Photo courtesy of Amber s. Wallace Photography
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.