Today’s vendor highlight will feature this month’s pastry chef and designer, Michelle Apiar of Haute So Sweet. As a French Culinary Institute graduate, she is the sole artist of all Haute so Sweet creations. Michelle’s creations have been the centerpiece of many special events and weddings in New York and New Jersey. Haute So Sweet’s creations have also been featured at big social events at The Hamptons and corporate events on Wall Street.
We had the pleasure of working with Michelle last month and decided we would ask Michelle a few questions about what inspired her to get involved in the industry of cake design, what motivates her designs, and what makes Haute So Sweet unique amongst other companies. Read on..
What inspired you to get involved in this industry of cake design?
I’ve loved cooking and baking since I was a child, but never considered it as a career. After college, I worked in PR and marketing for restaurants because of my strong interest in the field. After seeing so many chefs having successful careers working with their passion, I was inspired to give it my own shot. I attended the French Culinary Institute and studied Pastry Arts. It was there that I discovered my knack for working with sugar and I decided to pursue cake decorating and design. After graduating FCI, I worked with Colette Peters to hone my craft. 6 years later came the inception of Haute So Sweet, which has been a running business for 3 years now.
How would you describe your style?
I garner inspiration from so many sources which come together in my cakes in a fresh and modern look. I’m all about the subtle details on a cake to create one cohesive look. When designing cakes, I take Coco Chanel’s advice about accessorizing…”before you leave the house, remove one piece”.
Tell us something about Haute So Sweet that makes you unique compared to other companies.
All clients meet and correspond with me personally through the design process up to delivery. I have a hard working and talented staff working on each client’s cake, but I have a hand in each and every project that leaves our studio.
What motivates the designs for your cakes?
What better source of inspiration than New York City?! The amazing architecture of this ever changing city as well as the textiles that I see walking through the garment district serve as my biggest inspiration for cake designs. Our cake studio is located in West Chelsea near these amazing art galleries, so just my walk to work gets my creative juices flowing.
What are some of the latest trends in cake design?
When designing cakes, I don’t follow trends. I aim to put my clients’ personality and style in the final design. That being said, I feel that, brides especially, are going for cleaner looks with less flowers.
What cake designs are most of your clients requesting?
For weddings, many brides want to do large statement flowers and lace. For birthdays we do fashion themed cakes, like Christian Louboutin shoeboxes or Chanel purses for the ladies and sports themed cakes, like football helmets and soccer balls for the gentleman. Corporate clients want to display their logos in distinctive ways, so we do thousands of logo cake pops for trade shows and huge cakes for corporate events.
What type of event do you find it most difficult to design cakes for? Why?
An event that doesn’t have a specific theme tends to be difficult to design for, unless the client will give me free range and an unlimited budget. Those are the cakes that end up being the showstoppers! But in order to design something that fits, its open communication between me and the client that helps the most.
If you could give any advice to anybody who was interested in pursuing cake design, what would you say?
You must love to do this more than anything else in your life. It must be your true passion. This is a very difficult field that requires a lot of dedication. You must be prepared to give it your all.
Our blogs will be highlighting a different vendor every month which will give you a chance to learn about different event services that will be beneficial for any of your upcoming events!
Julianne Francisco is a chic and trendy intern, student, and full-time social butterfly. She is currently a junior, studying Marketing at the Rutgers Business School – Newark and has just started interning for Elite Styles Events as their very own Events Coordinator. Dedicating 100% of her efforts to ESE, she uses her time to work hand-in-hand with the team to help coordinate and prepare for all of their events. Although she currently is starting out in the event planning business, she knows that this experience will enhance her perspective and knowledge about event planning as a whole to help with her future career. Her fun-loving, spunky, and energetic personality distinguishes her not only as a hard-worker but also as the ambitious young woman that she is! When she’s not busy being a full-time student and intern, you can find her breaking out a sweat at the gym or shopping for the newest makeup!