Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cake Spotlight: Tosha Giovannone

 Since the first moment I met Tosha, I decided this is one of the most precious people I've ever worked with. If it wasn't for her, I don't believe I would have liked my work as much as I do now. She always makes me smile and is ready to help and share knowledge, which is rare in our profession. All in all, I'm very lucky to work with all the people I work with now and that is why I wanted you to meet one of them- Tosha!

Tosha Giovannone

I have asked Tosha to share her experience with a particularly interesting cake she was working on, a DJ turntable that you could really spin. Here is our improvised interview.

AK: Tosha, how many years have you worked at Coccadotts?

TG: One year and seven months so far. 

AK: How did you start working for them?

TG: At that moment I have been without work for about six months. I have to say I always wanted to work at Coccadotts but was too nervous to come in. 

AK: I know how that is :-)

TG: Yeah, right :-). So, my good friend Danielle, Rachel's niece (Rachel Cocca-Dott and Matthew O'Connor are the owners of Coccadotts) contacted her and told her all about me. 
At that point Danielle told me that she had arranged me an interview at 8 am the following morning. (laughs)

AK: Wow that was quick!

TG: Tell me about it! The next morning I came in all dressed up, with my resume in hand. Rachel had me decorate a cake with roses and write a happy birthday on it. She said she liked it and next thing she asked me when could I start. Well, you can imagine why I said as soon as possible ( :-) but I never expected her next question. Rachel asked if I could start that day and I worked for 8 hours straight on my interview. ( laughs)

AK: Seriously? With your interview outfit and all? :-)


AK: What education did you get before working at Coccadotts?

TG: I went to Mohonasen High School and in my junior year I started taking a vocational class for half of my school day. I started studying culinary arts. My first chef noticed I excelled in baking and pastry so he would focus a lot of my projects around baking and pastry arts. Then I got involved in SKILLS USA where I competed in my first competition and took first place!

AK: This is amazing!

TG: It really was! I was the vice president in SKILLS USA for my 2 years in VOTECH.  Then after high school I went to Johnson and Wales University and majored in Baking and Pastry Arts. I am proud to say I graduated magna cum laude with my Associate’s degree. :o)

AK: It sounds like you knew from a very early age what you wanted to do. When did you decorate your first cake?

TG: let me see, I decorated my first cake when I was 12 I believe. My mom was a cake decorator so watching her decorate inspired me and finally when I was 12 I demanded to decorate my birthday cake (LoL). I will admit it wasn't my nicest cake but from then on I got better at it ( laughs)

AK: Oh, you certainly did, looking at the cakes you do now! Just so show a few:

AK: What do you like about decorating cakes?

TG: I love knowing that my work is making someone’s day special. Usually the cake for a party is a main focal point so knowing that I "did that" and made their special day that much more amazing, is really awesome. I enjoy doing cakes that are a challenge such as an 8 tier cake so tall I can’t reach the top. I know that challenge, although it may be a pain in the butt at the time, will pay off in the end not only for my knowledge but for the customer as well.

AK: Absolutely true. I know one amazing "pain in the butt cake" that you made this year. Can you tell us more about your DJ turntable cake? How did you come up with the idea?

TG: The cake was for my boyfriend's 24th birthday, he is a DJ and that really helped as an inspiration. ( laughs). I have seen similar cakes and was up for a challenge. 

AK: How did you make the construction?

TG: I used  a large piece of plywood that was going to be the base of the cake, 2 bearings( I think that's what they are called lol) , and a lot of help from a very knowledgeable friend who put the wooden construction together. Then I covered the base with fondant and dabbed the surface with a sponge.

AK: When I saw it in person it really reminded me of marble.

TG: Yes, that was the idea. 

AK: What was the most difficult part when you made the cake?

TG: Trying to make it on such short notice, definitely. I came up with the idea last minute and was adamant on making it spin lol, which proved to be the biggest problem to figure out.

AK: How long did it take you to make it?

TG: Approximately 4 hours or more. 

AK: How big was the cake?

TG: The cake was 3 ft by 11'. Pretty big, I needed help carrying it. 

AK: I bet, that's a monster cake! ( laughs)

TG: Yeah! :-)

AK: Thank you, Tosha, it was a pleasure!

TG: You are very welcome!

This is the cake we have been discussing. Just look at all the details! I am really sorry we have no better picture of it, but unfortunately by the time we did the interview no more picture were available.
The cake is amazing nevertheless, especially because it was done with so much love.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Cake Show Chronicles

Although the cake show was in September, I think it still might be interesting for you to see the cakes that we showed. Unfortunately I have pictures only from one of the shows we participated in, technical difficulties. Sigh.
Anyway, here is or cake display :
Cake Show Franklin Plaza 201105
This was the setting:

Cake Show Franklin Plaza 201102

Cake Show Franklin Plaza 201110

These are the cakes that I made:
 Coccadotts Cakes 33309

This one we sprayed gold after I took the picture
Coccadotts Cakes 33302

Don't you just love my shoe?
Coccadotts Cakes 33305

Coccadotts Cakes 33304

In this one I participated only with finishing touches( new ribbon and the cameo)
Cake show cakes201101
I made the cameo by hand, no mold or anything.
Cake show cakes201103

This picture is awful quality, but all of these are made with my a hurry.. Not to make excuses but...yeah... The cake is hand-painted again. No stencils.
Cake show cakes201104

This one is painted by hand, no stencil or anything. I used food coloring in case someone wants to know. Each side is different as I made the "people" from each picture move one picture to the right on the top tier. It was a great visual trick. If you click on the picture in the album you can see more pictured of this cakes of the other sides etc.

Cake Show Franklin Plaza 201107

This one is hand-painted by me, my colleague Tosha covered and made the circles.
Cake show cakes201107

This one is mine 
Cake show cakes201113

These are the cakes my colleagues made:

* Nicole
Cake show cakes201109
* Matt
Cake show cakes201110
* Tosha
Cake show cakes201111

 I apologize for the quality of the pictures again and I hope you had fun looking at these.

Friday, September 30, 2011

That's what it's all about!

The past couple of weeks we had some awesome projects at Coccadotts. Very challenging but fun. However, every time I make something like that...I rarely see the customers when they pick it up.
Not today.
Today I even have a picture of the person that it was for, smiling while holding his cake. And that's what it's all about, isn't it?
Rolex cake01

This cake was ordered yesterday ...for today. I freaked out a little when I saw what a big project it is ( and I still had other stuff to finish) but the project was very appealing and I am glad I had the opportunity to work on it.

So, Matt O'Connor and I created this for Frank Adams Jewelers. 
I am so lucky to work with so many talented and cool people! Thanks, Matt for all you do!

On such a short notice...and such a big cake ( take a look at it compared to my hand), we are having tons of fun! :-)
Rolex cake03

 Oh, and the handles of the watch are raised too, in case you are wondering :-)

Rolex cake05

Ta-Ta for now,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I feel compelled to share something, because people keep asking me why I am not publishing things as often as before.

Ok, here it is.
You all know I got a job ( hence all the cakes) but I haven't commented the fact that I started my Masters degree as well.  I have TONS of materials and pictures to publish but I'm so stressed with all the engagements I have that I can barely find time to check my e-mail, let alone post anything.

While I am deeply sorry about that, I am working on finding somebody to help me out with editing and maybe posting the content that is just piling up.
If any of you are interested, let me know too.
So, bare with me, I'm doing my best and posting as often as I possibly can.  I'm not giving up on the blog, on the contrary I have a lot of things that are just waiting to be on, I'm working on art as well, but I have just so many hours... as all of you.

And now a LOT of things from the bakery that I have been working on the past months.
Fondant pasties
Cakes Aug 201101

Miniature  scene in the mountains
Cakes Aug 201105

My first caricature from a picture
Cakes Aug 2011201

Cakes Aug 2011203

Flower pots and seeds
Cakes Aug 2011207

Fondant sausage and steak
Cakes Aug 2011214

Fondant patties
Cakes Aug 2011217

BBQ cake
Cakes Aug 2011218

Cute train cake
Choo-choo cake02

Nemo cake
Coccadotts cakes August 201107

Shoe and shoebox
Coccadotts cakes August 201113

These are as big as my thumb
Coccadotts August 201101

12 inch dragon painting
Coccadotts August 201103

Coccadotts August 201109

Noah's Ark
Coccadotts August 22201101

Dog ( pretty obvious, right?)
Coccadotts August 22201102

Miniature running shoes ( as big as my thumb's nail)
Coccadotts August 22201103

Peacock cake
Coccadotts August 22201104

Another peacock cake
Coccadotts August 22201106

Fondant apples
Coccadotts August 22201108

The little Mermaid cake
Coccadotts August 22201110


Cute kitten

A huge teapot
Teapot cake01

Any Slytherin fans?
Slytherin cake01

Draco's Wand ( I'm so sorry my phone couldn't capture how much like the real thing it looked, it was awesome!)

Slytherin cake02

Slytherin cake10

Next post will be with the amazing dummy wedding cakes we made for the 2 shows that we participated in.
Ta-ta for now,

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