Through her cake design studio, Elegantly Iced, Lindsey Gamble has combined the talents she first learned at home from her grandmother, a professional recipe tester and baker, and her mother, an artist. Gamble later honed her skills in Europe, where she traveled extensively before settling in Paris to earn a Grand Diplome at Le Cordon Bleu. After training with and working for pastry chefs around the country, she started Elegantly Iced, a name that only hints at the five-feet-tall sugar sculptures she has been known to create. You can see and sample Gamble’s delicious cakes in person at Wedding Crashers 2012 on March 4 at The Green Building. Here she talks about her inspiration and her style.
What were some of the wildest cakes you created last year? Do you have any elaborate cakes planned for weddings this year?
Of course! There are always projects on the horizon that I’m excited about! Last year I did a cake for 450 people that had crystal separators, over 600 roses, and a lot of edible “bling” while being almost five feet tall. This year I’m topping it with a cake that’s going to be even taller, and with even more detail and bling!
One of the most fun projects I worked on last year was a groom’s cake…a giant Death Star from Star Wars! The geek-girl in me was thrilled and I’m very much hoping that someone else will be wanting something equally cool this year.
What is your process like? Do you have a tasting with the couple? Is there anything besides their wedding colors or theme that informs the style of cake you create for them?
I absolutely sit down for a tasting with clients. I have them go through my portfolio books to flag things they’re interested in, as well as encourage them to bring as many pictures as possible. Invitations, the dress, the venue, flowers, colors, themes- all of these things effect what design will fit the couple and the wedding best. We spend a long time talking about what the couple’s view of the wedding will be like as well as what each of the like and dislike as individuals. I can then come up with designs that combine each of their preferences and really reflects the wedding as a whole.
How long does it take to create one of your cakes on average?
It really varies so much with the complexity of each design. I would say on average anywhere between 50 and 75 hours or more.
Do you have a style that is very popular with couples?
Every single cake I do is unique and one-of-a-kind. I don’t have a design that I’ll do again and again, so there isn’t really any one thing that I do that ends up being popular as a wedding cake. In general though I think couples come to me for more intricate designs and very realistic recreations of flowers and details like their lace and jewelry.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere! Invitations, wedding dresses, a man’s tie, flowers, themes, venues, fabrics, color schemes, jewelry, people’s likes and dislikes–the list goes on and on! You just never know what’s going to be a huge inspiration, which is exactly why I encourage people to bring me as much as they want to by way of pictures and fabric swatches and such. Sometimes it’s fairly obvious what will inspire me, but sometimes it’s in the small details.
You’ve worked with, and taken courses from a number of cake decorators in New York. How would you define your style compared to other decorators you’ve worked with?
Meticulously detailed. I think that I tend to have a lot of different elements going on at once in all of my cakes, even if they’re relatively subtle. I’m also obsessed with trying to create the most realism possible in things, and then making sure that everything as a whole is clean and polished.
Do you offer any smaller cakes or confections?
I make cakes for all special occasions in all shapes and sizes. (Literally, you want a car or a giant fedora? I can do that!) However, I am only a specialty cake shop and not a full-fledged bakery, so I do not have cakes that I keep on-hand for daily sales. I also do not generally make any cookies or other confections except on a case-by-case basis for clients who may need something in addition to their cakes.