An aesthetic and culinary discovery by Olga Kraft.

It really does exist: your very own designed cake, especially created for your personal event, a unique work of art you can sink your teeth into, luxury for your palate par excellence.
What was common during  festive banquets in the homes amongst the aristocracy in 18th Century, may now be the highlight at your private party.
These works of art made of icing, sugar pearls and hand-made  flower petals made out of Massa Ticino have what it takes. Undoubtedly they surpass anything from pastries to cakes to deserts you have seen so far in the pastry shop just by their refined elegance and caring detail in their decoration.
Grace Kelly would have loved them, Audrey Hepurn would have posed next these cakes for a photo shoot. No question: these are not your common run of the mill cakes. But should you have always had a weakness for royal festivities, Hollywood parties of the 1930s and opulent gala dinners then such a cake should not be left out at your next birthday, anniversary, exclusive company party, or wedding celebration.

So who is behind  SARTORI - THE CAKE? Who makes your dream cake become reality?
It is Petra Bacher, an extremely versatile Viennese designer. Below she will reveal to us, how far back her experiences with exquisite sweets go, where she gets her inspiration and what textile designing has to do with cakes.

Have you always wanted to design cakes? What role did candy play during your childhood ?
No, it's not a long-cherished childhood dream, which I am carrying out now, but almost a logical result of a long interdisciplinary work as a designer with more love for the patisserie, then is healthy for me.
I was not aware of it for a long time, but sweets and ornaments have been a theme throughout my life, and now the circle has closed with a combination of the finest patisserie with exceptional design.
My grandma would be smiling now, because her advice for my future was, "Child, do something that has to do with food ... people always need to eat! "
My parents and I often passed by Demel (a very famous Viennese patisserie) where I had my nose pressed flat admiring Federico Berzeviczy-Pallavicini's window displays and I collected every one of his candy wrappers and  packaging
which I treasured. At home they would be made into the most special Christmas calendar filled with chocolatefudge cookies.


What path led you from your desire to decorate desserts, to the business idea SARTORI - THE CAKE?
Already as a 16-year-old au pair I was addicted to the
Parisian elegance in my spare time, and in the evenings I was allowed to assist Mme Buchet, who had cooked for the Parisian avantgarde of the 1930s in her unforgettable kitchen while preparing her specialties.
The desire to create became my career which has led to all sorts of disciplines of designing. The desserts have always been a part of it and an area where I could delve into my creativity with complete ease. Sometimes, if I felt like it I would attend a backing seminar in the middle of summer at  40 °C in the shade at my aunt's home in order for the sweet creations not only to look beautiful but also taste as good as they look.
The hand-written cook books of Marie Sartori, my great-grandmother were often a guide and inspiration to me. Even though the Sartori cakes are baked by my wonderful partner and  favorite pastry chef Wolfgang Leschanz, it is always good to have knowledge of the substance.
The initial impetus for the project SARTORI - THE CAKE was the spontaneous offer to give two dear friends of mine a wedding cake and the disappointment not to find any that came close to what I had imagined.
By chance I stumbled upon a sentence of Diana Freeland: "Give the people not what they want, but that which they dare not dream of " and I set forth.

What are your sources of inspiration?
I find pretty much everything inspiring what I see, smell and taste, above all while traveling. It is a pity that air travel has become such a pain about baggage weight limits, and therefore I am no longer able to bring back many little inspiring things and samples from other countries.
If one not only looks but observes, there are inspirations on every corner.
At the moment I'm fascinated by steeples or the costumes of Spanish infants. But it can also be beetle legs, vegetables, or a special hat .... Sometimes it can also be an image of a recollection while biting into a particular bonbon.
As a maniac of perfection and precision I will tinker about with colors and various forms so long, before I am ready to start conceptulizing the sculptural work. I call my creations, the "haute couture of cakes" - they are hand made, custom-made
and unique.
It is wonderful, that even after the artworks have disappeared – meaning eaten – after the moment of celebration their delicious beauty remains in our memory.

What do the most important steps in your cake creation process look like ?
Most of the designs are created in my head before falling asleep and later get their polish by me drawing some sketches. Because the commercial molds are usually not suitable for me to implement my designs, I make ado with something I create myself. The mixing of colors usually takes a long time - just like in the fashion world, the model gets its life only by the right consistent coloration.
One may copy my work- for which I am honored – but not my new and constant bubbling ideas. I am convinced that people appreciate originals in particular for special occasions - after all no one wants to wear a wedding dress that someone else already had on!

What do your cakes have in common with your previous design work?

I can gather an awful lot from the diversity of my own works over the past years  - especially from my long term experience as a  textile designer. Many years and hundreds of textile designs later, I still can benefit from the intensive preoccupation with ornamentation in fashion and interior design.

Even my years as Art Director at Meinl am Graben, where I not only created extremely elaborate window showcases, but  was also in charge of the graphics, packaging and visual presentation of individual areas, still enrich my work.
Last but not least, even my occupation with garden formations and botany at the University of Applied Arts played an important role.
The invisible red thread that runs through all of my cakes are for one the attention to detail, patience, curiosity and the desire for beauty.

Vienna, June 2011