Tell me about yourself.
Hi! My name is Daniel and I was born at Barcelona. I’m currently 35 and living in Galicia.
What is your background? When and how did you start your caking career?
I’ve studied fine arts and sculpture. I’m also Master in Contemporary Art, postgraduated in pedagogic attitude and doctoring. I ever spent so much time at the kitchen with my mum and grandmas, while I was studying I worked sometimes at pastry shops and teaching art. After finishing fine arts I started to apply my artistic background to cakes. When I’ve felt prepared I started teaching my techniques, fruit of the intersection of pastry and art.
How do you describe your style and where do you find inspiration? To what extent did your education in arts influenced you?
I just do what I want, what I feel. I don’t need to put a name to my style at this moment. All my education has influenced me in some ways.
You entered national and international competitions, how did you become involved in competitions? What was your best competition experience and what advice would you give to novice decorators who are interested in competing?
I entered trying to find a way to expand my horizons. When you prepare something for a competition must be an attempt to overcome your limits. The best of the competitions is knowing other decorators and their fantastic work, you can learn lots of things just looking at the pieces and talking with the competitors. My advice is: do your best, enjoy it and respect others work and opinion diversity and try not to have too much expectation about prizes.
Regarding your last experience in competitions, Cake International Birmingham 2015, with “Forest Spirit in Autumn” and “Falling Angel”, what was the inspiration for both pieces and how was the transport, specially for “Forest Spirit in Autumn”? Did anything go wrong?
For “Forest Spirit in Autumn” I had the idea going around my head since in October I did a ink drawing of a slept spirit of the forest. I liked very much the result and I decided to use it as reference though I changed it very much. I suppose that also I have been influenced by Hayao Miyazaki’s ” The princess Mononoke ” though the result does is quite far. I spended 4 entire days from the structure to the last details and the night before entering repairing it from transport damages. At the hotel room the light was really awful and I could not repair it properly, the same situation happened at the contest tables and the piece wasn’t properly repaired. I sent it by mail. A week to travel in a box.
For “Falling angel” I just wanted to do a piece with a good treatment of the movement (escorzo) and masculine anatomy to teach it at my classes. With my artistc background I can’t be sure lots of references, I’ve done it without any special reference but my own body and masculine model photographies, but I suppose I’m influenced by italian baroque sculpture, specially from Bernini. I did it after finishing the k piece and carried it with me to entry to L class.
I’m really happy with the feedback of the public and the other competitors. Great entries and great people around, that’s the real award I got.
You are an inspiration to so many people in the world and you are the International Guest to Birmingham Spring Cake International this year! How does that make you feel?
And so many people inspire me. 🙂
I feel really honored, I couldn’t believe when they contacted me. At the first time I thought it was some kind of joke. This is like an award to me, a real recognition for my years of work.
Still talking about competitions, you also entered in a pastry competition at national spanish tv called «Deja sitio para el postre» in channel “Cuatro”. How was this experience?
I found it very disappointing. I was very naive thinking that the pastry was the matter. But I knew great professionals and learnt a lot of things. I feel so grateful about that though I feel utilized and cheated.
You are the Creator of the project “Los Tartásticos (the caketastics)”, with Mayte Rodríguez and Arantxa Areaga . Tell me all about it!
There are big professionals in this sweet world. I knew Arantxa and Mayte in the Bcn and Cake and I felt an instantaneous connection. The three we are very mad and fit very good as equip. We all are teachers and are specialized so we could complement and undertake major projects. For the moment “The Caketastics” has been the first live Megaworkshop/experience document during the International Fair of artistic confectionary Bcnandcake. There have been four days of fair at which we have been employed with 6 pupils per day devoting ourselves to the creation of this monumental cake with tempered chocolate, candy isomalt, sponge cake, ganache, royal icing, fondant, plastic chocolate, etc. Four intense days in which the caketastic cadets have given everything of if to feed more than 800 persons with a cake of almost 400 kg with a few measures of 250x240x80 cm the complete scenery. The experience in Barcelona’s fair this year has been wonderful and has had a great reception. We expect to continue surprising with the projects that we prepare for the future. We want to demonstrate that there exists an enterteining, confident side and big things can be done if we join forces.
What has been your best professional experience, the best highlight in your career to date?
I couldn’t select only one, I enjoy every step. Of course I prefer to do monumental projects like the one at Barcelona with “The Caketastics” or when I’ve go to Madrid to manage the creation of the giant cake for the III anniversary of the Lion King musical. But working in a pastry shop doing chocolate figures and sculptures for Easter gives me so much joy too. What I like most Is to work in big projects with magnificent professional equips as I’ve found until today, I feel so grateful for the great disposition I’ve ever found to work with me as art director.
Can you tell me about your all time favorite cakes and what is on the top of your bucket list of cakes yet to do?
I really can’t. Every day fantastic decorators make magnificent cakes, almost every day I feel blown away by someones’ work.
I have lots of ideas that change every time, I feel so happy when I can do one of that ideas. But I’m professionally oriented to do what is demanded by the market respecting my style, I’m so happy to bring to life others’ illusions, this is one of my fave things. I never know what will come next, and I love it.
Who amongst the current crop of cake designers/artists inspires you?
A lot of them but just to honor a few: Karen Portaleo, Avalon Yarnes, Lizzo Marek, Calli Hopper & Carlos lischetty.
What are your top three cake decorating tips to our readers and what are your must have tools when decorating?
Heat the paste in the microwave if its too cold. Take your time to do things well. If you don’t know so much about color combination think about desaturated complementarys or neutral tones.
Modelling tools, pipping bag and a good knife.
Besides the master classes that you have already scheduled and announced, where can your fans find you?
Wherever they less expect. And at cake fairs… Hehehehe.
At last, what are your other projects for 2016?
Everything must be kept surrounded by a thick cape of mistery.