Interview #34: Michael Almeida1. How or why did you get started in cake decorating… was it by accident or did you always have a passion for it? It started as a surprise and different gift for my sister. One day I was passing by a cake design store and noticed it was dedicated...
1. How or why did you get started in cake decorating… was it by accident or did you always have a passion for it?
It started as a surprise and different gift for my sister. One day I was passing by a cake design store and noticed it was dedicated to materials and learning of cake decorating. I entered and bought a little piece of sugar paste and tried it at home. It was so easy to work with, and edible that I made my sisters birthday cake with it and it was a success. I made more for family, then friends, then friends of friends and didn’t stopped then. Entered in competitions, magazines and people started to know my work and appreciate it and complemented it. And now im a tutor of that very same store I first visited, teaching people to decorate cakes in the school and store “ISTO FAZ-SE”.
2. Tell us a little about yourself, family, where do you live, what you do on your time off and what did you do for a living before making cakes if anything?
I was born in South Africa, my parents are Portuguese. My family returned to Portugal when I was 8 years old and since then always lived in Portugal, Lisbon. I have a degree in Psychology, have worked in the area but took a job for some years in graphic design. I have had a passion for the animal kingdom since I was born, and animals have been always a part of me and a great inspiration on many of my works. On my time off I’m a practitioner and tutor of aerial acrobatics of new circus. A passion that remained associated to gymnastics, culture, art and beauty. Today my life is aerial acrobatics and cakes.
3. What is the one tool you cannot live without and one you don’t have yet but really want?
The tool I cannot live without are my hands hehehe. And modeling tools. The tool I would really want is a automatic sheeter :P
4. How did you find cakesdecor and what makes it a place you want to keep sharing on?
I found cakes decor by researching the internet. It is a place always updated, always with something new and where people worldwide can share there works and I found that amazing and that makes me to want to keep sharing on.
5. What is it about making cakes that just keeps you wanting to keep doing it?
Difference, challenging and creativity. As also the happiness of the people whom we make the cakes.
6. What is your favorite cake you have done to date?
So many. But one of my favorites is my Chameleon Cake that I won first place on a cake design national competition and made me known in the cake design community.
7. Do you have one color that you seem to find yourself drawn to when doing cakes more than any other?
Depends on the theme, but normally pearl white, black, blue, red.
8. What would you say has been your biggest cake challenge to date and if you could have a do-over of it would you want to and what about it would you change?
One of my biggest challenges was the Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos) that won 2nd place in a competition. And the monument has so many bricks that I put one by one and so many discoveries personalities in specific positions in a hot summers days in so little time of making that I almost blew my mind, hehehe. With the knowledge I have today that I didn’t have at the time I would do it in a simpler way hehehe.
10. Is there one sugar skill you have not quite perfected yet that just drives you crazy?
Sincerely none drives my crazy :) some more challenging then others, thats the fun of it.
11. Do you have a favorite flavor of cake that you make?
12. Do you sketch your cakes or just wing it?
I sketch them hardly, then I sketch then in the computer with graphic design, but as I make the cake some things just wing in ;)
13. What is the one cake you are still hoping to get asked to make?
None in particular. Always looking for something new, different and with something that gives me a thrill to make.
14. What’s the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?
Be your self!
15. And one crazy one just for fun…If you were given one chance to do something totally crazy without the fear of dying what would it be!
OMG… FLY :P
Some of Michael’s Cakes
Thank you Shags and Michael for the interview!
- Part 33: Melanie Byrne of The Enchanting Merchant Company
- Part 34: Michael Almeida
- Part 35: Jeanne Winslow of Jeanne Winslow Cake Design