An effusion of purple carnations, bulbs of lavender, roses in radiant colors, yellow tulips, and shiny inexperienced ferns make up the archetypal sugar flower bouquets that embellish Julie Simon’s desserts. A made of the artist’s wildly fecund innovative vision, they make her creations look extra like artwork than pastry.
Simon, a “bespoke cake artist” in Los Angeles, crafts prelapsarian visions out of gum paste, fondant, suitable for eating modeling paste, and cake. Although she has been an expert cake artist for most effective a yr, her consumer roster already consists of L.A. Royalty. For the primary birthday of Kylie Jenner’s daughter Stormi, Simon baked a cake that looked like the completion of an Elizabethan princess’s nursery. A tiered cake in pastel pink and blue, with a gilded carousel whose sugar horses genuinely trotted up and down, it was a literal moveable ceremonial dinner.
Simon’s creations have a tendency in the direction of the fantastical, bringing to existence classical paintings, every so often pretty literally. For one purchaser, she made a cake rendition of a Gustave Klimt portray. She says her notion comes from the early modernist painter Marc Chagall, recognized for poetic sweeps of imagination and coloration. “I find him to be the most inspirational artist for flights of magic and myth.” But her compositions additionally channel the flower-filled still-lifes of the Dutch golden age, whose document of the impermanence of existence—petals turning brown, leaves nibbled by way of bugs, or rotting fruit— Simon echoes in her work. She loves that the Dutch master’s painted delusion vegetation, in addition to bouquets of vegetation that could not probably have grown collectively in the equal season. “There’s something remarkable about growing something colorful and floral that might not really be depicted inside the herbal world,” she says.
Her foray into cakes started out in a pre-War rental on New York’s Upper West Side, in which seven-12 months-old Simon beat eggs to simply the right stiffness to make a chocolate Charlotte for her aunt. “To at the moment, after I fold in egg whites, I can still experience myself in that kitchen,” she says.
Simon has taken a circuitous direction to her modern status as the Jan Brueghel of confectionery. She had a second of epiphany while she got here upon beautiful, towering cake presentations at the Harrods meals corridor on a journey to London in 1992. A few years later, she made the bridal-bathe cake for her brother’s wedding ceremony, inspired by using one from a powder-blue Martha Stewart bridal catalog. “It became just so difficult, and I kept failing,” Simon laughs.
For years, sugarcraft remained her interest whilst she worked in song, an unsurprising direction given her lineage. Her mother is the Grammy-award-prevailing composer Lucy Simon, and her aunt is Carly Simon. When a record deal fell via, she moved into company positions and settled in Los Angeles in 2008 together with her husband. Two children, the recession, and a divorce waylaid any severe cake-artistry. A second threat at love turned sour, and Simon turned into out of a process: She’d long gone into enterprise together with her former companion. (“He turned out to be a louse.”) At this low factor, Gillian Wynn, Simon’s buddy for the reason that her undergraduate days at Yale, recommended partnering for a bespoke cake atelier. In gratitude, Simon later baked Wynn a surprise birthday cake this is arguably her most magnificent creation: a zen lawn, with hummingbirds and orchids, an active waterfall, and an edible Buddha statue.
Simon’s cakes begin at $25 in keeping with serving but can cross over $100 in line with serving. “They’re mostly due to the fact they’re artwork,” she says, rely-of-factly. She sees her clients as art shoppers, and she or he’s unconcerned that her painstaking cake artwork—a number of which takes loads of hours to make—is actually fed on out of existence. “I as soon as a study that museum-goers spend 30 seconds on average searching at a famous portray,” she says. People have a tendency to spend more time looking at her work, she feels, possibly due to the fact they realize it’s ephemeral. “And then while you devour it, the art becomes part of you.” Her clients commonly maintain the sugar flora underneath cloches as keepsakes.