As we get set to usher in a new year of cake decorating shenanigans, we also get set to welcome a brand new team of experts to our ACD Advisory Board. Our esteemed advisory board members were hand-selected, and bring with them years of extensive industry experience and expertise. Our advisory members are hands-on, offering their advice and guidance with each issue; giving feedback and making editorial suggestions, which ensures that we are bringing you the best content possible with each and every issue of American Cake Decorating magazine.
We are thrilled to announce…
Mike McCarey’s career in cake started right out of high school with a two-year term at a cooking school in Denver, Colorado. From there he worked as a pastry chef at various hotels, caterers, restaurants, and bakeries in Colorado, New York, and Washington State. It was in Washington where Mike decided to release his inner sculptor and focus on cake exclusively. In 1995 he started his company “Mike’s Amazing Cakes” and has been shaping and smoothing butter, batter, and chocolate ever since.
His cake “art” is guided by several principals: the concept being presented should be as accurate and true to life or as animated as possible and should have as unique a perspective as can be conjured up. Mike’s work is constantly influenced by the structural principals of architecture and he draws great inspiration from a wide range of illustrators such as Alphonse Mucha, Norman Rockwell, and James Christensen.
Since 2007, Mike has been traveling across the country and internationally, sharing his experience, teaching classes, and judging various cake competitions. He has also released his own instructional video, as well as several classes with Craftsy.com.
Chef Mark Seaman is a Certified Master Sugar Artist and Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut North America. As part of the technical services team at the Chocolate Academy in Chicago, he shares his extensive sugar artistry and cake decorating experience with pastry chefs, chocolatiers and bakers from all over the world. At the Chocolate Academy, Chef Seaman leads professional-level courses with a focus on specialty cakes and chocolate creations.
Chef Seaman has owned two successful business ventures including an exclusive wedding cake boutique and a full-line retail bakery. Throughout his career he has been recognized numerous times for his craftsmanship. In 2013 he was honored by Dessert Professional Magazine as one of Top Ten Cake Designers in North America.
Chef Seaman is an Adjudicator for Sugar Artist Certification for the International Cake Exploration Societé. His work has been featured on The Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, ABC7 Chicago and TLC.
Junita Bognanni is a food stylist, writer and recipe developer based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. A graduate of Macalester College and The Institute of Culinary Education, Bognanni was a regular contributor to American Cake Decorating magazine before serving as Managing Editor. She currently works as a food stylist for clients including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker and Tablespoon.com
Bronwen Weber, Executive Chef of Frosted Art Bakery & Studio in Dallas, Texas, started her 26 year career in a small bakery in Acton, Ontario. She has spent her time in bakeries and kitchens as a cake decorator, a cake designer, a baker, bakery manager, a management trainer, and cake decorating skills writer and columnist. Bronwen’s passion is teaching the art of the cake and she is a former Pastry Chef Instructor at the Cordon Bleu in Austin, Texas. For the last decade, Bronwen has reigned at Frosted Art, a bakery with a 70 year history, once owned by Neiman Marcus and now on its third generation of bride.
As a grand prize winner of the most prestigious wedding cake competition in America, Chef Bronwen’s winning piece, “Bombay Romance” was featured on Food Network’s “Here Comes the Cake” production. Subsequent appearances on more than 35 of the Food Network’s Cake competitions resulted in more gold medal wins than any other chef on the network. Food Network has granted her the title of Cake Challenge Champion.
In 2010 she was named in Pastry Professional’s inaugural list as one of the top ten cake artists in North America, and in 2014 she was named top 25 most influential pastry chefs in America by Bake magazine.
Bronwen continues to teach several times a year, often with her pastry minded husband, Francois Long.
Tina Steichen’s interest in cake decorating began at a young age, as she was determined to be the best in her family at making roses (and she was!). She started creating cakes for friends and family, and eventually worked as a cake decorator and Team Lead in Bakery at SuperTarget. Currently, Tina works at DecoPac as a cake decorator and designer supervisor, managing a team of cake decorators, designing cakes, and making tutorial videos. She also works on various trade shows, including IDDBA where she is part of the Cake Team. Tina is completely self-taught and enjoys learning from fellow cake decorators.
James Rosselle is a Food Network Challenge champion and cake creator extraordinaire and pastry chef of the esteemed Bottega Louie in Los Angeles. He has been named as one of the top 10 cake artists by Dessert Professional. James is a veteran of the kitchens of renowned sugar artists Ron Ben-Israel, Gale Gand and Ewald Notter, James signature designs are inspired by fashion, food, art and nature. James is a Craftsy instructor, with several popular classes available through the online learning platform. He also has a successful range of flower cutter and veiners available through NY Cakes and a brand of gumpaste, available through Fondariffic.
Kathleen started her teaching career at the age of 16, for Wilton Industries; youngest instructor to have taught for Wilton; total 21 years. Kathleen received numerous awards from Wilton; Hall of Fame and Imperial Club Awards; as a top instructor, teaching at the highest volume stores; teaching over 10,000 students as last recorded by Wilton, the year 2000. Most recently, May 2016; Kathleen has been named one of the Top Ten Int’l Cake Artist by New York Cake & Baking at The New York City Cake Show and is recognized internationally for her Lange/Lambeth English Overpiping Boot Camps. She has taught since the beginning of her career and is now highly regarded innovator and is internationally known for royal icing, foreign techniques and the revival of the Lambeth Method of English Overpiping; adding her own modernized flair.
Jennifer and her husband, Randy, have owned Make It Sweet, a retail cake supply store in Austin, TX since February, 2002. She has always loved to bake and decorate cookies and cakes but only dreamed of making it a profession until a career change presented an opportunity to attend The Culinary Academy of Austin (now the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts) in 2001 and she has never looked back. Jennifer teaches many of classes available at “Make it Sweet” including cookie, cupcake and cake decorating. She loves to teach (which is a good thing) since she teaches over 5,000 students per year. Jennifer is the founder of the Capital Confectioners Cake Club in Austin and has been the show director for That Takes the Cake, the Club’s annual cake show, since it started in 2004. The Club continues to be very active and the Show has grown to be one of the largest shows in the country. Jennifer has made many television appearances including as an assistant on five Food Network Challenge episodes and on numerous local news stations demonstrating seasonal decorating techniques. She serves on the advisory board for the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts and was honored to be inducted in 2016 to Les Dames d’Escoffier. Jennifer enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for sugar arts with professional and hobby bakers and decorators.