Updated: Feb 15
I am super excited to share my very first interview with you guys! For the first interview I have spoken to Marc Suarez. Renowned for realistic cakes, among many other things, Marc is a leading cake decorating professional. Currently teaching on an international tour, Marc kindly took the time to speak to me.
I tried to cover all topics, and as he is among my favourite cake decorators, I didn’t want to waste this fantastic opportunity. Read the interview below:
1. What age were you when you first started cake decorating and how did you gain an interest in it?
I started baking when I was a child, probably when I was 6 or 7 years old. I can say that baking is a part of my life! I remember that while my interest in it grew, I started growing too. And finally, when I was 22, I decided to professionalise my hobby.
I think that cake decorating is addictive. If you like crafts, arts and baking there’s no remedie to stop the cake decorating fever. In that point, I felt I had to professionalise my hobby.
2. Can you tell us a little bit about Le Doux Collage, which you established a few years ago?
Le Doux Collage is my brand, or even more, like my son! I started Le Doux Collage 6 years ago, when I was finishing my event organiser master. At the beginning, my idea was to make sweet tables and candy bars for weddings and events. With time, I discovered that my passion is to teach and investigate new techniques and designs. I look at the transformation of my initial idea and it was a great experience of my life.
3. What is your favourite thing about cake decorating?
My favourite thing in cake decorating is the possibility that we (the industry) have to create whatever we want in edible mediums. It’s edible art! My friends are impressed every time I show them new cakes. Through creating cakes we make people happy, we give them positive feelings. For me, cake decorating is about a lot more, than the techniques we put onto cakes.
4. What techniques do you specialise in?
I always say that I’m multidisciplinar, so I make sugar flowers, wedding cakes, gravity cakes and modelling chocolate sculptures. But if I have to choose I will choose, for sure, chocolate sculpting.
With modelling chocolate I can create all the characters, animals and fantasy that I really want. It’s the perfect medium in cake decorating, even more than ready to roll icing.
5. Are there any techniques that you really struggle with, and maybe even avoid when making a cake?
Yes of course! It’s one of my best secrets. I’m totally a beginner with royal icing and piping with pastry bags. You’ll never see complicated royal icing details on my cakes.
6. You come from a Spanish Heritage, is cake decorating different in Spain, and do they have any traditional cakes eaten at birthdays or celebrations?
Yes, Spanish cake decorating is quite different if we compare, for example, with the UK. We like all kind of cakes, but we put the focus on realistic ones, with lots of colours. For example, in UK you like more forest/fairy tale themed cakes, with royal icing and delicate sugar flowers.
In Spain we have our own tradition in baking, with a lot of Genovese Sponge cakes filled with Chantilly cream, creme brûlées, fruits and millefeulle. We use more fresh and light recipes with less sugar and utilise lots of our local fruits.
7. Besides from cake decorating, what other hobbies do you have?
Travel is one of my favourite hobbies. I have to travel for my work but when my partner and I can, we organise a quick trip in our own time. I also love music and singing. I studied piano and music for 8 years. I also participated in a reality choir show on TV for 3 months.
When I work at the studio, the music is playing all time and I’m singing too. I can say that music is 50% of my life.
8. Is there anything you would like to learn next?
I always say that I will only be focused on cake decorating for a few years. I can’t imagine me at 50 years old, making cakes and teaching people. However, I would love to learn prosthetic make up for cinema special effects, and all this stuff.
But for the moment, I would like to learn more about chocolate sculpting to get more realism in my sculptures. If you want to be on the top of the wave you have to work hard and learn all time.
9. You are currently on an international tour, besides from Cake International a few weeks ago, do you plan on doing anything else in the UK? (I’d love to attend a class one day, they look amazing!)
Yes, for sure! I have three workshops scheduled at Zoe’s Fancy Cakes from 7th to 9th June 2019, and two workshops which are yet to be announced at Cake Innovations, in December 2019.
About Cake International, I will make another showpiece for the London show in April (I will be in Australia on these dates). I will also visit Cake International next November. Three times in a year to meet all my UK friends is a good number, isn’t it?
10. When teaching, do you get nervous at all? If so, how do you combat the nerves?
I think I have taught more than 400 hundred students during my career, and I’m still nervous when I have to start one workshop. I understand that I have a huge responsibility. Sometimes, people travel from so far, left his/her family for some days, pay a lot of money and book hotels to assist to one of my classes. How can I be serene when I think about all the effort these people are making?
I start very nervous, but after 30 minutes, my nerves start to disappear.
11. You also write a blog, how do you find time in your busy schedule to complete posts?
A good question! As you know, writing a blog is not easy. It takes a lot of time: think of the themes, make the tutorials, write the text, edit the pictures, upload them on the web, post on social media, etc. In this area I’m very lucky, because I have a team that helps me and ensures the “blog mechanism” still works if I am in Thailand, India or anywhere around Europe.
I plan my posts and tutorials, so when I have some “free time”, I make anywhere from two to four tutorials in one time. I just take the pictures and then when I am in an airport or flying, I write the posts and edit the pictures. I send to my team and they upload them to my blog and post on social media for me. This is how I am able to continue writing my blog.
12. Is there any advice you have for any cake decorators similar to myself?
This is the question that I always don’t want to reply! ;) This is because, I also say that I have a lot to learn. Therefore, I’m not the right one to give advice to anyone who is aiming for success.
The only thing that I can say is my experience. I started from nowhere, without money, without pastry studies. I just believed in myself and I’m still believing in it. I push my boundaries every day being automatically demanding with myself. I’m never ‘okay’ with achieving a goal, I always work towards making new goals. I believe in this method, and it worked for me.
13. Lastly, is there anything else you would like to say?
I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to you! The cake decorating industry is a big world with lots of different pieces. Interviews, like yours, is a good opportunity to find out more about cake decorators. I can’t wait to see your next blog posts and see how you grow as a professional.
I would like to end this post by saying a HUGE thank you to Marc Suarez. He has been incredibly kind and quick with his responses. It means a lot that he took the time to speak to me!
Marc is available on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter under the handle of Le Doux Collage. Alternatively, check out his website: www.ledouxcollage.com , which will also contain all appropriate links to his social media.
This is my first interview post, but it certainly isn’t my last! After such a great start, why not contact me with people you would like to see interviews from. I will try my best to interview as many people as possible!
Talk later ✌️
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