Tuesday, February 7, 2012

All new in 2012!

It’s been quite some time since we had a School Blog, and what better way to start off 2012’s blog than to welcome our new Head Teacher! Planet Cake is delighted to welcome award-winning pastry chef Luigi Stivaletta. Luigi joins us from TAFE NSW and Le Cordon Bleu. He has over 25 years’ experience which we look forward to him sharing with us. Welcome on board Luigi!

The Planet Cake School welcomed its first Guest Teacher of 2012, with Richard Festen joining us for much of January. Richard taught his unique modelling chocolate techniques with fantastic results!! We had great feedback from our students, including this testimonial from pastry chef Angelo Roche, who attended Richard’s Three Tier Ivory Present Stack class:

"It was simply magic! The techniques Richard demonstrated were unique and highly achievable. From my perspective it was well worth it. As a pastry chef I have not really had formal exposure to these types of techniques; it was invaluable. The course itself was conducted well; Richard Festen was an exceptional teacher and Planet Cake staff fantastic."

The Basics Series is currently undergoing an exciting revamp. We have updated the designs to give a fresh new look for 2012. Check out the Courses page of our website for more details!

The School is currently looking for students to attend Focus Groups. Come along and meet the school staff and let us know what you think about all aspects of the Planet Cake School. The Novelty Focus Group will be held from 10am to 12noon on Friday 17th February and the Basics Focus Group will be held from 10am to 12noon on Tuesday 21st February. All attendees will receive a $100 Planet Cake voucher for their time. To register your interest please email our Course Director at lesley@planetcake.com.au.

That's all for now, see you in class!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Meet the Staff - Lesley, Course Director

Now it’s the turn of Lesley, our Course Director, to tell us a bit more about her.

How long have you been with Planet Cake?
Nearly a year. I started as a casual facilitator in October last year, went full time a few months later and moved into the Course Director role quite recently.

What does being the Course Director involve?
I deal with all the students’ queries about the courses and about their bookings, and advise people of the best course for them to start with. I organise the class calendar and the teachers’ and facilitators’ roster. I listen to people’s feedback and help to create new courses. I still facilitate sometimes too! It’s nice to get into the classroom every once in a while and be amongst the students.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Seeing the students enjoying their courses so much and being delighted with what they’ve achieved at the end of the class. It’s incredibly rewarding seeing how far people have come and how pleased they are with what they’ve done!

How did you come to Planet Cake?
I started as a student myself a few years ago; I was working in Investment Banking but wanted a complete career change. I was doing a Cert III at TAFE in baking and pastry and really enjoyed the cake decorating part of that, so wanted to take that further. I looked on the internet and found Planet Cake’s classes. I very quickly got hooked! and ended up doing the whole of the Basics Series and a few more besides.

And finally...?
It’s never too late to change careers! Follow what you want to do and find a job that you love.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Now it’s time to get to know Anna Maria, our Senior Decorator and Teacher, a little better.

How long have you been with Planet Cake?
This is my sixth year at Planet Cake. Teaching was an occasional part of the job when I started, however as the courses have grown I am teaching a lot more these days!

What does being the Senior Decorator and Teacher involve?

Lots of work! Being the Senior Decorator involves having a lot of responsibility as sometimes last minute things get thrown at me! It also involves having the opportunity to do some beautiful high-end cakes which is a very positive aspect of the job, but of course there is a lot of pressure to make sure the end result is perfect!

As the Senior Teacher, there is a lot of preparation for classes involved, as well as developing new classes and doing the step by step process for classes and course notes. It also involves some experimenting with various cakes in my own time in order to decide how the students will get the best learning outcomes from various techniques.

What’s the best thing about your job?

It’s an opportunity to be creative. I love designing new cakes when I get the time. I love to teach and to encourage others to love cake decorating and to get them hooked on it!! I want every student to go home happy with what they’ve made.

How did you come to Planet Cake?

Paris and I had previously worked together at another cake decorating studio, and she asked me to join the Planet Cake team.

And finally…?

I am born into the food industry! I have been making cakes from a very early age and I absolutely love what I do.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meet the staff!

Welcome to the first in a new series of blog entries where you get to know a little bit more about Planet Cake Staff. We’re starting off with Emma, our lovely Kitchen Operations Manager.

How long have you been with Planet Cake?
I started off in February last year, in an admin role before moving into the Kitchen Operations Manager role in August last year.

What does being the Kitchen Operations Manager involve?
Hard work! Organisation, managing the staff and the day to day running of the production kitchen, including deliveries, orders, client liaison, whatever the day throws at me!

What’s the best thing about your job?
Seeing amazing things happening in the kitchen – watching cakes become fantastic creations before my eyes!

How did you come to Planet Cake?
I was a chef for five years, then I worked in Sales and Events for a few years. I then did a retail baking course at TAFE where I did 18 weeks of cake decorating, and I enjoyed it so much I decided to pursue it further. I saw a part time admin role advertised at PC, and wanted so much to be part of the Planet Cake world that I applied straight away. Paris saw my resume and offered me the full time job of Ops & Events Manager. How could I say no?  My love for cakes grew and grew! I eagerly wanted to be part of the kitchen and Paris saw how keen I was, and as the business was growing a Kitchen Ops Manager was needed.

And finally…?
I love what I do! I’m so happy that I have my dream job!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How did Adams Cake Turn Out?

I mentioned a few days ago that Adam was making a 7 tier cake this week in Gold, Latte and Ivory………Warm, Creamy and Earthy! The wedding cake is going to a venue tomorrow very similar to this beautiful setting below, for a wedding Sunday evening at Doltone House in Sydney.

Please see my previous post:

"I have given Adam a 7 tiers monstrosity of a cake, colors gold/latte and white, the clients are having 800 guests at their wedding and it is one of those cakes where the saying ‘making a silk purse out of a sows ear” is extremely apt. Adam and I have been discussing the cake for 2-3 weeks now and I have set him a challenge of turning this incredibly challenging cake into something beautiful! What would you do if your client came to your with the cake they had fallen in love with and it looked something like this? I look forward to showing you the results"

Although this cake was a long time in the making, I was thrilled with the results. It was a difficult cake because we did not want to reproduce it, the gold in particularly was too strong for the venue. Therefore we decided to make the base colour latte and dust it in gold. Adam’s beautiful handmade sugar roses were made in ivory and latte and some we dusted with gold dust and steamed and others just dusted, I think the result is like a warm coffee dusted with chocolate rather than a gold cupid. Adam did a wonderful job, sometimes is about taking something really challenging and improving it while still keeping the client happy! I feel a greater sense of achievement with these cakes than any other.

Well done Adam!

Invitation to Bridal Think Tank 17/01/2011

A gift for Brides check it out it is beautiful: http://vimeo.com/18628488

Planet Cake is hosting a think tank for brides at Planet Cake in Balmain on Thursday night 17th February 6-7:30pm. Why? We need to pick your brains and work out how we can better service our wedding couples. In return for your wisdom we will be giving you a surprise goodie bag to take home, including a 15% discount voucher for your Planet Cake wedding cake. Join us for a glass of bubbles or mocktail, nibbles and fine company. We will need you to answer some questions and particpate in a general brain storming session. We will be interviewing potential think tank members about all aspects of their event experience but primarily about your wedding styling and of course the CAKE. You do not need to be a Planet Cake client to attend this is an open invitation.
If you would like to attend the think tank please apply directly to paris@planetcake.com.au and answer the following questions:

Phone Number:
Do you have 90-140 guests attending your wedding?
Are you hosting your wedding in Sydney?
Do you have a defined wedding theme? If so what?
Have all your suppliers been booked?
Which wedding blogs/websites do you follow?

Photo courtesy of www.stylemepretty.com

Friday, January 28, 2011

Paris is tired but happy! 28th January 2011

I have just finished watching Day 8 parts 1,2, and 3 of the Biggest SOHC www.youtube.com/planetcakeTV the adrenaline is finally starting to drain from me and I am feeling my neck muscles relax a bit. On a practical level I am washing 3 loads of ganache stained clothes and have walked my dog for the first time in a week (lucky shes a chihuahua). Watching myself on video made me cringe especially as I was eating a magnum icecream at the same time as looking at my own bottom. However seeing the cake again was spectacular I still cannot really believe we did it. In saying this the one negative is that I do miss the volunteers, it feels like the weeks after christmas when all the excitment, relatives and good times suddenly disappear and you are just stuck with boring old mum and dad! The best thing to do is let go of the SOHC and start planning another stunt cake…………any thoughts?

With limited staff, courses running and everyone tired from the big project, it has been so important this week to keep morale up. So although I would prefer to crawl under a rock I have been trying to keep my energy up and keep from flagging. The best way to do this is to get my head stuck into another cake! I have given Adam a 7 tiers monstrosity of a cake, colors gold/latte and white, the clients are having 800 guests at their wedding and it is one of those cakes where the saying ‘making a silk purse out of a sows ear” is extremely apt. Adam and I have been discussing the cake for 2-3 weeks now and I have set him a challenge of turning this incredibly challenging cake into something beautiful! What would you do if your client came to your with the cake they had fallen in love with and it looked something like this? I look forward to showing you the results!!

You know that feeling when you are looking forward to having a day off, only to find out your dream has been ripped out from underneath your feet? After planning a day of lounging about and re-arranging my underwear drawer tomorrow I discovered I am working and not only that packing on the make up squishing my mangled feet into a pair of high heels and smiling for the cameras, yep its another socialite wedding (I promise photos) and I am really going to have to put on a performance worthy of an academy award.

I was feeling sorry for myself this afternoon and then discovered this baker/decorator...what genius I LOVE IT!


So that’s all from me, sleep tight and dream of cakes and perhaps one of these sweet things (or equivalent thereof)!