Exclusive Interview With Multi Award Winner Urszula Maczka
Join us as we speak to Urszula Maczka from Designed Cakes and discover more about her award-winning creations from this year’s International Salon Culinaire 2018!
Urszula Maczka – Designed Cakes – Wellingborough, started her journey with cake decorating around six years ago when she first made an Owl birthday cake for her daughter. She told us “Oliwia was extremally happy and couldn’t stop talking about it. She wasn’t even focusing on her birthday presents, she only wanted to show the cake to all the guests. Every year my kids give me more and more challenges asking me for more complicated cakes. I like challenges, so I always try exceed their expectations and do my best with every single cake.”
Urszula loves to model and make 3D cakes and is hoping that from next year cake decorating will be her sole career. We asked her to share with us her recent experience of competing at this year’s International Salon Cullinaire.
Here’s what she said…
Is this your first time entering?
This year show was my first entry to Salon Culinaire at Hotelympia. I really enjoyed the show. I met fabulous people and, I’ve picked up a lot of fresh ideas, techniques and seen some great new equipment. After the announcement of the results, I was over the moon. I didn’t expect such a success! I received following awards:
- Bronze award for ‘Soutache’ style decorated cupcakes.
- Gold award, for my ‘Little Fairy’ in the miniature exhibit category.
- Gold award in small decorative exhibit for ‘Mr. Rabbit’. My Rabbit figure has also won Best in Class award, Chairman of Judges Award – Sugarcraft and Best Senior Exhibit. I couldn’t be happier as all three of my exhibits received good response from the judges.
What made you want to enter?
I’ve entered the show because I like new challenges. Getting ready for each show, I try to use different techniques and learn something new from it. Of course, judges feedback is very helpful and important. Constructive criticism is one of the most important factors in my self-tuition. Thanks to professional opinion and advice I know what to improve by the next show.
What category did you enter and what was your piece? What Saracino products did you use?
I’ve entered three categories: small decorative exhibit, decorated cupcakes and miniature exhibit. I’ve used Saracino isomalt to make the eyes, Saracino modelling paste for clothing and Saracino modelling chocolate for body and fur.
What inspired your design?
I follow social media every day in search for new ideas. One of my favourite platforms is Pinterest. Some time ago I came across a sketch of a Rabbit dressed as French Noble, strait away I had this idea in my head to create either a cake or a figure inspired by this picture for a competition.
How long did it take you to complete?
It took me about 80 hours all together, just the fur itself took me 20 hours of work as each hair had to be individually moulded and placed.
How did you feel on the first morning of competition?
I was very stressed that day. I got stuck in traffic on my way to London and I was afraid that I will not make it there before the deadline. I was so worried that all my hard work will be wasted. Hour and a half journey ended up nearly 3 hours’ drive, but I made it just in time in the end.
Tell us a little about the show, what did you enjoy most?
This show was very different to any of the shows I have entered before. I must say it was amazing! I will definitely come back here again. I most enjoyed Salon Culinaire as its directly related to my passion. It was such a great feeling to be a part of this event! I have to say it was a privilege to be able to display my work, amongst the amazing work of cake decorators from all over the world! Such a great experience was worth all the hard work.
Tell us about your award, how did you feel?
I couldn’t believe when I first saw the results! I couldn’t feel any happier! After I collected my Gold award and Best in Class I felt proud and ever so happy, but after I was called back to the stage again at the end of the award ceremony I was speechless. Chairman of Judges Award – Sugarcraft and Best Senior Exhibit was more that I could ever dream about.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of entering?
Remember to keep your work clean and take time to finish the piece. Attention to detail is the key to the success. If you are not sure about something ask member of your family, I always ask my husband for his opinion. It’s very important to ask someone who will be honest with you and will tell you what they really think but remember – it’s your vision so you need to make the final call.
Have you won any other awards?
I took part in my first competition in 2014, at Cake International in London. I was awarded silver medal in the Wedding Cake category.
In 2016 I’ve won two awards, Silver award in Decorative Exhibit and Gold award and third place in Cup Cake category with my edible coffee and tea cups and saucers.
Later that year I tried my luck at first ever Cake Festival in Poland. My 3D “Mother Nature” cake, received gold award and third place in that category.
My hand painted “Alice in Wonderland” theme cookies, received gold award and I also won gold in Small Figure category.
Will you enter again?
I will definitely take part in this competition again. Every single time I push myself and learn different techniques.
Just for fun!
What cake tool can’t you live without?
- Sugar Sharpers by Sugarworks and scalpel
Who inspires you – who’s your favourite cake / sugarcraft artist?
- Karen Marie Portaleo, Carla Puig, Marta Hidalgo
What’s your favourite Saracino product and why?
- Pasta Model and modelling chocolate.
What’s your best advice in 5 words or less?
- Learn, make, don’t give up.
Quick fire questions..
Flavour – Chocolate or vanilla? – Chocolate
Plan properly or wing it? – Plan properly
Whilst working – Listen to music or watch tv? – Listen to music
Favourite product – Saracino pasta model or Saracino modelling chocolate? – Pasta Model
Delivery – Down a long bumpy road or during a rain storm? – Rainy Storm
Buttercream or ganache? – Ganache
Do you prefer – Baking the cake or decorating the cake? – Decorating the cake
Mould or handmade? – Handmade
Airbrush or paint by hand? – Paint by hand
Apron or chef whites? – Chef whites
Straight edge or round? – Straight edge
Customer design or free reign? – Free reign
Stay up all night to finish or get up early to finish? – Stay up all night
Fruit cake – Yay or Nay? – Nay
Your own birthday cake – Make it yourself or have the week off? – Have a week off
Take a time and visit Urszula’s page to see more of her beautiful creations.
Hope You Enjoyed Reading,
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