Friday, October 24, 2008

cakelava Interviews: Joan Spitler of Cake Divas, Pt. 2

All photos courtesy of Cake Divas

More Adventures in Diva-land. Pt. 2 of our interview.
Click here to see Pt. 1.

Sasha Reichart: It’s been fun for Rick and I to watch you and Leigh on TV. We’ve noticed the staff has grown. How many employees currently work at Cake Divas?

Joan Spitler: We currently have a staff of 12 in addition to the 2 of us.

Sasha Reichart: 12 is a pretty large staff. What was your hairiest experience with a cake?

Joan Spitler: To this day I remember Leigh and I having to carry a seven tier wedding cake up 5 flights of uneven steps made of slate rock on a hot summer day! Also, assembling a 5 tier wedding cake in the center of a large courtyard water fountain was fun.

SR: Most difficult cake to make and why?

JS: The most difficult cake we made was a full size replica of a room with actual life size furniture in it. The walls, the floor, bed, nightstands, computer desk, chairs, lamps etc… We had to make it in pieces, deliver it to Las Vegas, and assemble it on site. Wow.

SR: Wow is right! I'd love to see a photo of that. What other pastries besides cakes does Cake Divas offer?

JS: We do everything!

SR: [ by everything, Joan does mean everything! This is a 14' pumpkin pie made by Cake Divas. I'd love to know for what function. Where is the Guinness Book when you need them.]

SR: The half pink fondant, half ganache wedding cake you designed for Trista (Rehn, The Bachelorette) and Ryan was gorgeous! I recall when you and Rick worked on it, he was very excited about the cake. Tell us the story behind the design of the Bachelorette’s wedding cake.

JS: Everything in her wedding was pink, so Trista wanted to make half the cake all chocolate for Ryan, so he would have at least one masculine thing at the wedding!

SR: One of your signature designs is the famous “Vows” cake, which has the couple’s vows written all over it. How did you come up with the fabulous idea of the “Vows” cake, and what is the most unusual writing you’ve ever had to do on a cake?

JS: Cake design is truly collaborative. The Vows were Leigh’s idea. She met a couple that were both literature majors, and they really wanted something to reflect who they were. Their vows were a very important part of their ceremony. I loved the idea and ran with it.

SR: Have you ever been a participant in a Food Network Challenge? Is so, which one, and if not, would you and Leigh agree to do one if asked?

JS: We have been asked many times to be on Food Network Challenges, and declined. We are too busy to leave our business!

SR: Everyone I ask this next question to has a love-hate relationship with it. What are your top 3 favorite cakes you’ve made?

JS: #1 my cake dress! I made a gigantic cake that I wore in an art gallery. At the end of the evening I served myself.

SR: How fun! I love it!

JS: #2 a 10 foot cake that nearly touched the ceiling covered in beautiful detail –lots of sugar work, filigree, and all of that old school cake design work that takes forever-fabulous!

SR: Oh my goodness! 10 feet. That must have been so labor intensive. Fantastic!

JS: #3 The cake we made for the Dalai Lama

SR: [Joan didn't have a photo of that cake, but I'm sure it was amazing!] How do you and Leigh unwind when you aren’t making cakes?

JS: We love watching movies , making art, and seeing friends.

SR: What’s next for Cake Divas?

JS: We have some television opportunities in the works. We’re presently designing cakes for a movie set. Things change so quickly in L.A. that we’re always busy, with lots going on and many new adventures await us.

SR: I have no doubt that whatever you do next will make a huge splash!

END, Pt. 2.

** In our next interview I'm chatting with Elisa Strauss of Confetti Cakes in NYC. Elisa and Confetti Cakes have made a huge name for themselves in New York and across the country, and she's anxious to share her stories and latest news with our readers. Coincidentally the date of our interview, November 5th, is also the release date of Elisa's new book! In these next couple weeks, check out the Confetti Cakes website and blog to see examples of her amazing work!

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