“You can’t eat your cake and have it too” or is it “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”. However we choose to flip it, its essence is that we simply cannot enjoy two great experiences all at once. Well this age-old saying might well be outdated as cake artist, Michelle Sohan, owner of Bakery Treatz in Chaguanas has shown the world over and over again that two great experiences can be had at once; at least it can for an expert like Michelle. In 2016 she won a Teddy Bear Cake Challenge in Virginia with her cake partner, cake artist Zane Beg from the Sweet Life.
Ms. Sohan, pronounced (Sew hand), proved herself in South Florida where cake and candy came together as she won the South Florida Cake and Candy Expo held at the Miami Airport Convention Centre where she entered the Expert Cake category after having spent 37 hours completing a masterpiece. In her local community, this is what Sohan’s Bakery Treatz is known for: masterpieces. Now, we cannot help but wonder what makes an expert cake baker and it is a true surprise to discover that Sohan was never formally trained. However, in January 2017 she was granted her Professional Masters in Education (PME) Masters of Cake Decorating. Sohan once again showing ‘you can have your cake (natural talent) and eat it too (formal training).’ And she says it best:
“I really enjoy cake decorating, I live it. There is a switch in me that never turns off. I look at things and think how can I mould that and transform that into a cake. It is almost like an obsession at some point. But when you really love something, it is never work.” http://newsday.co.tt/2017/10/31/trini-cake-is-best-in-world/
So exactly who is Michelle Sohan?
Michelle Sohan hails from Lange Park, Chaguanas, and to date has been in the cake making business for over 12 years. She is currently the managing director of Bakery Treatz.
As you can tell by their designs Sohan’s cakes are far from ordinary. So, it’s absolutely amazing when Sohan recalls growing up not liking the idea of baking. She even stated in an interview; “I may have been actually allergic to the kitchen”. Beginning with a mere baking of two cakes at a time in her mother’s oven, Sohan baked her way into a renowned bakery.
Sohan just took renowned to another level as she copped the Cake Designer’s World Championship in Rho, Italy recently. The Trinidadian CEO and founder of Bakery Treatz was awarded the Best Cake taste in the World 2017. Sohan, together with international Californian cake master coach Kathleen Lange created the best cake taste using cocoa from the T&T’s Cocoa Research Unit.
Sohan posted the award as well as the pictures of the winning cake on her Facebook page on October 25th where she expressed her gratitude to the Federation of International Pastry, Gelato and Chocolate Campionato Mondiale (FIPGC) for including T&T in the competition. In her post, she described her cake designs as “representing our local heritage with cocoa dancers, coffee and cocoa paintings of workers in the fields, the nice and shiny chocolate bonbons, with techniques such as cocoa butter painting, chocolate sculptures, various hand-piping styles, edible stained glass, figurines…”http://www.trinidadexpress.com/20150706/features/meet-tt8217s-cake-boss-michelle-sohan
Sohan shows yet again how “you can have your cake and eat it too” as she combined her local cocoa heritage with her expert cake designs. As for bringing great things together, the theme of the competition for2017 was Discovering Chocolate and Coffee.
Sohan’s cake decorating inspiration might be described as a happy accident as she noted it was due to an accident she was involved in at the age of 17, where she hurt her neck and wrist and was bed-ridden for some weeks, that she left her job in Quality Control Assurance for a food company to complete her Masters in Food Technology.
Michelle Sohan has been published three times in Cake Central, one of the largest cake magazines in the US. Hailing from humble beginnings as a young businesswoman, Sohan recalled how she has had to endure many setbacks.
Despite these challenges, Sohan said she was able to prevail and encouraged entrepreneurs in an interview with one of her local newspapers; “you need to focus on what you’re about. You need to see competition as a good thing, as a motivation to be better. Never look to waste time worrying about what someone else is doing, that distraction will only hold you back”.
And, as if this could even get any better, Sohan goes green insisting she wanted to provide a healthier alternative to bakery products, so much so, that at her bakery does not use preservatives, enhancers or chemical additives in their bread and pastry dough, not even milk or any dairy ingredients. In that way, Bakery Treatz in Chaguanas, Trinidad caters to those people suffering from lactose intolerance so even they can ‘have their cake and eat it too.’
By Kerriann Toby
Kerriann Toby holds a Master of Counselling and Bachelor of Psychology. She is a dynamic therapist, trained mediator; and educator since 2000. In addition to being a trained educator, mediator and therapist, she is a certified Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) Professional. Kerriann has also trained in cyber counselling and holds clinical registration with Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA) & Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA).
In mid-October 2015 she initiated operations of KarryOn geared toward the provision of a variety of enhancement and developmental services for the individual, groups and the organization; e-Coaching/Counseling, Mediation, EAP Services and the creative presentation of psycho-social information. She can be reached at email@example.com.