Shakar Bakery featured in the news and media.
http://makerstage.com/arduino-projects/a-cake-running-on-an-arduino/#comment-130 It was a great honor to have my Daft Punk cake featured on such a fantastic website!!Read More
It was an honor to be chosen as one of hundreds of cottage food operators to be featured in Zev Yaroslavsky’s blog! Follow the link here: http://zev.lacounty.gov/news/new-law-serves-up-a-cottage-industry Gene Holmon’s spice mix was so good that his Woodland Hills family urged him to sell it. Jessica Schnyder learned to make jam and pickles from her Hollywood chef friend, Amanda Carr. Kyle and Liz von Hasseln, grads of Southern California Institute of Architecture, were playing with a three-dimensional printer one day when they realized they could make sugar sculptures. Shantal Derboghosian, a Van Nuys engineer, was unemployed when she discovered a gift for baking. Ben Lawson perfected his organic, sustainable trail mix in Topanga when he wasn’t drumming for a Long Beach punk/grind-crust band. Until about six months ago, few, if any, of them could have profited much from their passions. But today, they and hundreds of others are part of an entrepreneurial boomlet ignited by a new state law allowing Californians to make food for sale from their home kitchens. The California Homemade Food Act, which created a new category of food production called “cottage food operation,” has been in effect since January and, according to health officials, few places have seized on it with the excitement of Los Angeles County. Spurred by L.A.’s creative culture and California’s artisanal food movement, a home-based underground of bread makers, cookie bakers, coffee roasters, marshmallow puffers, marmalade canners, baklava peddlers and just about every other imaginable kind of food purveyor has come out from behind the stove to pull permits. “Our numbers are very high compared to other jurisdictions,” says Director of Environmental Health Angelo Bellomo, who notes that, so far, more than 500 applications have been filed with the county for permission to prepare and sell non-perishable food products at home rather than in expensive leased space in certified commercial kitchens. Of those, he says, about 200 have been approved; most of the rest are awaiting payment of annual fees ranging from $103 to $254, depending on whether the business is direct sale only or includes sales through restaurants and markets. (Click here and here for the most recent list of permit holders.) “There’s been a lot of interest on the part of those who have always dreamed of having a home enterprise.” The development is no surprise to Mark Stambler, a Los Feliz artisan baker whose naturally leavened organic French bread sparked the state law in 2011 after it started flying off the shelves in local cheese shops and restaurants. “I was selling a good number of loaves each week, and as long as I kept my head down, no one was the wiser,” says Stambler, whose bread was baked in his backyard in a wood-fired stone oven. But over time, his bread became the talk of foodie L.A., and the Los Angeles Times ran a story, telling readers where they could find it. Within 24 hours, he says, county health inspectors descended on the shop where his goods were being sold and informed customers that it was illegal to sell food that hadn’t been prepared in a commercial kitchen. Stambler responded with an 18-month crusade to open the system, with the help of his local state legislator, Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake). The new law applies only to “non-potentially hazardous food” such as bread, preserves, dried foods and other goods whose ingredients don’t include meat, cream or other perishable items. It requires home food producers to complete a course in food processing and the labeling of their products. Those who want to sell their wares in bakeries, markets and restaurants also must undergo a kitchen inspection. But even with the law’s limitations, the activist baker—who says he lost two-thirds of his business after the county crackdown—says he’s been thanked repeatedly for pushing the changes. “I’ve heard from people all over the state, saying they really needed this for the added income,” he says. A happy Shantal Derboghosian of Shakar Bakery with her new fridge in her Van Nuys apartment. The cottage food option was certainly helpful for Shantal Derboghosian, who coped with a spell of joblessness by...Read More
Cake Central magazine interviewed me after watching the YouTube video of my Daft Punk animatronic cake! Follow this link here (or read the pasted version below) http://cakecentral.com/b/internet-buzz-animatronic-daft-punk-inspired-cake-2 Pasting: At Cake Central, we’re always on the lookout for the latest and the craziest in cake design. As soon as we heard about this gravity-defying animatronic cake inspired by Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” music video, we knew we had to share it with you. Recently, Shantal Der Boghosian, owner of Shakar Bakery in Los Angeles, California, wanted to find a way to celebrate the release of Daft Punk’s new single. But a simple, tiered cake wouldn’t cut it for this superfan. Thanks to a can-do attitude and a little help from a NASA engineer, Shantal’s big dream became a reality. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how they made it happen: Cake Central: What inspired this amazing design? Shantal Der Boghosian: I always wanted to build a moving cake but didn’t have the means to [do so]. I am actually an Environmental Engineer— I hold a master’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and I have a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara. When I decided to leave the engineering world behind in January 2013 and focus fulltime on Shakar Bakery, a part of me felt sad that I would no longer be able to do cool engineering work. But then I thought to myself, “Wait, why not incorporate cool engineering work into your cakes?!” Last year, I met Garen Khanoyan, a [NASA] engineer who happened to have degrees in electrical engineering and computer sciences. During a quick chat [at a bridal show], Garen asked [me] the magic question: “Have you considered making a moving cake?” Let me tell you, I was pretty excited, and my very loud “Yes I have!” must’ve proved it. So now that I [had] found my electrical engineer to help me make a moving cake, what would I make? It had to be amazing, a show stopper, a really big challenge. I am a big Daft punk fan. In 2007 I missed the Daft Punk tour for personal reasons, even though my sister had extra tickets. Had I known then that I would have to wait six years for them to tour again, I would never have missed it! When they released the new single “Get Lucky,” I knew that I had to build them as a tribute cake. CC: Was this cake commissioned? SD: No, the cake was not commissioned. We created this cake solely for the learning experience and the challenge it provided. I also wanted to set myself apart from Los Angeles bakers and show people how far they can take a cake design! Customers would’ve never considered a design like this because they didn’t know it was possible. CC: How long did it take? SD: We began to discuss the design idea in April 2013. It took two months for us to work out a proper design, and a few days for me to sketch out the structure. It took me more than 100 hours to build the DJ set, the cake structure and the cake itself. I spent 15 hours alone on the fondant and cake work of the Daft Punk members. The helmets took 15 hours each, and I had to rebuild one of the helmets when we realized we had to redesign the helmet articulation structure. I hit a lot of bumps in the road and had to take apart and rebuild as we continued to delve deeper into the project. It took Garen about 100 hours to code the electronics portion and build the custom boards and helmet articulation structures. He then spent about 20 hours assembling everything onto my structure. CC: Could you explain the technical aspects? What materials did you use? SD: I used MDF boards for the DJ set, and I used ½-inch thick steel pipes for my structure. I secured the pipes with steel flanges and the arms were structured with PVC pipes. I made everything food safe by wrapping a layer...Read More
I was invited to collaborate with Sweet Candy Couture for a photo shoot at the Viceroy. I was asked to make dazzling cake pops, black and white cupcakes, and sugar cookies. Below are my own images from the shoot mixed in with those from Robyn Rachel Photography. ...Read More
My Family Blog writer liked my superhero cake so much she featured it in her blog! Thanks for the love!Read More