Ramona Oskirka

Ramona OskirkaRamona grew up as the daughter of a baker. Her father owned and operated bakeries for over 60 years. She began baking and decorating, professionally, in 1976, being taught by her father in his bakery.

After she left her father’s bakery, Ramona worked for several private bakeries and a large grocery in-store bakery. During this time, she opened new stores, taught a multitude of new decorators, and helped write and design reference and procedure manuals for the company.

The job soon became a passion for cakes and a desire to venture out to find her own niche. Ramona’s creativity and desire to step out of the box led her to strive for new ideas and techniques.

“I love to take on new cake challenges as they help me continuously grow and evolve as a cake designer and artist.”

Jackie Smithwick

Inca Sweets

IncaSweets.net

Jackie Smithwick is a native of Lima, Peru. As part of the South American tradition, Jackie’s family loves celebrating birthdays and special occasion events. While growing up, her mother “Tita” was in charge of the “fancy” desserts for the parties. With this in mind, Jackie decided to take some basic cake decorating classes 5 years ago. She would use this activity as her creative outlet, and at the same time, it would help her in the making of her young children’s birthday cakes. Needless to say, she fell in love with this sugar-art. To improve her skills she took some professional classes with leading cake decorator and Food Network Judge Nicholas Lodge, in addition to practicing and teaching herself some new cake decorating techniques.

A new career went on from there, which was making and designing cakes for various special occasions. As Jackie’s passion for this art grew, her husband Dave found it to be a new hobby as well. In August of 2007, Jackie and Dave participated in the 2007 North Georgia Wedding Cake Challenge, from which they took the Grand Prize in the Advanced Division. After years of creating spectacular cake, cookie and cupcake designs, Jackie and Dave went on to their biggest venture yet, which was the establishment of their own company called “Inca Sweets, LLC”. Inca Sweets specializes in distinctive wedding cakes with elegant, handcrafted sugar flowers of life-like gum paste material. Signature novelty /sculpted cakes are the rendition of unique works of sugar art, which have been personalized and stylized for each client. In April of 2008, Jackie’s work was featured in the April/May edition of “American Cake Decorating” magazine. With all changes that Inca Sweets may have seen, Jackie’s main objective will be kept the same – “Helping people to mark a celebration or an event in a very special way, and most importantly, to have fun designing and creating beautiful edible art”.

Kathleen Miliotis

Kathy MillotisExecutive Pastry Chef

Atlanta native Kathleen Miliotis has over 10 years of experience and has brought an extensive wealth of knowledge to the kitchen at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse. As the executive pastry chef, she is responsible for overseeing the entire production of pastries and desserts, including creation and execution, recipe and menu creation, supervising, training, and managing the pastry staff, and community involvement.

Miliotis began working in her mother’s catering service at the age of thirteen. In 1996, she traveled to Providence, Rhode Island to attend Johnson & Wales University to study culinary arts and has since been an avid lover of pastries. In 2001, she made her way back to Atlanta to study under Roy Yamaguchi, an Asian fusion pastry chef, allowing her to fuel her imagination and expand her creativity in the pastry world. In 2003, Miliotis relocated to New Jersey to join owner Russell Stern to open Harvest Bistro & Bar team as a pastry chef. During her time there, Miliotis received national recognition for her work, including The New York Times naming Miliotis as “a rising star, her French dessert so venerable they belong in the Louvre”, and has had the honor of baking for such organizations as Share Our Strength, Chocolate! For Cystic Fibrosis and at The James Beard House.

After moving back to Atlanta in 2006, Miliotis married her college sweetheart and began working for Pano Karatossos and the Buckhead Life Group at Pano and Paul’s for three years. She continued her career at Baker’s Man with pastry chef and owner Mark Brikman, whose bakery has been compared as North Alpharetta’s version of “Ace of Cakes”. Miliotis is currently creating her beautiful pastries and desserts at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse located in Buckhead, and continues to impress diners and enthusiasts alike wit her delicious creations.

Miliotis currently resides in Alpharetta. In her spare time, she enjoys golf, gardening, baking with her daughter Kora and spending time with her family.

Yolanda Hill

Yolanda HillYolanda Hill, born in Marietta, Georgia, was exposed to the love of cooking at an early age. Her grandmother was always known for her cakes and pies. Her mother enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen, changing recipes to create new and exciting menus. This atmosphere provided Ms. Hill the risk-free environment to test out her own skills in the kitchen. By the age of 17, Yolanda Hill knew that she wanted to become a pastry chef and open her own bakery. Since that day she has worked towards that goal. All of her choices of schooling and employment have moved her toward making that dream come true.

Ms. Hill received her Associate’s Degree in Baking and Pastry from Johnson & Wales University in North Carolina. She interned at the Hilton Charlotte Center City in uptown Charlotte. She has been working for a small cake shop in Marietta for over 4 years. As the Head Decorator, she assisted with the attainment of fame and recognition for the shop. This recognition continued to fuel the dream to showcase her work. It is her desire through this competition to share her gifts as a talented pastry chef and move her forward on her path to business ownership.

Ms. Hill has a real passion for the work she does, and loves the opportunity to create something wonderful for people to make their lives a little sweeter. Whether through a custom designed cake or baking pies and cookies for special events, what pleases her most is to see the excitement and satisfaction on a customer’s face.

See Some Of Chef Hill’s Work. Click for a better view.
Work From Chef Yolanda HillWork From Chef Yolanda HillWork From Chef Yolanda HillWork From Chef Yolanda HillWork From Chef Yolanda HillWork From Chef Yolanda Hill