HAVING been involved in the business of designing and decorating cakes for more than 15 years now, cake decorator Rosalind Chan is going one step further. She is opening a centre to teach the Wilton Method Instruction of cake decorating.
The centre offers internationally recognised training in the art of cake decorating for adults, professionals and children.
Chan, 45, says she decided to set up the centre when she found out that there was a niche market for the Wilton Method Instruction here.
My students also told me that purchasing the most up-to-date and latest cake decorating equipment and tools was not easy to do in Malaysia,” she explains via an e-mail from her home base in Toronto, Canada.
The centre, known as the International Centre of Cake Artistry (ICCA), is based in Petaling Jaya and boasts of being the premier authorised and certified Wilton Method Instruction Centre by Wilton Industries, US in the Asean region.
The cake-decorating courses offered range from basic to advance techniques, including sugarpaste/ gumpaste flowers, chocolate works,
basic baking, fondant, cornstarch paste or non-toxic flowers, candy, chocolate clay, edible painting, Australian Method, and the Lambeth
or Old English overpiping method.
The advantage of these training courses is that it also offers the opportunity for students to be further trained as Wilton Method Instructors "My intention is to offer the local community state-of-the-art training in cake decorating, which is comparable to the same training available in the US, without having to leave the country," says Chan.
"This is also to make it more affordable for my fellow Malaysians who are interested to acquire these skills."
The course fees start from RM550, and these will cover materials, tools and books. Courses will be held once a week for a period of four weeks for each course level.
Ipoh-born Chan’s own interest in cake decorating was fuelled at a young age by her mother who baked cakes and decorated them beautifully.
After she completed her business and law studies in the United Kingdom, Chan devoted her time to learning the finer art of cake decorating from top cake designers and decorators.
Migrating to Canada in 1991, Chan continued to increase her knowledge and expertise in this field and has acquired a number of certificates and diplomas in cake decorating. Among them are a Masters in French Pastries from the renowned Ritz Escoffier in Paris, an advanced Wilton Method Instructor Certificate, a Masters Diploma in Cake Decorating from the Wilton Cake decorating School in Chicago, a Diploma in Advanced Australian Method of Cake Decorating and a Diploma in the Lambeth Method Of Cake decorating.
In 1997, Chan was also awarded the International Instructor Award by Wilton Industries and was inducted into the Wilton Hall of fame.
Although it is her first business venture on a large scale, Chan is optimistic that many adults who have an interest in cake decoration will benefit from the training classes at the centre, especially since she already has students who regularly attend her short training courses here.
Student enrolment at the ICCA is open now and classes will start tomorrow.
"It is therapeutic relaxation especially after a hard day’s work at the office and parents can make their own cakes for their children's birthday," Chan says.
Besides, it can also be developed into a money-making enterprise for people who want to work from home, she adds.
The ICCA will also cater for children’s birthday parties. During these parties, the children will get to learn the basic skills of decorating cakes, cookies or candies besides having great food.
As she is based in Canada, Chan will not be here to run the training courses. However, she assures that all the instructors at the centre are qualified and certified by Wilton to conduct classes here. Famous personalities in the cake decorating industry will also be brought in to provide their expertise at the centre, she says.
“Every two months, I will return personally to conduct the more advanced technique courses and will be inviting internationally renowned
artists and authors of cake decorating to conduct demos and courses at the centre,” she promises.
In the near future, Chan intends to start Wilton centres for retail and training in Malaysia and eventually expand into the Asean market as well.
The ICCA will also support and assist local Wilton Method Instructors in setting up local teaching accounts within their hometowns whenever possible, she says.
"Since the ICCA will be carrying up-to-date cake decorating equipment, tools and powdered food colouring from abroad, expanding into
distributorship will also be an avenue," she says.