Maggie Austin Cake ~ Washington, D.C.

After suffering an injury that forced Maggie Austin to retire from her career as a classic ballet dancer, she found a new focus in pastry and soon learned that all the principles she had learned in dance also applied to cakes. With her extreme discipline and unwavering attention to detail in order to achieve perfection, Maggie has been designing stunning cakes every since. Located in the Washington, D.C. metro area, Maggie Austin Cake offers a fresh interpretation of cake design with a style all her own. Her exclusively custom and exquisitely tailored designs display symmetry, elegance and sophistication with the subtle, yet unmistakable mark of haute couture. Read on to learn more about the former ballerina and now talented pastry chef, Maggie Austin, and what inspires her unique one-of-a-kind designs.

Maggie Austin Cake is based in Washington, D.C. metro area. To contact Maggie Austin Cake, visit their website or call 202.448.2920.

WU: How did you become a pastry chef?

Maggie Austin:
After an injury forced me to retire from my career as a classical ballet dancer, I struggled with having to find a new focus. I had spent my entire life in a ballet studio. But I had always had an affinity for pastry. I chose to study at the French Pastry School in Chicago because I wanted the very best training out there. I found that the same principles of absolute discipline and dedication to perfection that I so loved in dance were also present in pastry.

WU: When and how did you begin Maggie Austin Cake?

MA: We officially launched Maggie Austin Cake in the summer of 2010. Once the bloggers found things really took off! Only a few weeks had passed before we were on the Today Show Throws a Modern Wedding. We're incredibly grateful for the support.

WU: Tell us about how you work with engaged couples, whether as a team or

Each Maggie Austin design is custom. We meet with the couple during the tasting and discuss the overall concept for their wedding as well as any sources of inspiration that are guiding them in their process. The next step is the sketch and research material, which will be refined through a dialogue with the couple until the design is perfect. Nothing is more exciting than seeing that rendering come to life!

WU: Describe your style when it comes to cake design?

MA: The Maggie Austin style is constantly evolving, but the main principles of clean lines and unwavering attention to detail stay the same.

WU: What inspires you?

I find so much inspiring. Whether it's a Tiffany lamp or a Kandinsky painting or a pile of rocks on a beach, I see elements of art and design everywhere. But most of all, the clients inspire me because they always bring new ideas to the table.

WU: How do you keep your ideas fresh?

Following my apprenticeship at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, I decided that in order to find my own perspective, I needed to take an independent path. Technique can be taught, but a design aesthetic must come from inside.

WU: What was your favorite wedding cake and why?

You have to fall in love with each and every design and be fully present in those moments of creation. So the cake I'm working on right now is my absolute favorite!

WU: What makes Maggie Austin Cake different from other bakeries?

One thing that we hear all the time is that people have never seen designs like ours before. Neither have we! And perhaps that's the difference.

WU: What would be your dream wedding cake to design?

Again, it all comes down to focusing on the present project. I am fortunate in that I've found a profession that allows me to dream every day. For me, that is the essence of art.

WU: Tell us three things you can't live without.

1. an afternoon cup of tea (English-style with milk and sugar) 2. my Agbay Cake Leveler 3. my Metro card- what would I do without the National Gallery of Art?

WU: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

From Charlie Trotter: Set your personal standards so high that the only
person you can disappoint is yourself.

WU: What is the best advice you can give to an engaged couple?

MA: Most people will never step foot on stage, but a wedding can be the performance of a lifetime. And you get to be the director! Embrace that opportunity and enjoy those moments in the spotlight.


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