Chef Ben Churchill describes himself as a food illusionist. Which, technically, we all are. “Now you see a piece of cake on my plate —” *inhales the dessert* “— now you don’t!”
But Ben’s taken his work slightly more serious than that. He’s a social media phenom whose carefully disguised meals have captured the imaginations and fooled the senses of anyone who has checked out his ingenious designs.
He’s also a new author. His aptly titled book Food Illusions, Vol. 1 walks readers through some of his most popular recipes and breaks down the techniques he uses to build his masterpieces. But it’s like a magician giving away his secrets: It’s one thing to hear David Copperfield break down how he makes a tiger disappear, but it’s an entirely other thing to learn how to pull off the trick itself.
So sit back and enjoy some of Ben’s best work below. It would be a crime to eat some of these!
Before you ask: Yes, this is actually a dessert.
It’s an olive oil sponge cake with mint toppings. The “soap” is just frothed milk.
For your inner cannibal, this ganache-filled cookie was crafted to look like a little heart.
Quite often, Ben uses silicone molds to shape his desserts into fruit facades like this one.
The wide range of designs he's able to imagine only add to how impressive his work is.
No over-easy eggs here! Both the “toast” and the “yolk” are lemon-based, and the white is icing.
A little rhubarb parfait, anyone?
Yes, you are supposed to eat this bonbon cleverly disguised as a nitrous oxide canister.
Don’t let your kids play with this stunning miniature Millennium Falcon — it’s actually a salted caramel and chocolate dessert.
Give me a break. Give me a break. Break me off a piece of that NOT Kit Kat bar!
Remember how we said not all the designs were the most appetizing to the eye? This alien, beautiful though it may be, falls into that category.
But whether or not his designs are pleasing to the eye, you can't deny Ben has a gift.
This “pear” parfait would fool anyone who wasn’t looking closely.
No, that’s not fries and chicken with BBQ sauce. It’s just one of Ben’s more impressive creations.
This rose and orange entremet looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie.
The only constant in Ben's work is that you have no idea what he's going to do next!
This faux-apple held a mango filling — imagine tricking someone into taking a bite of this without telling them what to expect!
This might even be better than the last one. “Don’t mind me, just casually eating an ashtray.”
But if any Game of Thrones fans saw you destroying this particular masterpiece, don’t be surprised if they never forgave you!