Pastry Live Review
August 23 – 25, Pastry Live returned to the Atlanta, Georgia area to showcase the latest pastry techniques and exciting competitions featuring international competitors in cake design, showpieces, plated desserts, chocolate and pastry. This prestigious three day event, owned by Chef Paul Bodrogi, features students, professionals and business owners creating works of dessert art for display, judging and tasting by the audience.
‘The Art of Cake Competition includes both a sculpted and tiered cake category judged by renowned cake artists Karen Portaleo, Highland Cakes, and Chef Susan Notter. This year, competitors created cakes inspired by an artist or art time period, offering their own artistic interpretations as well as a tasting cake for the judges’ panel. This year’s first place winner in the sculpted cake category was Johanna Weiss with an intricately carved Chinese lady cake. Taking first place in the tiered cake category was Joseph Cumm with his delicately piped, stringwork cake design. View the winning work on the next several pages:
Johanna is currently a student at Joliet Junior College. She enrolled in their culinary program to build upon her art and special effects make-up background with aspirations of becoming a cake artist. She began working in a professional kitchen at age 17, and has since sought further knowledge at The French Pastry School and through staging locally and internationally. This is Johanna’s first time competing at a national level and she is very excited about the opportunity to hone her decorating skills.
Born and raised in Germany, Katharina was surrounded by passionate bakers since childhood. In adulthood, she decided to pursue her passion, studying pastry at Le Cordon Bleu Atlanta before beginning her career with an internship turned decorator position under Chef Bronwen Weber at Frosted Art Bakery in Dallas, TX. She has since moved back to Atlanta and worked at and managed various cake shops, restaurants and bakeries in the area. In early 2014, she focused her attention on Pretty Cake Machine (aprettycakemachine.com), a website dedicated to making pastry techniques fun and accessible for home and experienced bakers alike. In its first year, Pretty Cake Machine has received spotlights on websites such as Hello Giggles, PopHangover, Thrillist, The Daily Dot and more. In addition to managing the site, Katharina provides pastries and decorated cakes for Espresso Place in Marietta, GA.
A natural-born artist, Marilyn thrives on combining her sculpture and painting skills with her baking talents to create an art form that others can enjoy as much as she can. She brings the latest cake artistry skills to Unique Cakes, and continues to study innovative cake design techniques under nationally-renowned cake masters. As the owner and Creative Director of Unique Cakes, she focuses on the unusual in wedding cakes, three dimensional sculpted cakes and blown and pulled sugar amenities.
Marilyn has been featured in national cake decorating publications and has had the honor of applying her talents in sugar art and three-dimensional sculpted cakes for high profile cake commissions, where guests of honor have included circuit court judges and Gov. Sarah Palin. Her detailed eagle cake won first place in the Professional Sculpted Cake Division at the National Capital Area Cake Show in 2013 and she was a competitor in last year’s Pastry Live.
For a full gallery of her cake photos visit UniqueCakes.biz.
Chef Joseph Cumm is currently a Pastry Arts Instructor at the Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts. Along with his wife, he also owns EdenJoes Cakery. He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Johnson and Wales University where he was trained as a classical pastry chef. In 2010, he was nominated for Teacher of the Year for Two-Year colleges in the state of Virginia. He has been decorating cakes for 12 years and continues to push himself in the art of sugar. Chef Joe takes great pride in teaching all aspects of pastry and enjoys watching his students push themselves to levels they never knew existed. He competes regularly in national cake shows where he also teaches what he has learned from schooling, fellow colleagues, and life.
Born in California, raised in Connecticut, and currently residing in Georgia, Phetsada thrives off of change and exploring new places. There is only one constant that remains in her life: her sweet tooth!
After graduating from Georgia College & State University in 2010, Phetsada spent a few years traveling across a dozen countries before settling down in South Florida as an ESOL teacher. In between different cities and various odd jobs, cake decorating became the new go-to hobby. She found that she had an eye for clean lines and contemporary designs.
Phetsada recently left teaching to study under chefs Nicholas Lodge and Sunny Lee at the French Pastry School in Chicago. Upon graduating from the L’Art du Gâteau program this past December, Phetsada relocated to Atlanta where she currently designs at a local cake studio and assists classes at the International Sugar Art Collection.
Chef Irene Widjaya began her career focusing on savory dishes, but she found her new passion in sweets and pastries. She graduated from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, California, with a concentration in baking and pastry arts. After several years as lead pastry cook and chef de partie at Sofitel Los Angeles and the Peninsula Beverly Hills, Irene was offered a life-changing opportunity in New York. Taking a leap of faith, she packed up and moved across the country with the hope of further advancing her skills under the mentorship of Executive Pastry Chef Deden Putra.
Now approaching her two-year anniversary on the east coast, Irene is thrilled to have found a great teacher and leader in Chef Deden, who is no stranger to competition. Both Irene and Deden originally hail from Indonesia, and they have formed a strong friendship based on their common cultural roots.