Flora Aghababyan

FloraAghababyan

Wynn Las Vegas

As chief cake designer for Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, Flora Aghababyan upholds the Wynn standard of excellence through her whimsical and uniquecake creations. Since joining the resort in 2007 as a cake artist, Aghababyan brings her sharp talent and a keen imagination to all of her designs.

Growing up in Armenia, Aghababyan began baking as a child, and her hobby quickly revealed itself as a passion. As her interest in pastry arts grew, she focused on learning everything she could to produce edible, dream-like cakes. She went on to refine her skills in several Russian and Armenian bakeries.

In 2000, Aghababyan came to the United States to work as a pastry chef at Chalet Pastry in Hollywood. Shortly thereafter, she joined the Bellagio Las Vegas as chief cake designer where she catered to celebrity clientele and showcased her talents by creating multi-dimensional cakes and pastries.

In August 2007, Aghababyan joined Wynn Las Vegas, where she prepares and adorns cakes for weddings and special events held at the resort. She enjoys transforming cakes into elaborate works of art, contrasting her intricate sugar work with simple flavor combinations, such as vanilla cream with assorted berries. Her pastries have been showcased in competitions such as “Food Network Challenge,” and her cakes and pastries have been featured in People, Star, Wedding Stile and Brides magazines. Most recently, she was awarded the World Grand Prize in the Grand National Wedding Cake Competition in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Sara Hardy Williams

SaraHardyWilliams

The Cakehouse at Waterstone

CakeHouseOnMain.com

For the last 20 years, the only place anyone can imagine Sara being, is in a kitchen, whether it is her own kitchen, or at work, or as a guest pastry chef, or freelancing for a company, it is the one place she can always be found. Twenty years ago, when she took a tiny class, as a newlywed and young mother, she never dreamed that cakes would be such an important part of her life. In the twenty year travel, she has been “Blessed” with the opportunity to do cakes for various movies, politicians, members of royalty, television shows, and be a part of The Next Great Baker Season 2 cast on TLC, plus am entire host of clients who have become family. But her biggest blessings have been the thousands of Brides and Grooms who have called upon her to help make their day special. She has worked for a national grocery chain, a private resort, owned her own bake shop for 13 years, then decided to move from her hometown of Rome, Ga to Acworth,Ga where she joined the Waterstone Events team, during the creation of The Cakehouse at Waterstone. After almost 3 years at Waterstone, Sara decided to build the professional kitchen of her dreams and take her wedding cake business to a higher level. Opening Cakehouse on Main in January 2015 took Sara to a place where she could make sure the main focus on her cakes was indeed the taste.

Sara is the mother of two grown children. Michael and Mary Katherine.

Growing up in a family full of Southern Ladies who loved to fill their homes with baked goods and candies at every holiday, baking seemed to only be a natural progression for Sara. It started with a simple class, then sending treats almost daily to work with her then husband, and making birthday cakes for friends and family members. Word of mouth turned a passion into an explosion of a business and a life full of blessings.

Jaime VanderWoude

JaimeVanderwoude

Lund Food Holdings, Inc. (Byerly’s)

Chef Jaime VanderWoude graduated at the top of her class with a degree in French pastry and baking from Le Cordon Bleu in 2005 with honors. She has worked since graduating as a French Pastry Chef for Byerly’s a gourmet market in Minnesota. As an up and coming multi-award winner she enjoys teaching and talking everything dessert. Her passion lies in creating custom pastry and wedding cakes for exclusive clientele throughout the Twin Cities. Chef Jaime is a sought-after guest speaker and has been featured prominently in lifestyle segments broadcast on local media. Most recently she appeared in Dessert Professional Magazine along with her recipes and a how to demonstration. She continues to hone her craft daily, persistently researching and experimenting with new techniques in an effort to remain on the cutting edge of the baking and pastry world.

Jessie Anne Reilly

JessieAnneReilly

Take the Cake Decor

Born and raised in Ontario Canada and currently residing in Somerset Kentucky, USA, I have pursued my dream in creative cake design as owner of Take the Cake Décor for the past thirteen years. After studying Food and Beverage Management with Cuisine at Algonquin College in Ottawa Canada I operated several restaurants including a Roast Beef House and a fine dining Italian bistro in Canada before relocating to Kentucky in 1996. Furthering my studies I graduated as a Chef Patisserie from Le Cordon Bleu, Ottawa, Canada and have studied sugar art with Chef Andre Renard MOF and Chef Christian Faure MOF. I have also studied gum paste with Nicholas Lodge and cake design with Collette Peters.

I am looking forward to this cake challenge.