An audience with Doodle Cake Design
Interview with Antonella Stornaiuolo from Doodle Cake Design – March 2012
1. Before starting Doodle Cake Design you worked in economics. What gave you the incentive and courage to leave this sector and start up your own business?
After graduating in business and economics I worked for a number of years in collaboration with MPS Marketing Research in Bergamo.
Once this collaboration finished I set up a small business school with my brother, F.I.R s.r.l. (formazione, istruzione e ricerca), which specialises in professional training for the food and health sectors and I hold the role of chief administrator. On average this business allows me to work part-time thus affording me the time to pursue my great passion for decorative art.
2. Where does your passion for cakes originate?
This passion comes from my childhood and was passed on from my mother who was a woman with a great passion for cooking both in terms of what she cooked but also in her appreciation for the aesthetics.
3. How hard has it been to turn a passion into a viable business?
It hasn’t been easy to turn my passion into a business especially as I haven’t grown in this sector so I’ve had to work hard, and continue to work hard, to carve out my place.
I believe that everyone deserves the chance to show what they are made of, especially if motivated by a great passion. Unfortunately it’s not always possible!!!
4. How much time did you have to dedicate to studying sugar art before launching Doodle Cake Design?
I’ve cultivated this passion for cake art and modelling pretty much since I was a child albeit more as a hobby at the start.
For over 20 years I’ve also taken courses in ceramics, pottery and cake art. When I discovered fondant paste in Italy I was finally able to combine my two passions; ceramics with cake design and confectionary , decorating my cakes with sugared flowers. I’ve spent 20 years experimenting with the world of patisserie creating new icings, pastes and creams.
5. I see that you also had the chance to study in London at the “ “Oxford School of sugarcraft” and then at “Little Venice Cake Company”. How was that experience for you?
Even though my time in London was very brief it left a great impression on me. I was able to appreciate the art of English royal icing and admire the high level of professionalism and openness which distinguishes the British. I would love to have a longer experience in London and be able to collaborate with some of the great cake designers and magazines in the sector. I think one of the best qualities in a cosmopolitan city like London is the fact that there is space given to new guys in every sector.
6. Today, who are your key clients and for what type of event do they usually want a cake for?
My clients tend to be people much like myself who share a passion for cakes and for the attention to detail that goes into creating a great design, without wanting to compromise on taste or quality.
7. Do you have a favourite cake or design element that you love to make?
The decorations that I love most of all are the floral arrangements and mother nature is my main inspiration. The richness of colour and wealth of detail that nature invests in every single thing works inspires both the eye and the palate. I believe that sugar art best expresses itself when recreating flowers which as well as the colours, perfume, embellishments, language and medicinal benefits can also become sweet tasting.
8. Describe what a typical day at work is like for you?
A typical day at work looks something like this: I wake early, begin my day by managing the business school, the courses for which are principally online after which I dedicate the rest of my day to sugar art.
9. You offer courses in sugar art. What should one expect from a day in the kitchen with you?
I run various courses in Napoli, Rome and Milan. The aim is to share key technical skills as well as useful advice so that at the end of the course the student is able to practise and recreate what we studied back home.
10. What are your hopes for the future and for Doodle Cake?
I hope to be able to continue to share my passion with everyone to the best of my ability. My secret dream is to one day write a book with all the recipes that have been in my family for generations, to fill it with funny anecdotes and also give useful and detailed advice on decorations and sugar art….basically a book that can be consumed and used and not left to gather dust on the top shelf!