10 minutes with... Ana Remígio

We talk to award-winning cake artist Ana Remígio of Cupcakes & Dreams about how she started in the world of cake decorating, why she loves and recommends cake competitions, her top tip for budding cakers – plus, Ana reveals all about a very special international cake collaboration!

Ana Remigio cake creations Image credit: Ana Remígio's gremlin and carved Indian cake creations

16th Jul 2021

How did you get started/what inspired you to start in the world of cake decorating?

I have a degree in marketing and no art background. I started playing with cupcakes in 2011. Two years later a friend asked me if I could do a cake for her son’s birthday – a very simple shirt with a tie (flat cake). Seven years ago I did my first 3D cake – a white piano – and I got the bug! I don’t call it a hobby – I call it passion! It’s what I love to do.

Ana Remigio

Caption Ana Remígio

How would you sum up your style?

I must say I’m a perfectionist… I always try to be original and have a perfect finish. I really don’t know if I have a style… People tell me they can identify my work by the intriguing details and originality. If I had to choose, I’d say that my style is ‘fantasy’, because it’s where I can let my imagination run free and my hands transform sugar into art and emotions.

What inspires your designs and who do you look up to?

As I’ve said, I love fantasy, plus reptiles and everything that gives me the chance to do new textures and details. I also love to create bold wedding cakes designs. I always try to aim for anything out of the box… I see cakes everywhere and everything can be transformed into cake! I admire many artists from all over the world. Not all are from this cake world – some are sculptors, some are painters… it’s hard to mention only one!

Ana Remígio's dragon creation, Smaug

Caption Dragon creation – Smaug

What made you decide to enter competitions?

Being self-taught and coming from a very small country it’s quite hard to put your work out there… This isn’t my profession – it’s my passion, so I thought ‘Why not compete?’ But all the great cake competitions are out of the country… Then, another question emerged – ‘How do I take my cakes by aeroplane?’  I’ll always treasure my first cake competition in Dublin – so unprepared, so anxious, so excited and so amazingly happy!

What advice would you give to those aspiring to enter competitions?

Just do it! I’ve found it to be an amazing experience – I absolutely love it! Everything that surrounds a cake competition is magical – the preparing and study of what you’re going to do, how you’re going to transport it, the travelling, the placing the pieces on the tables and the results… It’s like a Christmas morning when you run to see your presents! And remember – you can always do better!

What’s your favourite creation to-date?

That’s a hard one as there are so many! My gremlin creation will always be one of my favourites, but I also love my alien! From last year I’ve three pieces that have a special place in my heart – my Viking shield, my carved Indian and my dragon, Smaug.

Ana Remígio's Viking shield cake creation

Caption Viking shield cake creation

What’s been your proudest moment to-date?

I could say being nominated for the Golden Tier Awards in the USA or winning nine gold medals in Cake International Birmingham 2019 or even winning The Best in Show and Cake Decorator of the year 2020 in Salon Culinaire in London but the ultimate proudest moment to-date was seeing my son, Ódin winning Gold and Best in Class at Cake International Birmingham 2019, when he was just 12 years old.

What advice would you give to budding cake decorators?

Sometimes we doubt ourselves and our abilities to achieve certain goals – my advice to you is NEVER GIVE UP. All of us started somewhere, practice makes it better and we all evolve! Give your best in each piece that you make!

Any top cake decorating tips/techniques?

Decorate your cake boards! I find it a must to have my cake boards decorated for all my cake projects – otherwise the cake deco seems incomplete. At the very least, cover the cake boards with fondant so it looks clean and neat.

Please tell us more about your international cake collaboration… How did it come about? And what did it involve?

Most people in the New Contemporary art scene are familiar with Naoto Hattori and his highly imaginative and intricate surrealistic paintings. He’s one of those artists whose works you can identify in a flash. I came across Naoto Hattori’s work back in the 2000s, and have periodically checked up on his latest creations ever since. 

There’s something within Naoto’s work that stirs the soul. His artwork allows you to fall freely into its dimensions, experiencing a trip into other worlds. His characteristic microscopic and precise brushstrokes – often mistaken as digital textures – are like no other. 

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with him about his work, and asked his opinion about me doing an international cake collaboration inspired by his work and he loved the idea. After that I gathered some of my favorite sugar artists/cake family and with their support we did this amazing collaboration.

Entries for international cake collaboration hosted by Ana Remígio

What was your favourite moment of the collaboration?

I loved every single bit of the all process but it had to be when the pieces start coming in… WOW! I already knew all the artists and their work and all of them have their own style and uniqueness, but they’ve all taken it to the next level! Each and every one of them made this collaboration even more special and unique. My heartiest thanks to all of them.

Last updated 2 months ago

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