So, I have met Ms. Weinstock several times in the past and after a lot of prioritizing and planning knew I must have a Sylvia Weinstock cake for our renewal party in PA! I spent the early part of this week in New York City and finally had my chance to sit in Ms. Weinstock’s studio and design my very own cake.
So to begin my story I must say how impressed I was when Ms. Weinstock picked up the phone to confirm my appointment. How is it possible that a woman as busy as she still answers the phone? The answer I think is passion. Ms. Weinstock loves cake and creating art and it shows the minute you step inside her studio.
Top and bottom left photos from Netmartin Photography
The tasting begins with all the normal collection of info, names, headcount etc but then the fun begins. 2 artist palette shaped platters were presented; one with ice cream scoops of various fillings and the other with various rounds of cake samples. Ms. Weinstock grabbed me a plate and fork and I was asked to try each and every flavor. Needless to say I was in heaven, the flavors were rich and creamy, fresh and pure…How could I possibly choose? Much to my relief Ms. Weinstock mentioned that each cake traditionally has 3 fillings so my final choices were strawberry, lemon and blood orange with vanilla cake. Scrumptious!
Next we were on to discussing design and the first question was “so what do you want your cake to look like?” Well, being an artist myself of course I had ideas and secretly sketches too, but I wanted to hear Ms. Weinstock’s take; to let her be the artist. My ideas were primarily inspired by the invitations created for the party so I presented a copy explaining my color palette. Much to my shock, Ms Weinstock took my invite and began showing it around to her staff, saying things like “this is completely hand done” and “how lovely” – oh what a dream!
One of my absolute favorite Sylvia cakes is the one above with hand painted blooms in black against a smooth white backdrop. I was entirely curious if some of my artwork could be translated onto the cake but in Ms. Weinstock’s legendary style. So she asked the question again, “so what do you want your cake to look like” and I knew I must show her my sketch. I certainly didn’t want to offend but Ms. Weinstock said “you are an aritst, you have a sketch? Show me the sketch!” Love it.
So I envisioned a 2 tiered cake, with the top being taller and narrower than the bottom. A smooth icing finish in a soft shades of peach was suggested by Ms. Weinstock. I adore white peonies so one of these magical sugar sculptures will crown the top of this cake, slightly oversized for some drama. The bottom tier will replicate my watercolor stripe technique like that used in this invitation design which also happens to mimic the Zion rock textures. The top tier will feature a meshing of a new peony watercolor of mine (to be created) inspired by Ms. Weinstocks legendary peony look!, hand painted directly on the surface of the cake!
A huge thank you to Ms. Weinstock for meeting with me and listening to my crazy ideas!