Jade Saducas – Cake Artist at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai
Jade Saducas is one the best. Read about her inspiring story here.
From Financial Analyst to Cake Artist and Chef de Cuisine and Resort Cake Artist at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. What a great way: did you plan your career in this way?
I really didn’t plan my career in this way. I dreamed to be a famous fashion designer, not an account and never a chef.
Being a financial analyst/ accountant and Cake Artist: what are the similarities (apart from measurements)?
Let us consider measurements because it is an important comparison. “You have to be precise” Precise figures in accounting would lead you to make better decisions. Precise numbers in baking and cake decorating would lead you to best results.
Aside from precision, you need to be very good in analyzing situations and designs, throwing the right questions to help bring out the ideas that the guests have in their minds. Often times they come to you and they don’t have any clue how to achieve the design or the cost involve. So by being confident, perceptive and analytical, you will be able to help them lead their way on their dream cakes at a cost that is within their budget.
Being a Resort Cake Artist of Jumeirah where I handled 4 hotels in the resort and our biggest outside catering called Jumeirah Hospitality, the skills I learned throughout my corporate world helped me a lot in running the operation smoothly. It is all about organizational skills and being able to think ahead. I try to work as much as I can way ahead so if there are any last minute requests, I am able to face it head on.
You have been the Winner of the Cake Designers World Championship Trophy Italy: How did you came up with the idea to take part of this competition?
I was chosen to represent UAE by the Emirates Culinary Guild. I accepted the challenge and the responsibility that goes with it.
What was your master piece at this competition?
There were 3 sets in the competition: first set was the display cake, we will bring this finished and displayed during the competition. Second set was the live cake for tasting, we need to make 3 pieces of real cake in 3 hours, 1 will be displayed and the other 2 for the judges to taste. Third set was the live cake decorating that needs to be done in 4hours, a smaller version of the display cake which will show the skills applied on the display cake.
The theme of the competition was “Discover the world of chocolate and coffee”. After a thorough research, I designed my display cake based on the history of chocolate and coffee discovery. I called my display cake “EXPEDITION”. Expedition because it was through a series of expeditions that lead to the discovery. I sculpted the main men behind the Chocolate discovery, from Christopher Columbus, Hernan Cortes and King Montezuma. I also sculpted the monk, the goat and painted Kaldi dancing with the goats, these were part of the coffee history. You will find a series of paintings around the cake that speaks of the discovery. I also incorporated the aztecs and mayan calendar textures and on top I sculpted an old sailing boat to acknowledge the fact that it was through series of expeditions that leads to the discovery. My live cake for tasting called IMMORTAL TREASURE had a mayan calendar and an old compass design. The cake flavour was also a combination of chocolate and coffee with textures. So the story is, an EXPEDITION that leads to the discovery of IMMORTAL TREASURE. Immortal treasure because all of us will die but coffee and chocolates lives forever.
Austria, Switzerland, Germany… the home countries for cakes.. would you like to learn/ work here for a certain time?
If given a chance, why not? I love to learn pastry, bread and chocolates in these countries.
Your quests at the Jumeirah in Dubai are international. Do you offer your cakes with an international taste?
Of course yes, we have to be at par with the trends and we also have the traditional flavors. We are highly flexible, customer satisfaction and preferences are always of higher importance to us.
Which cake is the hardest, even to make for you?
Nothing is hard as long as we have enough lead time. The challenge is when it is a short notice and too much sculpting, or the cake is too huge.
Before your time at the Jumeirah, you worked at the Atlantis The Palm in Dubai as Pastry Chef and Cake Artist. The job Cake Artist, is it something relatively new?
It is not new to me since I was doing customized cakes and pastries in Philippines. Atlantis hired me as their cake artist when the demand of having customized cakes started soaring here in Dubai.
Arabic Pastry is famous. Ones you came to Dubai, what was new for you at the Arabic Pastry?
Everything is new to me in arabic pastry as we don’t have it in Philippines but I love arabic pastries. Maybe one day I will do a modern twist of arabic pastries.
Bio, regional, seasonal, local…. Ingredients are the big topic at the restaurant kitchens. Does this apply / comes up as well at the Pastry / Cake world?
In Pastry Yes, trends are always there and people wanted to try something new but the traditional flavors at par with its quality are always the best because it reminds us a lot of who we are, how it used to be and the memories that goes with it. A visually appealing pastry without flavours is nothing. Flavour is always important. Even in cakes, a beautiful customized cake is nothing without a flavour. I always believe that it should satisfy your eyes and your tastebuds.
Your job is sweet, sweet, sweet… How does you sharpen your senses.. by eating sausage in-between?
Hahaha… I drink plenty of water:) honestly, you have to explore other flavours too and taste a bit only. If you are a pastry chef, you don’t really eat that much sweets at your kitchen.
What are the latest trends at the Pastry and especially Cake world in general and especially in Dubai?
French pastries are always at its best. For the Cakes we adopt to the preferred flavor of the guests, anything they want I will do. As to the cake designs, Dubai market is simple compared to United States, Indonesia and Philippines markets.
Chefs can describe a culinary line. How would you describe you Cake line/ specialisation?
I’m not quite sure how to describe my specialization because I have multiple skills. A cake artists can be good in one or two, customizing cakes, can be good in flowers or sculpting only but me I am a combination of many things. I do pastry, I can pull sugar, I can do chocolate showpieces and sugar showpieces, I am good in making edible flowers, I sculpt and paint and do photography. Aside from that, my skills learned through corporate world helped me a lot by being extra different, my management skills, computer skills, marketing, communication skills and the confidence in dealing with numbers.
Thank you for your time Jade Saducas.