Interview with Kelvin Chua, Royal Icing Master
International caking superstar Kelvin Chua has taught all over the world and come September he’ll be packing his bags, heading to Sydney, Australia! Some lucky students will get to participate in a variety of Kelvin’s masterclasses, learning the secrets behind recreating his phenomenal work.
As the founder of Vinism Sugar Art, Kelvin has gained acclamation across the globe for his astonishing skill in royal icing and cake painting. You simply will not find another decorator like him. Kelvin’s cakes ooze a unique extravagance that is breathtaking. There’s no doubting the hours of work that go into perfecting each masterpiece.
Kelvin strongly believes in the motto never stop learning, and is always trialling new techniques for royal icing that can be incorporated into his intricate designs. His inquisitiveness for this medium has definitely paid off with numerous accolades under his belt, including Salon Culinaire Hospitality UK 2009, Salon Culinaire Hotelympia UK 2010, Cake International UK 2008. Cake International UK 2009
We were lucky enough to catch up with Kelvin to get the inside scoop on the courses he’ll be teaching while at Sharon Wee Creations Headquarters.
Tell us a little bit about the five masterclasses you will be teaching and how they differ from each other?
In these classes my students will learn to take the age-old technique of royal icing and use it in a way to create cakes that are exquisitely unique.
Glory – students will get to learn how to create bas relief effect on cake.
Peony – students will get to learn how to master tube embroidery piping.
Secret Garden – This course will teach students painting and how to enhance the flowers on this cake to create a 3D look.
Fleur – Students will get to learn the secret to creating a stained glass effect, this course focuses mainly on painting.
Black Lace – This class is all about mastering piping lace with Royal Icing it’s very popular.
Do you recommend students enrol in multiple classes?
Yes because students will learn different techniques in the classes, no two are the same….most important, they will get a big fat discount! 😛
You have embraced the art of royal icing and really are one of a kind in what you do. Why did you decide as a decorator to focus on royal icing?
I really enjoy using royal icing on my creations as it is non greasy and can be easily cleaned, unlike buttercream or ganache 😛
Where did you get the inspiration for these five exquisite cakes that you will be teaching at Sharon Wee Creations?
The inspiration for these cakes came from studying fashion, other bas relief work, and paintings.
We especially love your cake Glory featuring that amazing Peacock, what is the secret behind those amazing feathers?
The main key is to ensure the perspective of the feathers ie: which one should be at the front or which one should be at the back. Moreover, the combination of the colours being used to create the effect you are wishing to achieve.
What is it about royal icing that you love the most?
I love being able to create something very delicate such as laces, filigree, etc that simply cannot be replaced by most mediums.
What are a few guidelines people should follow when working with royal icing especially when it comes to Bas Relief work?
You really need to understand the perspective of the work you are going to create such as determining the foreground and background.
Royal icing can be a very tricky medium to work with, where do you think many people go wrong when trying to use it?
Mostly the consistency of the royal icing that they are using. It can be tricky to get right, some people don’t realise each technique requires a different consistency.
What are your top 3 tips when working with royal icing?
My only tip: patience.
We admire how all your pieces are so different. Do you find it hard to continually create new designs with a wow factor?
Sometimes, that is why I like travelling to different places to find new inspiration.
Do you have a creative process you follow when designing a cake from start to finish?
I always start with a rough sketch, which usually only I can understand what it is.
How do you remain competitive and try to stand out from other decorators in such an evolving industry?
Keeping my own style, in the meantime, never stop coming up with new ideas and designs.
Do you think international cake decorators have a different approach to execution when making cakes, compared to the cake decorators in Australia? Is there anything you have noticed that they do differently in Malaysia compare to other countries?
Australians always aim for sharp edges on their cakes, whilst in most countries they do not.
What has been your most challenging cake to date (please provide a picture)?
Greeting from Cherub.
Thank you Kelvin for sharing the inside scoop on your upcoming courses. We look forward to seeing you this September in class!! If you want the opportunity to learn from the royal icing master visit http://www.sharonwee.com.au/classes.html but be quick places are strictly limited.
To see more of Kelvin’s wonderful work visit
All images are courtesy of Vinism Sugar Art- all pictures are subject to copyright