10.24.2011

MAGGIE AUSTIN

Sure, we've seen a fair share of odd cakes over the years, but (drumroll please) you may need to give your eyes some time to feast on these exquisitely original cakes. Artistically fusing food and fine art together, Maggie Austin Cake has been soaring with worldwide recognition since her official launch last year. I recently had the honor of interviewing the artistic director herself, so read on to get a taste (pun intended) of the story behind the brand.


















































Maggie, your cakes are creatively tailored to be one-of-a-kind. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from all over: Alexander McQueen, Carolina Herrera, Edwardian botanical prints, Noguchi sculpture. Living in D.C. means I'm surrounded by museums, which never fails to stimulate me!


























You first started off studying classical ballet. How did you transition as a professional dancer to a cake designer?
After an foot injury forced my retirement from ballet, I searched for a way to continue doing what I love- exploring the intersection of technical perfection and creative expression. I attended the French Pastry School in Chicago, then interned at Charlie Trotter's. With this foundation, I opted out of training with another cake designer and instead, I just started designing what I thought was interesting and taking photos of what I made. We launched just over a year ago and I'm thrilled that we've been so well-received!


What was the most vivid and exciting moment in your career? 
My career as a cake designer is very new, but it was truly thrilling to see our cake on the Today Show Throws a Modern Wedding in September of 2010. We were invited to design a cake for the show only a couple weeks after we had launched and I never dreamed it would all happen so quickly!  Our new studio in Alexandria, Virginia opens later this month.





























What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do? What is it that makes it all worth it?
It's difficult to choose a "favorite" aspect of what I do because each step is so different. I love creating sugar flowers- the stillness and concentration appeals to me. I love photographing the finished designs; they take on a life of their own at that point. I also love it when I can share the moment that the couple sees their wedding cake for the first time! Being a part of such a special day is truly rewarding.


For all the cake-testing brides out there, Maggie Austin has a few practical words for you:
The cake is a major component of the overall design of the event. When tasting, REALLY taste! Are the flavors harmonious and complex? Is the cake tender? Is the buttercream silky and light?  Remember that the way the cake tastes is just as important as the way it looks. Often, the cake is the last thing the guests will eat at the reception so make sure it leaves a perfect last impression!



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