Tiers of Joy
The creations of Charmaine Jones, aka The Cake Diva, are so fantastical that they make people wonder whether they're really cakes. No worries, though; Charmaine's creations taste as ,good as they look.
Everything about them is palatable. Even dewy decorative roses, which appear to have been plucked directly from nature, can be popped straight into the mouth and savored.
The daughter of an exacting French pastry baker mother and an artist/architect father, Charmaine makes edible works of art. The former model-music composer, who holds a master's degree in fine arts, says "every cake must be better than the last." That's no short order for this six foot-tall woman whose first cake was an eight-foot by four-foot cake with six tiers-a Jamaican black cake top with a chocolate ship and slaves-that she created for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.
Her extensive repertoire knows few limits. When a client presents Charmaine with an idea, she's likely to push the idea as far as the client's sense of the dramatic will allow. Her two specialties? Saying "yes" to concepts others have said can't be built and creating cakes that can't be duplicated. Her company is appropriately named "Isn't That Special Outrageous Cakes." Charmaine has reproduced the Tai Mahal in butter cream and fondant; built a haunted house cake with edible windows and lights; made a facsimile of the Empire State building in cake; and, for the opening of Atlantis on Paradise Island Bahamas, baked a four-tiered cake to house a water-filled aquarium with live fish. Her client list includes celebrities (Michael Jordan, Jay Leno and Susan Sarandon), but every client will reap the benefits of her perfection and enthusiasm. She particularly likes to work with brides, to execute their wedding cake fantasies. "I want people to cry with being overjoyed when they see their cake," says Charmaine. "I do everything I can to make their sweet dreams come true."
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