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All About Food: Cake baker's creations a visual treat

August 03, 2011|By Elle Harrow and Terry Markowitz
  • Owner Christopher Russom creates a rose, made from sugar paste, for a custom wedding cake made at Christopher Garren's Let Them Eat Cake in Costa Mesa.
Owner Christopher Russom creates a rose, made from sugar… (Kevin Chang, HB…)

Christopher Russom is a serious artist who creates imaginative works every day with sugar, flour and butter. Put them all together with a bit of this and that and voilà … some of the most amazing wedding and novelty cakes imaginable or, perhaps we should say, beyond imagination.

We had the pleasure of viewing his one-of-a-kind masterpieces at his newly relocated bakery, Christopher Garren's Let Them Eat Cake in Costa Mesa.

You may have seen his work on Food Network cake competitions, where he won on both "Cake Boss" and "Ace of Cakes." He now appears on the WE network's "Amazing Wedding Cakes." Go to letthemeatcake.net for a mind-boggling visual treat. Better still, drop in to the bakery for a cup of coffee, a delicious pastry and an informal tour.

Ever since Russom was a child, he was always drawing, painting and entering art competitions. When he was 9 years old, he began baking.

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"In the Midwest, where I grew up, everybody baked," he said.

He studied psychology and history in college but finding his true vocation took him a while. One of his first jobs was working in a factory, stamping out "widgets." That convinced him that he was not cut out for repetitive, boring work.

He always had a creative temperament. Russom got a bit closer to his calling, working for a caterer but, he said, "It was the most work you could possibly do with the exception of working for a moving company."

He and his manager, Marjie Chua, opened their first shop in Newport Beach in 2001 with a leap of faith and almost no capital. He did all the plumbing and electrical work as well as the décor. His concept was to stand out from the pack through meticulous attention to detail, using the highest quality ingredients, no preservatives or chemicals, nothing ever frozen and everything made from scratch.

His artistic nature led him to the decision that he would never repeat any cake twice. He wants to be continually challenged, so every design is unique. He feels that the bride gets a better product because his creativity is always being stimulated.

If a bride-to-be requests a cake of his that she has seen or that she wants him to copy, he will not do it. Every cake is new and based on the bride's "package" of information about her and her wedding, including such things as her dress, her invitations, flowers, reception site and anything else that reveals her tastes.

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