Specializing in making romantic and beautiful wedding cakes, Eva Salazar of Makememycake, is always up for the challenge to create something unique for each and every one of her clients. Known for being colorful and original with her designs, go behind the fashionable bows with Eva in this exclusive interview and learn why and how she made the switch into cake decorating.
Brief history of your business and how you got to where you are today?
I have been always very involved in gastronomy because my family has always been in the business. I grew up playing in the kitchen and always trying food – which was not common for other kids my age. When I moved to Miami eight years ago, I decided to go on with my hobby of baking and soon realized that I could do something else. Back when I was living in Spain, cake decorating almost did not exist - so for me it was a totally new world and I started from scratch.
How were you first introduced to Satin Ice?
I have a friend who has a store here in Miami, (Fiesta Cake), and it was her that introduced me to Satin Ice years ago.
Is there one project that stands out?
I have so many cakes with amazing stories behind them and different experiences. But if I had to choose one cake that brought me satisfaction it would be the hot pink flower cake with the black and white bow. It’s a cake that always provokes a reaction when people see it. This cake has also traveled around the world and on the web as one of the most replicated cakes ever made – and that makes me feel really proud!!
Signature style & inspiration?
It comes from all elements of life, fashion, fabrics, papers, ceramics, beautiful things on the streets - everything could and can be a great source of inspiration. Talking about my signature style, I think all my cakes have something in common - they are visually or esthetically pleasing and when people see them they know they are made by me. I am very passionate about what I do, so with that being said I think that my personality is somehow reflected in my work.
I do not have a real favorite cake; because each time I finish a cake it becomes my favorite! I absolutely love making dogs and I still amaze myself when I finish a dog - it looks so alive! I even feel badly when they leave me!!
Most challenging cake to date?
When I recreated Manhattan out of cake. It was a 5-foot long cake that had all the symbolic buildings of the city with a lot of edible details.
It was made for a famous actor who at that time was starring in a Broadway musical.
It took me almost one month to finish and I regret not having a good picture of it today.
What tips can you offer to Satin Ice newcomers?
- Don’t knead too much.
- Don't add too much corn starch/powdered sugar.
- Treat it nice - and you will end up falling in love with it!
(below at The Americas Cake & Sugarcraft Fair with Joyce Greenlaw of Satin Fine Foods and her fellow Artists of Excellence Karen Keaney and Violet Lin Tran)
If you weren't decorating cakes, what would you be doing?
Something creative - for sure! I would probably be producing and writing scripts for music videos. It was what I was doing before moving to Miami, and I loved it!
What is a 'regular' cake decorating day like for you?
Something that I like about my work is that I actually love Monday's - unlike most people! It's like starting a new adventure each week. I am very active and my work starts always at 8.30 am sharp, after a workout. Monday - Wednesday is all about checking the orders, answering emails, posting here, posting there and keeping my blog alive. Then Thursday - Saturday are busy days baking and decorating, but also taking care of family matters. Sunday is my day to unplug.
(Eva teaching in one of her many classes below)
What is your creative process for making cakes?
The first part is to create the design, which normally happens at night because it is my favorite time to create and to put ideas on paper. I normally sketch my idea a few times and ask myself, "Do I follow (lol)?" Then I plan what I am going to do, how I am going to do it, the elements, the baking, the filling and the decorating. This process usually takes three days and in some cases even longer. My motto is: "I never try out anything beforehand, I just jump into the pool directly!!"
Who is your favorite cake artist in the industry and why?
I admire so many people! I would say Karen Portaleo because her cakes are sculptural art for me. Alexandria Pellegrino (The Cake Opera) for her unique and sexy style and Rosalind Miller for the delicacy of each one of her cakes. I could go on and on because there are so many talented artists out there!!
Do you consider yourself to be a cake trendsetter? If so, how and why?
I don't consider myself a trendsetter, but the truth is that my cakes have inspired many people. I get a lot of feedback from people, and I know for example some people who started making cakes just because they fell in love with one of mine. I also hear stories of people who were going through a hard time in life and found a way to escape their problems through cake. All these amazing stories that happen behind the cake give me an awesome reward - and that makes me feel so blessed.
What do you aspire to accomplish with each cake?
It's very easy - to put a smile on someone's face. And that when I finish the cake, I smile too!
If you could create a cake for anyone in history (past or present): Who would it be and why?
I would make it for Coco Chanel. I admire people who create themselves and the story behind it all. Coco was an orphaned girl who created an empire from nothing by herself, which is still thriving today. The cake I would make for her would be hard to make - because it would need to be extremely simple but sophisticated, as well as powerful and sexy!
What is the next "big thing" for you?
I don't know if working on my second book counts as a big thing, but it's very exciting! But for me, doing what I am passionate about and enjoying life is more of a "big thing."
(Eva's first book below)
Name: Eva Salazar
Location: Miami, FL, USA
Education/Training: Degree in Communications and Masters in Corporate Design
Business name: Makememycake
Cake philosophy: A.B.C. - Always Be Creating!