By: Rebecca Feigelsohn
Petite & Sweet is the Modern Rococo and French inspired event boutique, co-owned and operated by the talented cake decorator, Yolanda Gampp; creative director, Elle Daftarian; and event and table stylist, Caspar Haydar. This fabulous threesome is also new to the Food Network family, appearing on their own reality show SugarStars, which premiered on Monday.
Daftarian is the “glue” that holds this trio together, amalgamating Gampp’s cake business with her and Haydar’s event planning venture in order to produce a “one stop shop for everything event related.” These sugar fanatics are striving to take desserts to the next level by focusing on the “edible experience.” The team ensures that the colour palate, theme, and treats are all coordinated into one cohesive and completely customized sweet table that looks more like a piece of art than food.
Inspired by the work of Amy Atlas, the pioneer of sweet tables, as well as Gampp’s belief that not all events are “cake appropriate,” they sought to create sweet tables that would be extensions of a cake, with just as much opportunity for embellishments and opulence. With sweet tables, all three owners are able to combine their talents into one unique and creative expression – Gampp bakes and decorates the desserts, Haydar is in charge of the props, and Daftarian tinkers between the both, focusing mostly on generating ideas; though all of their separate tasks tend to blend together.
Although they are all self-proclaimed foodies with culinary backgrounds, Gampp is the true cake expert who has been decorating for 12 years. Her meticulous, methodical and list-making nature caused her to abandon her cooking aspirations, turning instead to the more controlled environment of cake decorating. As a young girl, Gampp always baked with her dad, “In my father’s culture, dessert is actually a very big thing, so dessert in my house was normal,” she says. As her sweet-tooth grew, so did her interest in presentation. Citing pastry chef, Mike McCarry and molecular gastronomist, Grant Achatz as her inspirations, Gampp says she admires their out-of-the-box thinking and the value they place on the presentation of food. She notes, “[Mike] makes me feel like I should quit…I just love his work.”
The Petite & Sweet trio have plans in the works that are being safely guarded under lock and key – but they did divulge that they would love to open other locations in the city and expand to the States in the future. For now, you can catch them at their Rosedale location for an event consultation, or check out some behind-the-scenes footage on their new reality show, SugarStars on Food Network Canada.
Petite & Sweet is located at 420 Summerhill Ave, petiteandsweetboutique.tumblr.com. SugarStars airs Mondays at 10:00pm and 10:30pm on Food Network.
Rebecca Feigelsohn is a Toronto based editorial intern for Good Food Revolution. She recently completed her BA in English at McGill University and loves all things sweet. Follow her as she profiles Toronto pastry chefs @GoodFoodRevInt