CHEF ANDRE Renard posed in the White House with President and Mrs. Bill Clinton. He also prepared a special cake for then President Clinton's 50th birthday party. Renard owns SUG' ART, a specialized school for pastry decorating, which he operates in Sedona six months each year.
Renard's students are not hobbyists or home gourmets. "They are professional chefs," he said. "Although I may organize a class for amateurs."
"I don't have too many people from Sedona," Renard said. "I have some from Phoenix."
He said he particularly likes teaching his art to young chefs. "I tell young people to put their personality into their work," Renard said. He also said that advice applies not only to the culinary arts but also to any career.
Part of what he is teaching his students includes sculpting with sugar or chocolate. Renard has even painted with chocolate, and some of his pieces closely resemble work done in oil paints. For one client, Renard created a life-like champagne bottle 14-feet tall.
When Renard is traveling on business to a cities not so far away, such as San Diego or San Francisco, he chooses to ride his Honda touring motorcycle instead of flying. He said riding the motorcycle through Arizona and nearby states is a great way to see the scenery. "I love the West," he said.
He came to the West for the first time eight years ago, and he has lived in Sedona four years. "I love Sedona," Renard said. "But I don't have much connection with the people."
He said the idea of opening a restaurant or pastry shop in Sedona is an interesting idea. "I wish," he said. "But I work all over the world."
Traveling on assignment is one of the things Renard likes best about his profession, and he doesn't seem willing to give it up.
"I know it is special work," he said.