We talk to Victor Diaz, one half of ML Bespoke Cakes, all about where his love of cake decorating came from, his favourite creation, celebrity clients and featuring on Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2020! Enjoy...
1. Please tell us about yourself and ML Bespoke Cakes... How did it all begin? And what ML stand for?I am a structure/architect by profession working as a senior BIM technician. A number of years ago I took some time out and helped a good friend of mine run her cake shop – this is where my passion for cake decoration was found! My partner and I launched our business ML Bespoke Cakes about three years ago. The ML comes from initials for my partner's nieces 'Molly' and 'Lucy' and at the same time is my partner's mother's initials 'Maureen Lloyd'.
2. Where did your love of baking and cake decoration come from? How did you develop your skill?My cakes are based on design and originality which I feel is aided by my profession as a structure/architect. I am in fact self-taught, not having had any formal training in cake design. I've been fortunate to have built my business from scratch and now cater to high profile clients. Every year I always go to the big cake shows in London and follow big trends which help me to develop and create my own ideas.
3. How would you describe your cake decoration style?My style is fairly varied catering to client requests as well as taking my experience as a structure/architect to bring into the structure for cakes support and design of my cakes. I also keep a close eye on current cake trends.
4. If you had to choose a favourite cake you've created, what would it be and why? We'd love to see a picture!My favourite cake has to be one I created for a dear friend of mine who had a Harry Potter theme at her wedding. The cake stood at an amazing 5ft10 and is most definitely one of my greatest achievements – the stunning colour palette, design and every single detail was completely edible. This particular cake was featured in one of the biggest American cake magazines and I still have people commenting on it five years later. I created it with the help of my partner only and there were 17 tiers, completely made from cake. Decorations included roses, roses buds, peonies, hydrangeas, leaves and lots of gold edible leaves.
5. Who do you create cakes for? And is there a particular type/style of cake that's more popular with your clients?My client base is mainly in Essex, but I've covered other areas, including Kent. A lot of my cakes currently are children's party cakes, Disney being an especially popular theme. With Covid I've found the demand for smaller cakes has grown as gatherings of larger groups aren't taking place. I'm fortunate enough to have a good celebrity client base which includes: Jessy Nelson (Little Mix) Samantha and Billie (The Mummy Diaries), Ferne McCann (First Time Mum) Megan McKenna (The Only Way is Essex and Celebrity X Factor winner), Vicky Pattison (Geordie Shore and I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! winner) Jacqueline Osborne, Jessica Wright and family, Cara Kilbey, The Artful Dodger, Suzie Wells, Jasmin Walies Rochelle Humes and many more.
6. What's been your business highlight?The highlight of ML Bespoke Cakes in 2020 has to be having been chosen and appearing on Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2020, and the wonderful client list we have who give me freedom on designing and the trust to do my job.
7. How did you come to Kirstie's handmade Christmas 2020?On January this year I got a text from a friend of mine (the same friend which I did the 17 tiers wedding cake a few years ago!) – she suggested I apply, which I did, and I was fortunate enough to be chosen from the many applicants. When I got the first phone call I honestly could not believe it but after a while I realised that my dream had come true! [caption id="attachment_28339" align="alignnone" width="870"] Image credit: Raise the Roof Productions[/caption]
8. What was it like featuring on the show? What was the best bit?It was an absolutely amazing experience. Close attention was paid to covid rules and regulations, and we all still managed to have a great day and I feel most privileged to have been given the opportunity. My best moment was having the chance to show Kirstie how to make flowers in edible wafer paper! The Christmas decorations, the happy faces of every single person and the friendly smiles made the day unforgettable. [caption id="attachment_28340" align="alignnone" width="916"] Image credit: Raise the Roof Productions[/caption] [caption id="attachment_28342" align="alignnone" width="884"] Image credit: Raise the Roof Productions[/caption]
9. What would be your words of advice for anyone aspiring to open their own cake business?Not to sound predictable but most definitely follow your heart and dreams, keep a close eye on trends and try to establish a distinct style that sets you apart from others. Something I learnt and I hope helps you – mistakes always can happen so please try to learn from them!
10. What's ahead for ML Bespoke Cakes?I'm currently applying for The Great British Bake Off! Fingers crossed! I'm filming small classes and free tutorials which I'll post on my Instagram page @MLBespokeCakes to help people like me who have a passion for cake decorating. Feel free to follow us and ask any questions you might have!
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