Fun Stuff > Our Friends
Meet a…Caterer: Atlantic Group
Thursday, August 20th, 2015 | By Rosalie Iannelli
Atlantic Group has been helping couples create their perfect wedding experience for close to 10 years. With a mix of waterfront venues, fine dining restaurants and opulent cocktail bars, they can cater for all aspects of the wedding journey – from engagement parties, wedding cakes and the wedding itself, right through to anniversary dinners. The offsite-catering arm delivers Atlantic Group’s award-winning catering and seamless events service to any location desired, making the wedding of anyone’s dreams an achievable reality.
We sat down with Lisa, Executive Pastry Chef at Atlantic Group, to find out more about her role in the team and work creating cakes for weddings and special occasions!
Tell us a little about yourself.
My first steps into the pastry chef world began with my apprenticeship in Perth. I then spent a year working in London before returning to Australia – this time to Melbourne – where I took on my first role with Atlantic Group. My next step was just up the road at George Calombaris’ The Press Club, where I was Head Pastry Chef. After that, I was offered the opportunity to work at London’s Claridge’s as Pastry Sous Chef. This was a defining moment in my career as I learned to refine all my skills to produce the amazing Claridge’s pastries and desserts for their famous afternoon teas. While I was in Europe, I also worked for a pop-up restaurant for Noma at the London Olympics. Once I came back to Australia, I returned to Atlantic Group, where I teach my pastry and baking team to achieve the same high standards I’ve learned throughout my own pastry career!
How did you get into pastry making and cake baking? Have you always had a passion for it?
Since I was a kid, I always loved sweets. My mum didn’t make a lot of cakes but when she did, only half the mixture would end up in the oven as I would eat the other half!
Describe your regular ‘day at the ‘office’.
I have an early start – around 6am. Coffee is essential so my brain switches on! I begin cake decorating for the Atlantic Group bakery, Mill & Bakery, and ensure my bakers are all happy. Because I work in catering for our events as well there are usually a number of desserts to be produced for the day’s events. Fridays to Sundays are my wedding cake days – so many cakes to cover, decorate and embellish for brides and grooms!
What has been your most memorable cake to date?
Once I had to produce a Pavlova to cater for 600 guests – the bride was obsessed with pavlova! It took me 15 hours to create a six-foot table-top of Pavlova and the bride was delighted!
Where do you get inspiration for your designs? Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
I’m always on Instagram seeing what other people are doing. I love Alisha Henderson, who is @sweetbakes_ on Instagram – she does some really amazing stuff. I’m loving the naked cake trend and the simpler styles that are currently popular.
Are there any current cake crazes we should know about?
The naked cake, with running icing, is a major trend. They not only taste beautiful but they look amazing too – they’re cakes that you eat with your eyes as well as with your mouth!
Do you have any tips for people about to choose their wedding/celebration cakes?
Stick to what you love and what your own style is. If you love lace, incorporate it into your cake, or choose a favourite colour. Always choose your own favourite flavour for your cake – don’t try to choose for your guests!
What does your dream cake look like?
Simple, provincial and probably naked – I just love the romanticism of that look.
What do you love most about your job?
Getting to eat sweet treats on a regular basis!
For more info, visit the Atlantic Group website.