A renowned British cake decorator, Sylvia Weinstock, has died aged 91. Weinstock, who had been a hairdresser before discovering cake decorating at the age of 27, co-authored with her friend, Anne Harvey, seven books, published under the moniker of The Baker’s Heart, and sold over 250,000.
Weinstock once described herself as the “da Vinci of Wedding Cakes”, owing to her “baking and decorating talents”, according to the Sunday Times. She featured in several royal weddings, including Charles and Diana’s, and in Gordon Ramsay’s Cookalong Live, where she baked a lemon drizzle cake for broadcast.
“She was a designer extraordinaire,” former pastry chef Roslyn Joiner, who worked with Weinstock for 26 years, told the BBC. “A bunch of young people at my company would travel with her to all the shops in the West End where she would spend up to eight hours with her keen eye making certain that everything was just right, just perfect.”
More on Sylvia Weinstock from Mental Health
Over the years, Weinstock became known for her “extreme” creations. At the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester in 1984, she made a Christmas tree for the couple which featured around 1,600 marzipan trees.
“Sylvia made the most extravagant, beautiful and vibrant Christmas trees ever and somehow she could come up with ideas for things that were pretty insane, like the one I made for the Duke and Duchess Gloucester. It was a 60ft tall theme Christmas tree,” Joiner said.
A new exhibition has now opened at the London National Gallery, called ‘Wedding Cakes: Inside This Little Box’. The display showcases 100 of Weinstock’s award-winning cakes including one shaped like an Olympic rings, another with cherries representing all the world’s continents, and an elaborate Scottish castle cake.
Written by KA