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Cake Art With The Tattooed Bakers

Pushing the boundaries between food and art with cake artists the Tattooed Bakers

Fancy a life-sized rainbow-filled unicorn cake? Or how about an entirely edible giant gingerbread house? It’s all in a day’s work for cake and food artists Tattooed Bakers. Toast.Life chats to founders Richard and Eddie to hear more about what it takes to combine food with art



Tattoos and baking aren’t necessarily two things you’d naturally pair together, but when you do – the results are explosive.

“We wanted a name that conjured up the least traditional idea of what baking is, but was representative of us, as we’re both quite tattooed!” explains Eddie Amon-Lebeau, one half of the talented twosome that is Tattooed Bakers.

“We like to turn the traditional idea of cake on its head, by creating edible works of art that have never been seen before”

Richard and Eddie Amon-Lebeau didn’t start their professional lives as chefs or bakers, oh no, and they weren’t artists for that matter either, yet they are now two of the most highly sought after ‘food artists’ in London, and beyond. Instead, Richard owns a nightclub in Wimbledon, South West London, so spent most of his formative years working there full time, whilst Eddie was working in retail, and ‘hated it’.

“I think we both wanted to do something creative, although neither of us knew that cake artistry would be the field we ended up in!” Eddie explains.

“I’ve always been an avid baker and cook and my father is a chef so I spent a lot of time learning from him as I was growing up, but if Richard and I hadn’t met each other we definitely wouldn’t be doing this!”

The Tattooed Bakers

Richard and Eddie’s first fateful foray in to professional baking came in the shape of a bulldog, quite literally - Richard’s sister’s beloved pooch Lady, to be precise. For her birthday (Richard’s sister, that is), Eddie and Richard embarked on creating an unforgettable cake in the life-sized shape of a bulldog. Well, why wouldn’t you? 

“We made it totally on a whim!” recalls Eddie. “We were both frustrated artists in our jobs and saw a niche in the market. So I quit my job and we started Cake Doggy Dog and made bespoke cake portraits of peoples’ pets! Then we decided to branch out from just dog cake, so we started Tattooed Bakers in 2013”

And whilst dogs are still very much in their baking repertoire, so are rock and roll ice cream cone skulls, life-sized cars, amazingly detailed mythical creatures, intricate carousels, neon-esque numbers and SO. MUCH. MORE. Over the past 5 years their business has grown rapidly; their client base has expanded, the size and complexity of their commissions and projects has grown, and they’ve recently become suppliers for Harrods, no less. Oh and they made Mick Jagger's 70th birthday cake.

Mick Jaggers 70Th Birthday  

“The most memorable project has to be when we made a Death Star out of chocolate and cake for Star Wars – and then they blew it up!” Eddie laughs.

“We also made a life-sized R2D2 and C3P0, and we recently made a 3m tall birthday cake for Trinity Shopping Centre in Leeds - that was the largest project we’d worked on height-wise and absolutely nerve-shattering to build!”

Trinity Leeds

Another staggering Tattooed Bakers creation was a human-sized edible gingerbread house – yes you heard that correctly. This mouth-watering structure was a recreation the Gingerbread Honeymoon Cottage in DreamWorks’ Shrek 2, helping to celebrate and promote the opening of Shrek’s Adventure! London.

“It took a couple of months of planning and about 4 weeks to build, bake and create!” explains Eddie.

GINGERBREAD HOUSE

“A lot of our cakes require a really intricate internal structure. The planning and designing of this takes almost as much, sometimes more, time than building and creating the cake itself. We do use other food - we created sports equipment and accessories for Virgin Gyms out of vegetables, pulses and fruits for example, but cake, chocolate and confectionery are our preferred medium”

Mine too, as it so happens. Now I may be showing my age here, but I remember the days when the standard expectation for one’s birthday cake was a Colin the Caterpillar or supermarket tray bake, if you were lucky, but just a quick browse through Tattooed Bakers’  insanely cool creations – from magical under the sea scenes and Harry Potter characters to giant golden lion heads and a full English breakfast (made from cake – just to be clear), just shows how times and trends have changed.

“I think as supermarkets increased their grip on the high street there has been a shift and people are looking to independent suppliers and unique creations. Also the trend for home baking has grown massively over the last few years” Eddie explains.

“When we create anything we take inspiration from current trends, pop culture, etc but we always try and create something that’s never been seen before, and to design something that really makes people question whether it really is cake”

Gramophone Wedding Cake

Tattooed Bakers Circus

Alice In Wonderland Cake Tatooed Bakers

Alice In Wonderland Cake And Dessert Table

Gallerymh Cake Art Tattooed Bakers

Lion Cake

As well as their incredible cakes and other food-based works of art, Eddie and Richard also sell some tasty and totally on trend chocolaty titbits too – temptingly nostalgic treats such as My Little Pony-esque unicorns, Trolls, ‘mix tape’ cassettes, pastel coloured skulls and more, all made from chocolate and available to buy online and to give to friends as gifts (or just to enjoy all by yourself…), although they are so gorgeous it seems a shame to eat them.

“Again when design our chocolates we look to pop culture and the trend for the love of all things retro” Eddie explains.

“We are big fans of street culture and vinyl toys – sometimes we use this as a starting point. I studied Art History so we also draw a lot of inspiration from artworks. There are so many amazing food and cake artists at the moment, we try and offer something different”

Tattooed Bakers Cake

Hyde Park Square View

I think it’s safe to say that they are doing exactly that. From their studio in Merton Abbey Mills in South West London, Richard and Eddie spend their days creating show stopping cakey creations, surrounded by chocolate, sugar, sweeties and more. It sounds like the dream job, but of course it also comes with its challenges.

“You have a very limited timeframe when working with food, so the last couple of days on any project are incredibly busy and long! And as with any creative job, or any job that has un-moveable deadlines, it’s actually incredibly stressful! You also get so used to seeing cake and chocolate everywhere, you never want to eat it!” she laughs.

“That being said, we wouldn’t want to do anything else!”

Back To The Future

Cakes

Pastel Carousel

Unicorn

Cake And Bake Show Tattooed Bakers

Carousel Cake Tattooed Bakers


If you’d like the talented Tattooed Bakers to create something amazing for your next event then check out their page in Toast.Life’s Little Black Book for contact details and more inspiration. 

 

Posted in Spotlight

by Sophie Farrah
on on 24 May 2018

  cake art, cake artists, cake design, edible art

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