A few months ago we chatted with Tracey Rothwell about her geektastic cake business, Little Cherry/Black Cherry and now she’s back with a new venture. She gathered 100 bakers from around the world to celebrate the birthday of a man who is without a doubt one of the most renowned innovators past and present, Tim Burton, for the project "Cakenweenie."
Burton turns 55 on August 25 and Tracey couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than to bake about it, but why? One reason is she relates to Edward Scissorhands because she’s “a little awkward at times” and has her own messy hairdo. Also because he’s influenced her greatly. “He embraces being a little bit different. As much as traditional cakes still very much have their place, I much prefer creating cakes which are a bit crazy! I think he’s really brought his style to the masses with his Disney films, and people seem much more open to having different cakes so I have to thank him hugely for that, it’s what makes my job so much fun!”
While Tracey may’ve procrastinated a bit (her words, not mine) and refers to her contribution as a “huge personal challenge,” she’s happy with her results and the cakes of her fellow bakers. Speaking of, let’s get to know some of the other cake artisans who took on the Burton challenge; Shaleena "Boogiedownbaker" Sahib of Sweet Catastrophe Cakes, Debbie Goard of Debbie Does Cakes, and Sarah Myers of High Five Cakes.
MTV Geek: How has Burton’s style when it comes to movie making influenced your life and baking style?
Shaleena "Boogiedownbaker" Sahib: Burton's twisted , unorthodox way inspired me to think out of the box always pop culture, fantasy , comic books, all fed my over imaginative mind from a pretty young age so when I see this guy make these movies that look like the images that were in my head I was like, okay he gets it. Alice in Wonderland has to be my favourite I made a Mad Hatter's Tea Party for my 11-year-old kiddo, and man I've read the book ample amounts of times BUT when I watched the movie I started to feel the characters. I felt the insanity, the angst, the abnormalcy of it all and it transpired to my figures, seriously I felt like I lived that story through that cake creation.
Debbie Goard: I really admire Tim for forging his own path. He has such a distinct vision and his influence can be found in every aspect of his films from costume, set design, to music. From my understanding, audiences and studios didn't immediately understand his vision and deemed it "too dark.” He persisted, however and eventually his audience found him without having to compromise his aesthetic. In my own career, I too, had to cultivate an audience. Many gave me career advice to try to appeal to everyone, but I knew what I wanted Debbie Does Cakes to be and was unwilling to yield.
Sarah Myers: He pushes the envelope. He lets his imagination run wild and produces something that makes people want more. I love all things whimsical, weird and gory. I try to put an original spin on the norm.
Geek: What three words best describe your Burton cake?
Shaleena: Betelgeuse,Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse.
Debbie: Realistic, charming and sad.
Sarah: Creepy. Weird. Stretched?
Geek: What Tim Burton character do you most identify with and why?
Shaleena: Definitely Beetlejuice, the cartoon version! His use of idioms is ridiculous in the animated series, he's hilarious and I myself a pretty big cheeseball of humour. Though I do like to bathe and he doesn't and he likes scamming and I live by the golden rule…well most of the time! I'm the ghost with the most baby.
Debbie: I thought a lot about this question and I would have to say Lydia from Beetlejuice. Lydia was able to see the beauty in that other's either could not or would not see; interested in the supernatural and the paranormal, she was a loner, an outsider. Her family ignored her because she was "strange and unusual.” This pretty much describes me as well. There were times that I thought I'd find no one like me. Like Lydia, sometimes we have to make our own "families" with friends, or , you know dead former residents of your home. What have you.
Sarah: I guess it depends on my mood. On the norm, I would definitely be the Mad Hatter. I am loud, fun, crazy and sometimes obnoxious...And I love a good hat. As a cake artist, I would have to say Edward Scissorhands. You cannot tell what he can do with those hands until you see him in action. I tell people I am a cake artist and they automatically picture Betty Crocker instead of the wild and wonderful things I can make.