Tuesday, April 12, 2011

3 Days of Sugar Fun with James Rosselle at Icing Inspirations

I have mentioned many times that I would be studying with Food Network Challenge winner and sugar flower king extraordinaire, James Rosselle. I have spent an amazing 3 days honing my own skills and making new friends as well as seeing old ones. One of the highlights of this trip was finally getting to meet my BCF (Best Cake Friend) Chrissie – owner of Icing Inspirations and Too Nice To Slice and her husband Justin. Chrissie and I have been friends online for about two years, and it was great to finally get to meet her. She and Justin opened their home to me and made me feel very welcome (Thanks for the hospitality guys!!!). Now on to class. James has long been one of my idols in the industry, and on my wish list of instructors that I would like to learn from. Seeing as I was staying with my BCF, that also meant I was spending time outside of class with James. Not intimidating at all – right? RIGHT! James is one of the most real and down to earth individuals I have ever met. He is genuinely a super nice guy – and what you see on TV – is what you get – he oozes talent!!

                                                         James and I at the end of Day 3
Day 1: The first day of class with a new instructor is always intimidating. You don't know their style or expectations. James is really laid back and easy to learn from. His instructions are clear and concise. He spends a lot of time checking on students individually and offers constructive criticism and words of encouragement. Today, we worked on Cherry Blossom buds and centres, Orchid columns and throats, Lily petals and centres, Tulip petals and centres, and Iris centres. James took us step by step through each process and made sure we were comfortable before moving on. The day went by very fast and before we knew it, we were done for the day. What a feeling of accomplishment! I went home feeling exhausted but ready for the next day.

                                                           James taping some stamen
Day 2: The second day of classes was chock full of activity! We finished the petals for our orchids, iris petals, and cherry blossom petals. We also worked on our foliage for the orchids, irises, lilies, and cherry blossoms. James also had us cover a cake dummy and adorn it with textured butterflies. We also learned one of James' tricks for covering a cake board to make it look extra special! I also learned a new way to roll fondant that was super easy and now will be the new way I do it! Chrissie and Justin being the super great hosts that they are, arranged a fantastic class dinner at a local restaurant. It was great to be able to socialize with James and everyone outside of class as well.
                                                     James with my table-mates and I

                         Me, James and my BCF (Best Cake Friend) Chrissie (owner of Icing Inspirations)
Day 3: The final day of classes was another busy day! James had us taping and dusting flowers all day long, then had us arranging the flowers in an arrangement on top of the cake dummies we covered yesterday. I felt bad for James today since he had to listen to all of us complaining about our braking Iris petals! He also had to spend quite a bit of time on one student in particular as shown in the picture below. Just kidding Lorrie – you know I love you like an older sister – a much MUCH older sister! All in all we had a fantastic class! Thank you again to our hosts Chrissie and Justin – your classroom is the best I have ever learned in – so much space to move and create, and your hospitable attitude made us all feel welcome and like one of the family! I also want to thank Stephanie of The Little Mushroom for the amazing catered lunches! Last, but definitely not least, I want to thank James for a Rooting great class! I am one exhausted caker, but am looking forward very much to my next trip to Icing Inspirations for another class!

                                                       Lorrie getting caught goofing off!

                       James helping Lorrie - AGAIN!  (In all honesty, Lorrie is very talented and
                                                      capable, she's just alot of fun to bug!)

                                                              My almost finished project

That's it for now!  I'll be back with more interviews and reviews very soon!

Happy Caking!


  1. Looks like the class was great fun, Mark. Your sugar flowers look great ;)

  2. Thanks Angela....hope to meet you next time I'm in town!

  3. Looks like an amazing class...and an amazing experience.:) Gorgeous, amazing flowers!! And the JR experience...well, you know!! Mark, come hell or high water, I am going with you next time JR comes back!!!