Leonardo da Vinci was a great cake decorator and wedding planner. Fake Facts? Not this time. Check your history books, people – it’s there in black and white fondant. But as we all know, Leonardo went on to a second career that would prove slightly more successful than his first.
It’s rumored that he got out of the cake business because of rats. I mean if you think about it, there was no refrigeration at the time. Combine that with a stinky city full of the critters and Leonardo probably was smart to get out when he did, especially after a commissioned 200-foot wedding cake for an Italian princess was devoured by the furry rodents overnight. I’m guessing Leonardo threw in the towel and asked if any palatial ceilings needed painting.
I’m not professing to be another Leonardo, but I am drawing a comparison here. My journey to in-house Food Stylist and Recipe Developer at Smith Design is like Leonardo’s, but in reverse. Twenty years ago I started out as an artist and graphic designer, but the graphics world was moving to pixels, I then moved on to my other passion – food & cakes. The shift happened almost overnight, and before I knew it, I had a different type of portfolio containing over 300 cakes.
Combining my loves has proved to be a perfect place for me. In food styling I can apply my design eye, while also being aware of how food behaves (i.e., sometimes it doesn’t). With recipe development I can call on my imagination and my love for experimentation to develop something entirely new…and I never have to deal with rats!