When I find useful resources, I love to share them with my friends. Here are some of the ones I really like & refer to quite often. They’re in no particular order. Enjoy!
- International Cake Exploration Societe′ – the premier professional association for sugar artists; in addition to the national organization, there are chapters based in each state that meet multiple times a year to share information, exchange ideas, & further the education of members; ices.org
- American Culinary Federation – largest professional chefs organization in North America; dedicated to promoting the professional image of American chefs through education at all levels; www.acfchefs.org
- Edible Arts Network – information source for home bakers, decorators, & culinarians of all skill levels & interests; their website & hard copy magazine are chock full of beautiful, step-by-step tutorials & information; edibleartistsnetwork.com
- Cake Central – social network filled with everything cake; from recipes & advice to tutorials & a gallery populated by members’ creations, this is your one-stop shop for cake knowledge; cakecentral.com
The Doodle’s Favorite Artists
I do have to add a disclaimer to this particular section. This list is by no means intended to tout any individual as “the best” in the world. However, each one of these amazing artists has touched my life & my work in some way. ALL of them have big hearts & are excited to share their knowledge. Without them, Sugar Doodles would not be what it is today.
- Ewald Notter – hands down, the most astounding sugar artist I’ve ever seen; he can teach you how to make the most elegant pieces using the most difficult media & make it easy; even if you’re just watching him work, it’s mesmerizing; Facebook page, “Ewald Notter”
- Pat & Leah Jacoby/Patty Cakes – who would travel all the way to Highland, IL, just to order a cake? Apparently a LOT of people! Unique & beautiful artistry is how this amazing team has won numerous awards including TLC’s “Ultimate Cake-Off;” www.pat-t-cakes.com
- Peggy Tucker/School of Cakeology – Holy Cats! The best all-around sugar artist I’ve had to pleasure to work with to date; she can do anything in any sugar medium & LOVES to share her knowledge; www.schoolofcakeology.com
- Susan Carberry & Clyde/The Cake Cottage – Between Susan & Peggy Tucker, you’ll never view the sugar arts as a “serious” profession; these ladies have more fun than anyone I know sharing their incredible knowledge & skills with everyone; www.thecakecottage.net
- Nicholas Lodge/International Sugar Arts Collection – my very first professional sugar arts class was with Chef Lodge; he taught me the techniques I still use to make & color lifelike flowers; an absolute MUST for any serious decorator; www.nicholaslodge.com
- Wayne Steinkopf & Chuck Hamilton/Swank Cake Design – check out their “Classes” page on their website; no really….they can teach you how to make some jaw-dropping pieces in just one day or less! www.swankcakedesign.com
- Mike McCary/Mike’s Amazing Cakes – I think Transformers are real & they were created by Mike McCary; I haven’t seen anyone engineer a cake as well or as magnificently as him; www.mikesamazingcakes.com
- Callye Alvarado/Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle – I’ve never actually met Callye, but I’ve marveled at her creativity & talent; if you’re into decorating cookies, you HAVE TO check out her website; www.sweetsugarbelle.com
- Janet Waters/instructor at Lake Washington Institute of Technology – okay, so she doesn’t have a website & she doesn’t travel the world teaching, but Chef Waters is the astoundingly talented pastry artist who introduced me to this world of sugar art; she gets all the credit for putting me on a path I never knew existed; LWIT got lucky when they landed her as the head of their Baking Arts program; thanks for everything, Chef!!
Suppliers & Products
Sugar Doodles is all about teaching you skills using things best suited to your needs & situation. We are NOT about pushing product. Having said that, when we find suppliers or specific items we like, we’re happy to share with our friends. So, out of the TONS of products & suppliers out there, here are some of our favorites.
- Toots Cake & Candy Supply – local supplier for artists & decorators in the St Louis metro area & all of Southern Illinois; owner Ann Davis is not only the absolute best, go-to source for all things sugar, she’s happy to share her vast knowledge, experience, & network with you; by the way, if she doesn’t have it, she’ll go out of her way to help you find it at the best price for you; tootscakecandysupply.com
- Dawn’s Cake & Candy Supply – based in Bothell, WA (just northeast of Seattle), owner Dawn Motes has everything you need whether you’re a serious decorator or just dabbling at home; she also teaches & brings in world-class talent to help her customers reach their full potential; she makes decorating fun & accessible; dawnscandyandcake.com
- PME – they make my absolute favorite decorating tips; no seams, no rusting, & durable; they’re more pricey than other brands, but well worth it; you can get them through your local supplier, third party vendors, or order directly from them online; www.pmeartsandcrafts.com
- Kee-Seal – best disposable decorating bags ever; the material is not nearly as stiff as other brands, so the bags are infinitely more comfortable & easier to use; available from local suppliers or through third-party vendors (e.g. Amazon)
- Belleville Gingerbread Contest – annual contest held in Belleville, IL; creations are submitted & judged in mid-November each year, then put on display along downtown’s Main Street for the entire holiday season; over $4000 in cash prizes awarded in both children’s & adult categories; decorators from every skill level are welcome; creations don’t have to be houses & you can use non-edible supports as long as they’re fully covered with edible materials; Facebook page, “Downtown Belleville Gingerbread Festivities”
- That Takes the Cake – annual contest held in Austin, TX; held in February each year, this event features classes, vendors, & demonstrations in addition to the actual competition; thattakesthecake.org
- National Capital Area Cake Show – annual contest held in Fairfax, VA; held in March each year, this event is like a mini-ICES convention with a contest built in; cakeshow.org
- Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show – annual contest held in conjunction with the Tulsa State Fair in September; includes the flagship “Grand National Wedding Cake Competition” that has been featured on Food Network; oklahomasugarartists.com
- Washington State Sugar Artists (WASSA) Cake Show – annual contest held in the Pacific Northwest; the venue changes each year, but the event is usually held in late April; like many others, this one also features vendors, classes, & demonstrators; this one is dear to me because it was the first (and second) cake show I ever entered; wassacakes.com