IMAGE: Cake artist Prachi Dhabal Deb decorates a 100kg vegan edible royal icing frame in Pune. Photography: ANI Photo
The construction of the Milan Cathedral in Italy tells a story of faith and art that spans more than six centuries, and the crafting of its architecturally detailed 100kg replica, in a royal icing medium, over a period of one month by this Indian cake artist was also not easy. achievement.
Meet Prachi Dhabal Deb who started her career as a financial analyst but found her heart in the field of confectionery art.
In the last ten years, he has set two world records and amazed experts and ordinary people alike with his body of exquisite works, infused with the smallest details, all on a fully edible medium.
Pune-based Deb says the creation of the Milan cathedral replica is by far his largest, in terms of scale, and earned him a place on the prestigious world book of records in 2022.
Construction work on the Milan Cathedral began in 1386 when the style of Gothic cathedrals had reached its zenith.
“It was a labor of love to create a replica of this architectural masterpiece in a royal icing medium with gothic details.
“It weighed around 100kg, and the 1,500 pieces of pipe that went into it were done carefully, with just one hand.
“Creating this piece of art also helped me evolve as an artist, as a woman and as a human being,” Deb told PTI in a phone interview.
IMAGE: Prachi at work. Photography: ANI Photo
Striking in its artwork and details, just like the original Italian landmark, the confectionery cathedral has also wowed viewers online, both for its stunning aesthetic appearance and for the artistry and ingredient that has gone into it.
“Every piece of this royal icing is edible, including the support structures that rest inside.
“But creating it was not an easy job, it took about a month, planning it, then putting the imagination on canvas and finally translating it into the medium of royal icing,” he said, adding that none of his work uses the egg as a medium. . ingredient.
Spanning approximately 6.5 feet long, 4.5 feet tall, and 3.9 feet wide, the carefully crafted vegan confectionery structure that currently resides in their studios in Pune, won the record in the category “confectionery structure.” largest vegan royal icing”.
IMAGE: Prachi Dhabal Deb with the 100kg vegan edible royal icing frame in Pune. Photography: PTI Photo
In 2022, Deb also set another record for the maximum number of vegan royal icing structures. She says that she is contemplating setting another record now.
Deb, 36, who began her journey into this “sweet confectionery world” in 2012 after quitting her job as a financial analyst, says she followed her heart and then took a chance.
“After finishing my higher education at the University of Calcutta, I accepted a job and was doing what I wanted to do, but somehow, it didn’t feel fulfilling.
“So, I took a break and started dabbling in baking and my canvas artwork.
“And since 2012, when I received my first order at a party, there has been no going back,” he said.
“And I’m extremely lucky to have the support of my husband, son, parents and in-laws who have supported me on this journey,” said Deb, whose birthday is coming up on March 31.
“Ironically, I don’t bake cakes for my birthday,” she laughs.
Deb, who grew up in Dehradun, says that due to a certain medical condition, she is unable to eat cake and many other items, “but I love seeing others feel happy after seeing my work or consuming it.”
She recalls that for the first order she received, she had created a farm-themed cake with farm animals.
The cake artist says she’s been baking since her school days and Enid Blyton’s books fired her imagination to dream up castle or palace themed cakes for events.
IMAGE: Prachi Dhabal Deb receiving an award from Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. Photo: kind courtesy of APN LIVE/wikipedia.org/Creative Commons
Deb’s body of work, apart from ‘Milan Cathedral’, includes several other heritage buildings, from India and abroad, and has earned her the nickname ‘queen of cake’ or ‘queen of royal icing’ among his admirers.
“I am fascinated with Indian palaces, but I want to be sensitive about their representation in the confectionery medium, as many of these families still reside in it and I don’t know how they would feel about it,” she said.
Deb says that the Lakshmi Vilas Palace of the former royal family of Baroda particularly fascinates her as a pastel artist.
Recently, she had created a cake with icing, inspired by the Benarasi sari and ‘sindur daani‘ (vermillion painting) of an Indian bride, which had gone viral on social media, as well as an ornamental peacock cake.
“Most of my work is in white, and I choose it because it is the color of harmony and it also goes with other requirements.
“But in the future, I’d love to play with colors on my confectionery canvas,” Deb said.
She says her message to women, especially young women, is to “dream big” but start from scratch.
“Get an academic degree first, whether it’s in science or arts or even baking, if you’re interested, but first lay a firm foundation by finishing your education, and then follow your heart, and don’t be afraid to take the plunge in pursuing it. your passion,” Deb said.
Balancing the happiness and joy of work and spending quality time with family, she adds, is “the best icing on the cake of my life.”
Presentation of the function: Ashish Narsale/rediff.com