Planet Cake: Lights, Camera, Cake

Planet Cake: Lights, Camera, Cake

Paris Cutler hits television prime time in the new Lifestyle FOOD Channel program, Planet Cake.

The new eight-part half-hour observational documentary series Planet Cake, airing on LifeStyle FOOD Channel in November, will follow the dramatic journeys of cakes from concept to final creation.

This exciting reality series follows the colourful daily operations of Planet Cake, one of Australia’s best cake businesses, under the tight reign of owner Paris Cutler. Known to her eclectic team of designers and decorators as the ‘Cake Queen’, Ms Cutler is a stickler for perfection and her attention to detail leaves no fondant flower unfinished.

Each week is a race against time to design, create and deliver the most extraordinary couture masterpieces. From the outrageous and the humorous to the heart-wrenching, cakes are constructed for every imaginable occasion. Bridezillas, vengeful colleagues, grieving mothers and wronged wives have all placed orders at the Planet Cake counter.

LifeStyle Channels general manager, Nicole Sheffield said cake programs have become incredibly popular over the past 12 months and the channel is excited by the development of this food reality genre.

“We really wanted an Australian cake series and were thrilled when Paris Cutler said yes to letting our cameras into her world,” Ms Sheffield said.

“Paris and her team create some truly breathtaking and gravity-defying cakes and there’s a story behind every one of them. Mixing their artistic talent with a measure of stress is a sure recipe for compulsive TV.”

Cake success doesn’t come easy and Paris’ determination to keep her company at the head of the game means employing the best cake-making team in the business and ensuring rigorous quality control.

The program will show the management of clients, the events undertaken, the stress of business and a bit of “Gordon Ramsey-esque” decision-making.

As well as showing cake techniques at a depth not before seen, Planet Cake will embody plenty of the quirkiness that viewers of Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss are used to, Ms Cutler told Australian Baking Business.

“I think every cake-decorating studio on the face of this earth is ‘not normal’,” Ms Cutler said.

“It’s just the creative nature of the job, you’ve got really creative employees and to keep that high level of energy and that creative environment… there is a lot of clowning around,” she said.

Planet Cake will also publish a new book in November, Planet Cake Celebrate, an event book that Ms Cutler believes may represent a new genre in food publshing.

“I do many, many cake events (in Australia) and I don’t think people are aware I do charity cake events, hens parties, cupcake lessons to raise money, all sorts of events and they’re the ones that will be covered in the book. It’s actually (about how) to do the event and how they are positioned as activities,” she said.

Ms Cutler said that current trends pointed to a “bonza” wedding cake season approaching, with Kate Middleton’s royal wedding having a significant impact on the industry.

“I think it’s really revitalised the wedding cake industry that desperately needed the massive injection. From my point of view, being experts on lace piping, her dress had a direct impact on our sales,” she said.

Despite the global financial crisis having occurred more than three years ago, the cake decorating industry is still struggling to return to its former glory.

“I was doing about $35,000 worth of cake, which is a small part of my business a week, and I was doing on average between three-and-four, four-and-five tier wedding cakes a week. That’s significant for this business and now I’d be lucky to do a four-tier. In the past four years I’d be lucky to do two four-tier cakes in high season,” Ms Cutler said.

“I’m seeing three or four cake decorators going belly up, so we’re still not out of the woods yet. I think moving forward, we are seeing some really good orders coming through for the first time. But we are also seeing very conservative spending as well.”

Facing tight margins while looking for new ways to promote her business, Ms Cutler believes the Planet Cake televisions series will introduce the Sydney couture cake creators process not only to Australians, but hopefully an overseas market as well.

“I think that Australian cake decorators are the best in the world. I think the cakes we produce are far superior to the ones I see on television currently and I just can’t wait to show it off,” Ms Cutler said.

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