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The Cake Lady — A.K.A. Vanessa Le Page
Always active in the kitchen, since childhood, serendipity brought me to Dufflet Pastries in 1989, where I, a freshly minted Art School Drop Out, began working as a cake decorator — learning the craft on the job — and within a few short months quickly adapting my artistic skills to the task. Decorating and selling fanciful cake sculptures began to take up my free time and I was soon winning awards for my Edible Art.
In 1990 I appeared on the CBC for the first time, demonstrating a snowman cake for a Christmas edition of the programme Sunday Arts & Entertainment. Since then my cakes have appeared on CityTV News and I've appeared on CFTO News and again on the CBC demonstrating more cakes, as well as Global TV's The Morning Show. Scroll down to see video clips.
In 1994 my spare time orders turned into a full-time business. Over the years I've made birthday cakes for all kinds of folks and even a few celebrities, including Mick Jagger, comedian Dave Chapelle, rocker Tommy Lee and CBC News icon Peter Mansbridge. I was also honoured to be able to make retirement cakes for both Karen Kain and Mr. Dress-Up, the late Ernie Coombs.
I am also pleased to have been a part of many charity events over the years including Willow's Eat To The Beat, CANFAR's Bloor Street Entertains, The Fur Ball, The Covenant House Annual Auction, and The Gardiner Museum's Twelve Trees of Christmas.
Sometimes I'm called on to make cakes purely for their looks — something I'm normally very careful to avoid — for use in films and in advertising, including for an Absolut Vodka ad, the movie The Five Senses, an episode of Queer As Folk and a station identification for The Life Network. Some of my cakes were featured — for both their taste as well as their looks — on the programme My Fabulous Gay Wedding, with Scott Thompson.
But my creative pursuits are not limited to the culinary arts, despite having long abandoned the academic route in more traditional arts. Though they may have taken a backseat to butter and sugar, I've still found time to work in a variety of other, less ephemeral mediums over the years, and am now focusing more attention on numerous mixed-media projects which can be seen in and around various Toronto galleries, including The Super Wonder Gallery, the now defunct Artusiasm, and Propeller.
Caking On Video
CBC Sunday Arts & Entertainment c1990
CBC Cityscapes c1994
CFTO News c1995
Global TV's The Morning Show 2014
Global TV's The Morning Show 2014
From The National Post, after Eat To The Beat, 2006.
When I worked at Dufflet's, a Jell-O Brand recipe was updated (and un-Jell-O'd) for her take on a Margarita cake, which I loved. It failed to capture the imagination of customers, however, so it was quickly axed. For this contest, I retro-fitted it back into a Jell-O Brand recipe, and added strawberries to the mix. After this went to print, I realised I had forgotten to add a couple of extra tablespoons of tequila I'd used to soak the sponge cake — and the funny thing is, they had asked me if they could add a little extra tequila to the filling, itself, and I had said no! D'oh!
Not exactly "press" but...
A very limited edition Cake Lady "comic book"
An early attempt at animating an existing photo
Shel & Essy original anthropomorphic characters
My second business card, cut in the round by hand. There was a parchment version and a clear acetate version. When I got tired of doing that, I finally shelled out for some 'real' cards.
My very first business card...back in the days of lo-tech, actual cutting and pasting of images, taking it all to Kinko's, and then cutting them out by hand.
Fun With Homemade Videos
CIRA Contest c2010
CIRA Contest Bloopers c2010
Back To Basics Contest c2008