For Natalie Sideserf, a hyper-realistic cake sculptor, everything has the potential to become a cake. “It’s the first thing that pops in my head,” Sideserf says, “I’m just always thinking about cake and what would translate well.” And nothing is off-limits, including herself.
In 2013, Sideserf drew national attention for her own wedding cake, which featured the bloody disembodied heads of herself and her husband-to-be, Dave, as well as the words “’Till Death Do Us Part,” inspired by Dave’s love of horror movies. “We were married at the Alamo Drafthouse, so it kind of went with the movie theme.”
A fine artist by training, Sideserf graduated from Ohio State in 2008 with a concentration in drawing and painting before discovering her talent for sculpting cakes. At a friend’s urging she tuned into some cake-focused Food Network shows and got inspired to try it herself. “Instead of approaching the cake how maybe you’re taught if you went to pastry school, I approached it how I would with my own background and went from there.”
Drawing inspiration from hyper-realistic sculptors like Ron Mueck and Evan Penny, Sideserf works from photographs to capture an extreme level of detail in each piece she creates. Carefully designing each creation, Sideserf will spend 20 to 40 hours on a cake, or more if it calls for a higher degree of detail. After planning a structure to keep the cake upright, she bakes and stacks the cake before covering it in the material, often modeling chocolate, that will be sculpted, and then hand-painted and airbrushed.
A Cleveland native, Sideserf’s five years in Austin has fueled her creativity. Most recently she’s been working on bringing something to life that doesn’t exist in the real world — the Piranha Plant from Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. “I’ve been researching plants, Venus fly traps,” Siderserf says, “and coming up with this creature and how I think it would look if it really existed.” Virtual reality has never been so delicious.
by Joanna Steblay
As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.
For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.more
The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...more
by James Ruiz
Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.more
Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.
Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?
From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...more
by James Ruiz
As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.
Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...more