Fish Tale: Sushi Cake:

There are some jobs you just can't say no to.  I really LOVED the ideas of giant replicas of sushi and the prospect of making a cake for a legendary chef.  After saying no (because of scheduling), the offer came back around again, and it was too, I said YES!

The final cake includes 24 handmade pieces of sushi and 12 "Hershey Kisses" all made from rice krispy treats and modeling chocolate.  Even the paper tags on the kisses are edible rice paper.

Each piece of sushi has a base of rice crispy treats and then covered with a thin layer of fondant. Next modeling chocolate "rice"was added with clear piping gel. The "fish" is made out of modeling chocolate covered in a really thin layer of fondant and then handpainted with food color
The fondant covered "sushi" was then hand painted in layers of tones of powdered food color mixed with lemon extract.  The silver coating on the mackerel in the foreground is done with different shades of silvers coated in a final layer of silver flakes.

It became very clear about half way through the process of making the cake that it was going to take way way longer than I thought it would to make all of the pieces of sushi. We averaged about two to three pieces of sushi per person per day. So we called in the Calvary with the last minute SOS messages and luckily I got some of my favorite people to lend a hand.

Cynthia's Amazing shrimps!!!

In the end, not all of the sushi made it onto the cake, but we enjoyed them instead : )
Creating a template for a layout of the sushi pieces before placing them on the cake.

For the sides of the "bento box"we rolled out panels of white chocolate fondant and then scored a wood grain effect into the chilled fondant.  After all of the panels were applied to the sides of the chocolate ganache covered cake, the outside was painted with a wash of powdered food color & lemon extract.
After the chilled chocolate-fondant panels were applied to the sides of the ganache covered cake, the outside was painted with a wash of powdered food color and lemon extract.

A big thanks goes out to everyone who worked on the cake with me.  (Top row from left to right:  Cynthia Hsu, Karin Cakirdas/Keremo Cakes, and Katherine Sprules/Katherine Sprules cakes.  Bottom row from left to right:  Kate Sullivan (that's me), Mariel Kaufman, and Nevia Giles, (not pictured here Tony Wright/Pastry Prince and Mandakini Dass.)

Nobu 20th anniversary celebration. Notable guests who turned out to congratulate Chef Nobu Matsuhisa included Robert De Niro, chef Thomas Keller, producer Meir Teper, and restauranteur Drew Nieporent. Courtesy Town and Country.