With 222k followers and counting, Julián Ángel (who goes by @historiasdelciervo) is pretty much the king of cakes on Instagram. The home baker from Medellín, Colombia shares pictures of his beautiful creations on the platform, amassing fans from all over the world. He'll be hitting our shores this weekend for The GREAT Food Festival at Resorts World Sentosa – we catch up with him on what you can expect.
When did you start baking?
I started baking three years ago. I moved to a new city and my life totally changed from that moment. I tried to bake chocolate muffins and it was a disaster – the cupcakes exploded in the oven and melted like lava. I was so frustrated that I pushed myself to bake them one more time and they were a fail again. So I got obsessed with baking. I spent next six months finding recipes, reading books, watching video tutorials and getting inspired by the great bakers I found on the internet. Since that moment I have not stopped baking.
How do you come up with your creations?
Colour is the most important part of my cake designs. I try to show a mood, a feeling, a thought or a simple idea. Sometimes an image comes to my mind as an abstract idea – I usually do not sketch or plan exactly what I will do, I just start baking and decorating and let the cake come straight from the heart. It’s amazing because my cake designs are always a surprise even for me. In the beginning, I barely knew how the final cake would look like.
What's your baking process like?
I choose a mood: it can be romantic, fantastic, tropical, childish or any foolish concept that comes to my mind. Then I choose my ingredients. I always try to use fresh and local products like fruits and flowers. I read some recipe books and blogs for inspiration, then I create a recipe that fits my ingredients and my own personal taste.
I usually bake at night, as I used to have a full-time job as a designer by day. I bake cakes, make the filling and frosting, then everything goes into the fridge overnight. The next morning, I start decorating the cake according to the mood I want to achieve. Decorating is, of course, my favorite part of the process.
Do you have a favourite baking memory?
I was able to bake and shoot with my cake idol Linda Lomelino this year in the United States!
How did you build your social media presence?
I used to make short videos with tips and tricks on how to decorate cakes at home. I wanted to show people that they can bake and decorate at home as long as they have patience and passion.
What's the biggest challenge you've had so far?
Trying to find out the time for everything I want to achieve. Also, my English isn't perfect which can be tough when I'm teaching classes, but it hasn't been a big problem so far.
What are you currently working on? Any new projects?
I want to conduct more workshops and hands-on baking classes around the world this year! And for next year, I plan to start food photography and food styling classes. In the meantime, I'll keep working on my blog and start thinking about an idea for my book.
What can we expect from you at The GREAT Food Festival?
I will try to give the best of myself in the festival – I want people to have fun and enjoy spending time with me. I want them to learn something new and enjoy their cakes at the end of the day. I will be conducting ten cake decorating hands-on classes, with three different cake designs. It'll be bright, colourful and fun!
The GREAT Food Festival is at Resorts World Sentosa Singapore from September 21 to 24.