Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Cake Student was on Rachael Ray!!!!!

What a thrill it was to see one of my former students on the Rachael Ray Show!!! Aria and her friend Cheryl started my fondant/gum paste class last August, right before Aria was to start her senior year in high school.

Aria has such a talent and knack for cake decorating!! Of course it was a real ego boost for me having a student that is going to make it in the world of cakes and pastry!!! I am so proud and honored to have had a student like Aria!!

Courtesy of the Rachael Ray show - Rachael Ray, third from left, poses with,
from left, Chloe Langis, Bernie Roles, Rhiannon Wildman, Former President Bill Clinton,
Idaho Falls resident Aria Anastasio, Brett Bush and Iron Chef Michael Symon on April 28 in New York.

Aria Anastasio recounts her experience in New York City with TV celebrity
cook Rachael Ray and the excitement for preparing a meal for former
President Bill Clinton and guests at a benefit fundraiser. She and four other
teenagers will have their story told on the "Rachael Ray" show today at 11 a.m.

Aria Anastasio made this cake for the
wedding of Daisy Caballero and Andy Wise.

This cake caught the eye of Rachael Ray
when Aria met Ray in Florida earlier this year.

Aria Anastasio recounts her experiences in
New York City with celebrity cook Rachael Ray.

(The following is from our local newspaper)

I.F. teen takes the cake

Aria Anastasio has learned that things can happen fast for a 17-year-old foodie from Idaho.

A senior at Skyline High School who has been baking and decorating cakes since she was 12, Aria will appear today on the "Rachael Ray" show, which airs on Channel 3 at 11 a.m.

She was one of five teenage cooks Ray chose to open a special "pop-up" restaurant called Cafe Una Notte for a benefit held April 28 in New York City by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

The $2,500-a-plate benefit was held at Barbuto, a well-known Greenwich Village restaurant, and the 70-person guest list included Carly Simon, Larry King and former President Bill Clinton, who is chairman of the Alliance.

For Aria, the trip to the big city began in February at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Miami, which she attended with her mother, Ranie Anastasio. She waited for nearly two hours to show Ray her cake portfolio, not taking no for an answer when a "Yum-o!" assistant told her, "No more autographs."

Her real culinary journey dates back, however, to the time she and a family friend signed up for a 12-week cake-decorating course at Michael's, a local craft store. The $80 outlay in supplies ensured their attendance, but as a painter and artist, Aria discovered she enjoyed baking cakes for weddings and parties.

"It's fun, it's rewarding, and it can make you money," she said.

At South Beach, her ploy was to flip through her album in search of a blank page for Ray to sign, providing the chef enough time to look at her work.

By the end of the encounter, Ray was impressed.

To promote her new book, "Yum-o! The Family Cookbook," the chef had been planning an event involving teens since fall 2007.

"When we saw Aria, we thought, 'She'd be perfect for this,'" said Lauren Nowell, Ray's publicity manager.

So Aria was selected to participate.

"She called me back and said, 'Dad, this is huge,'" said her father, Ron Anastasio.

The call went out nationwide for other teen cooks, and four were selected. All were put under the guidance of Food Network Iron Chef Michael Symon.

Aria knew she was going to be the baker before she flew to New York on April 26.
She'd sent producer Andrew Kaplan a sketch of her idea -- a three-deck carrot cake in "Yum-o!" orange and yellow -- but wasn't prepared for the freedom she'd be given.

The show features Aria's moment of panic and despair when the bottom layer of her cake and cream cheese icing started breaking up. But there was plenty of support, from Symon and Barbuto owner Jonathan Waxman, who helped her calm down and find a solution.

In the end, the cake was two layers instead of three. The bottom layer was kept in the refrigerator in case they ran out and people still wanted some.

When everything was over, at about 1 a.m., the five learned they had a few hours before they were scheduled to appear on "Good Morning America."

Since returning to Idaho Falls, she's been asked for two autographs ("I'm not going to say no," she says.)

Although she is graduating, she hadn't made any plans for college. That has changed, however, since she received a $10,000 scholarship for appearing on the show.

"I'm definitely thinking about it now," she said.

To see video highlights of the show, go here:

1 comment:

Janiece said...

That is so neat!
You must be a very talented teacher.
So, how do you do with us of little talent???
Congrats to you and to Aria

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