Signature Cakes

Welcome to Signature Cakes

Joelle Born in France, Joëlle became a part of the family's meal preparation and holiday planning team at an early age. There was always a reason to bake something new. Starting with New Years Day, followed by The Three Kings Day, birthdays, anniversaries, Bastille Day, flower festival days, and on and on. Before you knew it, Christmas had come again. Always a reason to celebrate and always starting off in the kitchen! This is where both native talent and early training, combined to fire a passion for pastry and confectionery art.

Joëlle often taps from her knowledge of foreign foods, flavors and tastes, she acquired when her dad worked for U.N.E.S.C.O. Over the years his assignments brought the family throughout Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia, finally returning to the USA. Today those foreign flavors, first introduced so may years ago, emerge in some of the more exotic taste combinations we find in her ganaches and cake fillings.

Years of developing her skills, mostly as a hobbyist, led Joëlle to become a Wilton Method Instructor, and soon thereafter, a Master Instructor for the Wilton Cake Decorating company. As she always says, “It's got to taste outrageous and look spectacular!”. Wilton got her started, by making them look spectacular. However, she wanted more. Joëlle then further developed her skills by taking various courses in her chosen discipline, often with those considered Masters in their fields. She sat through years of lectures, demonstrations and workshops such as, sugar work by Ewald Notter, pastry techniques from Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sebastien Cannone, Chocolate artistry from Jacques Torres and Elaine Gonzales, Pastillage from Mercedez Strakewsky and Pasquel Rocko corporate showpieces and more pulled sugar work from Andre Renard, taste and flavorings from Sylvain LeRoy, Pastillage from Pasquale Rocco and gum paste flowers and more from three (3) time World Pastry Olympics Gold Medal winner Betty Van Norstrand.. Joëlle recounts, “How blessed was I to have found these brilliant teachers. They raised my skill level 1000 notches”.

It was then, at the suggestion of some of her mentors, that she entered the professional ranks, and Signature Cakes & Confectionery was born. Today, in her continuous pursuit of excellence, Joëlle still studies with some of these very teachers, who have now become close personal friends.

It was during one of her demonstrations, eight years ago, that Joelle's talents were recognized by the world-class Valrhona chocolate company from France. Valrhona offered to sponsor her competitive endeavors and a long standing friendship began. Today she proudly uses their chocolate exclusively, in all of her work at “Chocolaterie Maya” as well as it’s sister company, Signature Cakes. Each and every year since 2002 Joelle teaches at the International Chocolate Show in NYC, to audiences of 100+. For the past three (3) years, she has participated in the event’s “Chocolate Fashion Show”, where she has created edible fashions for their catwalk, worn by a live model!

In competitions, such as the annual Societe Culinaire Philanthropique, Salon des Arts, held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in NYC, Joelle has won several Gold Medals for Wedding Cakes, Silver medals for Chocolate Showpieces, the “Otto Gensch” medal for excellence in the field of chocolate, and most recently (11/2008) another Gold Medal and cash prize for the coveted title of “Best Centerpiece of the Show in Pastry”.

As an interesting aside, Joelle's life wasn't always in pastry and confectionery arts alone. Before entering the professional ranks, she won an international beauty pageant and spent the year cris-crossing the country, meeting people and learning about their ethnic backgrounds. What holidays they celebrated, what foods and deserts did they serve, and why. Being tri-lingual she was easily able to address groups in English, French and Spanish and often graced the pages of Pageantry Magazine.

Another interest of Joëlle's, is Food History. She is a collector of old books dating to the 18th century and often applies the ancient techniques used in Pastry and Confectionery arts by some of the old master Chefs, like Queen Victoria's Chef, Jules Gouffe.

Recently, Joëlle has started to write her own book and eventual DVD series, “Every Day's a Holiday In the Kitchen with Joëlle”. Joëlle and her husband John have been married for 38 years and enjoy suburban living with their horse, dog, four cats and bird.

Culinary Historians of New York (CHNY)
International Cake Exploration Societé (I.C.E.S.)
American Culinary Federation (ACF)
Retail Bakers of America (RBA)
Rachel Ray Show (11/2006)
Today Show with Kathy Lee (11/2008)