Mexican food. It's very hard to find it in Paris!
You have a very popular instagram account for lifestyle and baking, @cakeboyparis. How did this beautiful adventure come about?
After tasting all the French pastries, I started to miss American cakes. I first started baking for fun by watching youtube videos and following recipe books. Then a café in the Marais, right here, ordered me a custom-made cake and I said yes! That's where it all started: I created my website, started supplying cakes to several places in Paris but also started organizing workshops at home.
By the way, you have concocted sublime flowery cupcakes for us! How did you get this passion for baking?
My mother always made cakes throughout my childhood; simple things like vanilla and chocolate cupcakes. I learned the basics of baking by helping her. But my true passion was born after I moved to Paris when I started to see what some great French pastry chefs like Pierre Hermé could do with sugar, butter and flour.
You receive us today in your beautiful apartment in the Marais. Who took care of the decoration?
I completely decorated it myself because I love it! It's a bit like baking when I decorate my cakes!
Which room do you like to spend most of your time in and why?
I spend most of my time in the living room. I think it's the most beautiful room in the whole apartment with its elegant mouldings and large windows. It's where I relax with a cup of tea and listen to my favourite music.
You have a beautiful table that you have found on the internet. Wouldyou rather dress up your interior with vintage objects that have had a life before rather than recent furniture?
I love to mix the old and the modern. For example, our sofas in the living room are by a contemporary Canadian designer and our coffee table, which I found at a flea market, dates back to the 60s.
You love to travel. Do these experiences abroad inspire you? What travel has recently marked you?
I live for travel and cooking! I have discovered some very beautiful countries recently like India where I went last January with my partner. I was particularly touched by this trip. And inspired by the incredible colors of Rajasthan and of course by the Indian desserts, totally unique!
We are very proud to be doing this collaboration with you. Could you tell us why you chose these plants, this design?
I too am very happy about this collaboration! I'm a true lover of flowers. To create my herbarium, I was immediately attracted by the little pink flowers that look like cherry blossoms because I'm going on holiday to Japan very soon. The little pieces of fern made me think of a forest in winter. In fact I imagined a Japanese forest in winter!
Apart from the herbarium we made together, what is the painting you like the most among our creations? What does it evoke for you?
I love the Arec Palm, which reminds me of the tropical jungle of Southeast Asia.
I see that you have flowers all over the apartment. Have you always been sensitive to the botanical world?
Absolutely! I think it's essential for health and well-being that nature is part of our lives, especially in the big cities. I always try to have flowers in the apartment, in all seasons.
What is your favourite flower? Why?
I have two favorite flowers, both for their smell... The tuberose that reminds me of the island of Bali where it grows all over. And the Yves Piaget rose, which reminds me of Paris, where I smelled it for the first time.
Do you have any upcoming projects you'd like to tell us about?
I continue my workshops every season for anyone who wants to spend the afternoon decorating cakes in a joyful and good mood! I'm also thinking about a short-lived Cakeboy café in Paris, but that's just an idea for now.
Do you have any suggestions for Paris super yummy addresses?
The Bontemps patisserie is one of my favourite places when I feel like a super yummy cake. There is also the new bakery on rue du Chateau d'eau, Mamiche. You absolutely have to try their vanilla cabbage!
And where can you feel like you're in the US?
I always feel like I'm in the US when I arrive at Bob's Bakeshop in the 18th. It smells like pancakes, bagels and American style cakes!
Any instagram accounts you'd like to share with us?
@linda_lomenilo for her lovely pastry pictures, @historiasdelciervo for his incredible cakes, @suitcase for travel inspiration and @yasminemei for my love of flowers!