“Currently in a relationship with macarons.”
She’s a magician. A sugar artist. A perfectionist. She designs show-stopping wedding cakes. Her sugar flowers are so finely and intricately detailed that I considered leaning in to smell one. Her work is impeccable and anything but vanilla. (See what I did there?!)
Madison Ellsworth is the talent behind the apron at Modern Bake YYC, a specialty boutique bakery in Calgary with a certain je ne sais quoi for wedding cakes and sweets. The confections are at once almost too pretty to eat and mouthwatering. They are a sight to be hold and usually the centre of attention.
As is the case with most extraordinary talents, Madison’s story has humble beginnings. A culinary arts graduate unsure of her next move, she bided her time churning out scrumptious baked goods for her closest family and friends. In no time at all, Madison had developed a cult following, all of whom eventually persuaded her to expand her culinary horizons. And so began the next chapter: Modern Bake YYC.
Behind the scenes of the bakery’s day-to-day operations is Madison’s sister and personal cheerleader, Taylor. She is responsible for Modern Bake YYC’s picture-perfect social media presence and much of the marketing. Having a partner in crime affords Madison the time to focus on what she is passionate about - her work and making people happy. Fortunately for those of us with a mean sweet tooth, her baking happens to be one thing that can always do just that.
The Gab Sesh
Q: What is your favourite thing to make with sugar?
A: Chocolates! Chocolate work allows for a lot of creativity, which to me equals freedom. There is virtually no limit to the colours, flavours and shapes with making chocolates.
Q: Where do you see wedding cake trends heading for 2017?
A: I expect to see more of the marble-look cakes next year. There will still be a lot of the lighter colours, clean whites and metallics.
Q: What is one thing you feel you never have enough of?
A: Cake stands! I have so many. And they are all available for rent to my clients.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not in the kitchen?
A: Hang out with my dogs. I have two pups – Winston is a Bijon Shih Tzu and Miniature Schnauzer cross, and Jack is a Bichon-Shih Tzu.
Q: What is your very favourite cookbook?
A: Oooooh, so many to choose from. I admit that I have a vast collection, but my favourite has to be one by French pastry chef, Pierre Herme.*
Q: What is the one thing you’re proudest of?
A: How much I’ve grown over the last year. Both personally and professionally.
Q: Do you have a favourite ‘90s jam?
A: I love Britney Spears’ early stuff. That can really get me going!
*Here’s what we found when we Googled him: “Join the hushed masses who queue worship at the altar of pastry demigod Pierre Hermé. Tarts, cakes, chocolates, ice cream and, of course, macarons.” Demigod? Awesome.