Dinara Kasko calls herself an architectural pastry chef. The former Ukrainian architect studied the geometry of buildings and furniture when she decided to apply the things she had learned at university to baking cakes. Her unique, geometric cakes are constructed by her digital made moulds which she also sells via her website, dinarakasko.com.
IRMA: What was the turning point for you, from former architecture student to becoming a pastry artist?
DINARA KASKO: After graduating from the University of Architecture, I was working as an architect and a visualizer for a long time. I got really interested in bakery about five years ago. I started baking cakes at home after I was finished with my main job. Then step by step, I started devoting more and more time to baking, and I have realized that I like making pastry much better. After my daughter was born, I did not return to my previous job.
IRMA: Is making a cake like building a house? How about the tastes and flavors, what would that be if we remain in terms of architecture – the interior design?
DINARA KASKO: At some point, it is. The interior is the inside of the cake. And then we work on the exterior, both should be well-combined, to make a perfect match.
IRMA: How do you start creating a new recipe? Can you tell us the steps by order?
DINARA KASKO: There are different ways. For example, there is a flavor (it might be fruits, berries, or anything else), maybe a flavor I have not used before and want to try out. In that case I start working around that particular ingredient which will be the main player of a new recipe and I find other ingredients that match the main base.
In other cases, I might have some leftover ingredients, and I need to use those. So I start making a plan around them that creates the new recipe. If we are talking about creating recipes in general, first, I think about the taste of the cake and what texture it’s going to be of (dense or smooth). Also, I decide whether it will be gluten-free and lactose-free or not, whether it will be very sweet or not. I also think about the mould that I will use to make this cake. Then I make some experiments, change something about the recipe, and keep experimenting until the final result satisfies me.
IRMA: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
DINARA KASKO: I am inspired by different kinds of art. I attend different events and exhibitions where I can get some inspiration, learn something new etc. Also, modern modelling programs and different software influence my work a lot as I can create something great from scratch, something no one else has. Even without an inspiration, using different modelling programs, I can model fantastic moulds that create new cakes.
IRMA: What was your best order you have ever received for creating a cake?
DINARA KASKO: I usually don’t make cakes for orders, I produce moulds. I made cakes for orders only twice. The last order was for a very famous car brand. The design of the cake was created based on the car design.
IRMA: Who are your clients?
DINARA KASKO: They are students who attend my classes. Among them can be pastry chefs, people who work in architecture, people who are fond of baking, or people who just want to try something new. If we are talking about selling moulds, the clients can be different.
IRMA: How do you get structure and order into your life and work?
DINARA KASKO: I try to plan my time in a way so I have time for work and time for my family and friends. It’s really difficult. Sometimes, I have to reject some projects for the sake of my family, and in some other cases, I have to spend less time with my family as I have a lot of work. I always have to make a choice.
IRMA: What are your next goals, projects, ideas?
DINARA KASKO: My future plans are working on creating new moulds (5 new moulds and recipes will be presented in spring), launching them on sale under my own brand (approximately in March), opening my own studio, participating in different exhibitions and conferences, collaborating with different artists etc.
This interview was also published in ICON magazine.