NANCY: I have never considered myself and artistic person. Not until I got into cake decorating. I started this five or six years ago, decided that what I was doing before this wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and decided to just drop everything and start taking cake decorating classes in culinary school. Yve and Gaye, the pastry chefs, make the cakes. The pastry chefs decorate the buttercream cakes, and if any cake involves and fondant or gum paste, that’s where I’m involved, and that’s when the other decorator is involved. I always describe fondant sort of like Play-Doh, edible Play-Doh. The fondant is a covering on a cake, that covers the buttercream, and from there, we do fondant and gum paste embellishments. Every cake is a challenge, because every cake is different from the one prior. So there’s always that thought process going in, how am I going to accomplish this, how am I going to make it look like that, how am I going to–what technique am I going to use to pull that off? So every cake is a challenge. I always loved… the appearance of desserts. I love the presentation of desserts, and the artistry involved in it. Now, when I look at an inanimate object, I say, “ooh, wouldn’t that look great as a cake.” And I love bringing things like that to life. YVE: Is this royal icing? NANCY: Yeah. String work is my favorite. What I just did on this cake were called drop strings. And you use an eggwhite royal icing that has a
beautiful elastic consistency. And you learn through classes how to pull that, and how to press the bag so that you get a continuous smooth string. At this age, I’m just more apt to go with the flow and not overthink things. If I just stop thinking, and let it happen, it works so much better and that’s I think why now I consider myself more artistic than I was thirty years ago. I’m Nancy Lagomarsino and I’m a cake decorator at La Promenade bakery in Tenafly, New Jersey.