nicole richie joel madden wedding

where they take the cake (pt 1)

Friday, April 15th, 2011 | media, trends | No Comments

We have long been fans of the amazing design esthetic of the Cake Opera Co. so we were thrilled to see them featured in Maclean’s Magazine.


Nicole Richie could have hired anyone to make her wedding cake. She chose Toronto’s Cake Opera Co.


LAST DECEMBER, business partners Alexandra Pellegrino and Jessica Smith flew from Toronto to Los Angeles with carry-on that was as fragile as it was weird: a sugar-modeling-paste sculpture depicting Nicole Richie, the daughter of singer Lionel, and her musician husband-to-be Joel Madden, as Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI-before the royals’ decadent reign came to its bloody, tumultuous end. Richie was decked out in a white wig, black mask and ruffly gown and splayed on a chaise longue; behind her, Madden, in a white wig and mask, presented his bride with arms out-stretched; through his jacket, the rocker’s famously inked arms could be seen, each tattoo replicated precisely.

The painstakingly detailed tableau could be seen as a biting social commentary on over-the-top celebrity culture, but wasn’t: it was the topper of the extravagant cake served at Richie’s and Madden’s Dec. 11 “Versailles”-themed nuptials.

Smith and Pellegrino, the pastry chef and designer, respectively, at Toronto’s Cake Opera Co., had transported surreal confectionary before. In February 2010, US Customs officials were bemused by a suitcase filled with sugar roses for a cake they’d be making for a Tim Burton-meets-Alice-in Wonderland-themed sweet 16 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

That party they were invited to. The closest they got to the high-security celebration at Lionel Richie’s Beverly Hills estate was the back entrance, where they delivered their five-tiered cake edged in edible 24-karat gold, created at a West Hollywood bakery taken over for the occasion.

The commission was a high point in their two-year collaboration, says the 29-year-old Pellegrino, who attended the Ontario College of Art and Design before turning to making ephemeral art with fondant and cake flour. “We still don’t believe it. It’s like, ‘We were at Lionel Richie’s house! With something that came out of this kitchen.’” It was all really hush-hush, says Smith, 28, who studied culinary arts at Toronto’s George Brown College and has worked at London’s Michelin-starred Yauatcha. “We weren’t even allowed to take pictures of our work.”

Sitting in their uptown Toronto shop in chef jackets and over-the-knee boots, Pellegrino and Smith present as confident patisserie swashbucklers. Samples of their couture cakes line one wall – one looks like blue Wedgwood china; on another, a glittery black lobster adorns an ivory tower festooned with black roses, oysters and pearls; their “ode to Canadiana” features deer and painted “birch bark” on pale green fondant. Inspiration ranges from Christian Lacroix’s 2008 collection to ‘60s chinoiserie wallpaper, which resulted in a cake painted with sumi-e style brushwork and topped with a Japanese crane. Clearly, Richie, a Tinseltown style-setter, played it conservatively.


to be continued…

Tags: , , , , ,




        shop fun fashionable and fabulous wedding supplies