10 Question-Interview with Sonja Weed
"I never want to see a chick again in my life!"
It might be down to her passion that she got a gold medal and 2nd place in Class L: A Wedding Cake of Three or More Triers at International Class at Cake International London 2016.
I just love how honest Sonja gets about her love of modelling chocolate and her hate of baking, lol.
Thank you Sonja!
How long have you been decorating?
I have been decorating for 4 years now. I started when I was on maternity leave.
What is your speciality, what exactly are you best at or love doing when it comes to decorating, why?
I don't think I have a speciality yet, I'm still learning, it's never ending! I like the problem solving element of cake decorating. When we can't work something out, talk through what can be done and then manage to solve the problem. I find that immensely satisfying.
What is your favourite technique, medium, why?
I love, love, love working with modelling chocolate. It's such a forgiving material and you can blend it so well. The plan for 2016 is to use it much more in the cakes that leave the studio.
What is the activity that you hate doing as a decorator?
Baking!! I make no secret of this with my clients. I have no joy or love in baking which my mum, as a German lady is very sad about. The cakes my clients get are baked really well and taste great but I can't wait to get to the stage when it's cut and filled with the ganache base all there and ready for icing - that's when the fun starts.
Why did you start competing?
Good question. I think I felt like I needed to challenge myself - push myself. I wanted to see if I was good enough plus it makes my clients feel totally confident in my abilities.
Why did you pick this particular design for your competition entry?
It wasn't supposed to be like this. It started off with pleats. I spent the day in making the bottom tier perfect then came back to it the next day and hated it so I sat down and just looked around my studio - saw the extruder and started playing - and it just happened.
What was the hardest part in creating it?
Getting the twists even was easy but getting the crochet effect for the flowers was really challenging. I ended up getting a nylon rope from B&Q, plaiting it, making a mould of it and then making each flower, strand by strand. They took ages.
What was the funniest story that has to do with this competition?
I don't really have a funny story but we spent ages looking for those little chicks for the competition. We literally walked up and down the stalls about 20 times. We got them all in the end. I never want to see a fondant chick again in my life!!
What was your favourite entry other than yours?
I loved the one by Magda la Bianco (I think that's her name?) with the fat lady in the boat. The face on her is just perfect, I loved it!
What is your advice to aspiring cake contestants?
Do it. Put the doubts to one side. Even if you don't get anything, you will learn so much. The judges KNOW what they are talking about and their critique is invaluable.