Love Thy Neighbour

Nearby to my apartment, is the production studio and boutique of one of Australia’s best cake decorators, Faye Cahill. I am blessed to say that Faye has allowed me on many occasions to come in to her studio on my days off, to help out with what I can, and to get a feel for working in that environment. Getting to see how this genius works (not to mention her team of amazing artists), has been the greatest experience of my year in cakes. She has provided me hints and pointers that I probably would have never figured out alone, and has been so generous with her time and knowledge.. such a lady! Faye has a way of creating the perfect cake hybrid - contemporary, chic, classic, timeless.

Faye has graciously offered me the opportunity to assist her at her workshops. So far, the workshops have been absolutely awesome, with a couple more scheduled before the end of November. Spending my Sundays in a studio full of creative people who love cake, and love Faye’s style, and only wish to progress and get better?… can hardly call it work! I shamelessly plug her work and classes at every chance I get. If you find yourself curious about this genius, or if you’re all about classes, peep her website and face book fan page.

Faye has pointed me in the right direction when it comes to all things cake and supplies. On a few occasions, we’ve chatted about our overseas adventures, and I must say, the more I talk about America, the more I find myself on expedia. Kevin and I knew that we would spend Christmas of 2010 in the states. The thought of a white Christmas, pumpkin pie, herbal tea, and Christmas morning with my American family warms my heart. Since getting serious about cakes, I decided it would be a good idea to take some of the information Faye has provided me with, and research some options for workshops. I was certainly not prepared for what I’d find.

Fly Lola fly! On the 30th of November 2010 , I will be flying out to the U.S.A three weeks ahead of schedule to take part in some exciting workshops on the west coast. So far, I have planned to take classes at Baking Arts in San Francisco. I’ve heard so many great things about Baking Arts, and in particular its founder, Richard Festen… and best of all, I get to go back to San Francisco! It’s been six long years since having spent time there. Too long! Another place I’ll be taking some classes is San Diego. Now I’ve never even been to this city, and I can’t think of a better reason than to have one on one lessons with Jacqueline Butler of Petalsweet. After Faye suggested that I have a look at the The Petalsweet Blog, I made the decision to write Jacqueline, and find out if she was able to take me on as a student for a few days in December. Jacqueline has been amazingly accommodating, supportive, and so open to my ideas and suggestions. If she is an indication of what people are like in San Diego, I'm afraid I may never leave!

I'm doing my best to plan a visit to Washington DC too. I have always wanted visit Warren Brown's bakery, Cake Love. That should be easily done considering I'll be spending Christmas with my family in Pittsburgh,d one of my favourite places in the world. Considering DC is about a 5 hour drive away, I don't have any excuses... besides a blizzard... does that count?

I find myself very eager to truly experience the baking culture of the USA. I have always had an attachment to America for so many different reasons. I love that each state has its own flavour and cultural identity. I love its quirky coffee shops and charming diners… the colourful coastal towns that meet the rolling green hills of the country. I love the roaring cities and shopping strips that don’t sleep. I love that no matter where I go, I’ll be able to find an over sized cup of tea and a generous serve of cake to celebrate the 8 pairs of shoes I bought earlier for $12 a pair. I just love the place. It really is that simple!

I have so much to be excited about, and so much to give thanks for. I cannot wait to meet these wonderful people working in the American cake world. I'm so looking forward to discovering whatever is in store for me! In the meantime, I'll keep blogging and keeping myself elbow deep in ganache and fondant.