Little did Nicholas Lodge know that when he started training to become a chef where this path would eventually lead him. The field of sugar art has transported him around the world, introduced him to Royalty and celebrities and has opened numerous doors to exotic locations that most people only dream about.
The author of over one dozen books, Nicholas teaches and demonstrates his unique skills around the world. Over the years his teaching tours have taken him to twenty-six different countries, and he has introduced sugar art into unlikely places such as India, China and Fiji. He is internationally known, not only for his unique skills in sugar art, but also for the quality of his demonstrations and classes, at which he inspires enthusiasm in everyone who attends. This reputation has also involved him in judging sugar art events around the globe.
Nicholas was born in Essex, near London, England, and became interested in cookery and cake decorating at an early age. Nicholas can remember designing his first cake at the early age of ten for his parent’s anniversary. On leaving school, Nicholas worked in a bakery as a cake decorator to gain practical experience and commercial speed in decorating. He was then offered a position at The National Bakery School of England, located in London, where he completed a two year course in cake decorating and design. At graduation time, after gaining distinctions in all his assignments and examinations, he received the award for the most outstanding cake decorating student. Moving rapidly to even higher achievements, Nicholas became Principal Wedding Cake Designer at Woodnutts, located in Brighton, one of England’s top sugar art schools. Here he created cakes for large London hotels, including Claridges, The Ritz and the Savoy.
After two years at Woodnutts, at the age of twenty-one, Nicholas became the tutorial manager at Mary Ford’s School in Bournemouth, another top sugar art school. During this time, Nicholas and a team of decorators were commissioned to do work for England’s Royal Family and other celebrities. This work included one of the official wedding cakes for Lady Diana and Prince Charles in 1981. This Royal wedding cake was later reproduced by Nicholas in Japan during the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales, while they were touring Tokyo. Nicholas also created cakes for the Queen Mother’s birthday and the Christening of Prince Harry.
In 1985 at the age of twenty-three Nicholas was commissioned to write his first book, and as his reputation increased, additional books followed. Currently, Nicholas has written over a dozen books and produced numerous instructional video tapes and DVD’s. Additionally, he has co-authored many books with other sugar artists and has acted as a consultant to several publishers in helping to produce books written by other authors.
In 1993 Nicholas received an invitation from The White House to participate in a Presidential appointment on internal affairs. This appointment would have resulted in many trips to Washington D.C. and the White House, covering a period of one year. Unfortunately, due to his previous teaching commitments, he was not able to accept this invitation from President Clinton’s office.
Nicholas was inducted into the International Cake Exploration Societe (ICES) Hall of Fame in 2001, being the youngest person ever to receive this honor.
In November, 2003 Nicholas was guest pastry chef at the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival held at The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Over 800 guests, dignitaries and national media representatives were able to taste the special cake
Nicholas created for this special event. To date, Nicholas has participated each year since 2003. As a result, Nicholas was invited to conduct special classes for the pastry chefs of Walt Disney World.
In addition to the Atlanta and Tokyo schools, Nicholas also teaches special classes held at other schools throughout the United States and around the world. Here in the United States Nicholas conducts many classes at such schools as Johnson & Wales, Le Cordon Bleu and the Art Institute. Nicholas considers his greatest honor to be when he was invited to be a part of the prestigious French Pastry School in Chicago, Illinois. Here he teaches gumpaste techniques to the students attending the 24-week program as well as offering continuing education classes. Having the opportunity to work with and spend time with Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sebastien Canonne is truly a privilege. In the fall of 2010, Nicholas will be part of a teaching team in a new sixteen-week program at The French Pastry School. The new program, “L’Art du Gâteau,” will be geared for the professional cake decorator and sugar artist, ideal for someone with goals towards the professional marketplace.
In March of 2009 Nicholas presented the first of six national demonstration roadshows for Albert Uster Imports. During these demonstrations, Nicholas has showcased the Massa family of roll fondants, showing how to use this and other Albert Uster Imports products in today’s wedding cake market. To date Nicholas remains the spokesperson for the AUI line of rolled fondants, presenting numerous Massa Roadshows across the United States.
During the early years Nicholas had his share of competitions, winning numerous gold medals and grand prix de honor and has been invited to display sugar art on the table of honor at many exhibitions around the world. Nicholas is now involved with judging events, having passed on the torch to the younger generation of sugar artists. This path has led him to working with the Food Network as part of a judging panel involved with the judging of the “Food Network Challenges” associated with pastry, cakes and sugar arts.
In 2010, Dessert Professional magazine named Nicholas one of the Top 10 Cake Artists and Top 10 Pastry Chefs, making him the first to receive both awards in one year.
Each holiday season Nicholas looks forward to traveling to Asheville, North Carolina where he is one of the judges at The Grove Park Inn, which is host to “The National Gingerbread House Competition.” Here over 300 gingerbread creations from across the United States come to compete for the chance of becoming the national gingerbread house champion.
Nicholas spends his spare time searching for new and innovative ideas that can be introduce and adapted into cakes and sugar art. Part of this inspiration comes from his love of gardening, fashion and interior design.