So Sweet: Amber Events' Nira Luna Takes Us On A Tour of Bottega Louie
We're all so in love with the vibrant-hued confections at Downtown Los Angele's foodie and sweets mecca Bottega Louie, from French macarons to sugared-flower cakes--and especially their new signature wedding cake collection. Wedding planner Nira Luna of Amber Events decided to take us on a visual tour through one of the sweetest shop in town. She also sat down with Chef James Roselle to find out what inspires this talented cake designer.
How and when did your relationship with Bottega Louie begin?
My relationship with Bottega louie began in early February. A colleague of mine who had visited the Commissary for a follow up shared a bit of news with me that Bottega Louie was seriously considering to begin a wedding cake program. I emailed the executive chef and got an interview for the following day.
How has Los Angeles influenced your cakes and designs?
Los Angeles has so much inspiration! Nature is my biggest inspiration. I enjoy visiting gardens like the Descanso gardens or the Huntington to find inspiration. Florals aren’t my only source of inspiration. Art (all types-sculpted, painting, etc.) inspires me as well. Los Angeles has so many museums to choose from-The Getty is one of my favorites. The architecture of the buildings in Downtown Los Angeles is pretty amazing as well. I find myself taking in the details of the skyscrapers in the city as I walk to the commissary day to day.
Why is cake the perfect wedding dessert?
A slice of Cake is the perfect wedding dessert because it holds so much tradition. The wedding cake itself has changed tremendously. Traditionally, cakes were all white. Nowadays, your cake can be pink, blue, black….anything goes. And that is the case for the interior as well. Wedding cake is no longer “tooth-aching sweet." I (We as cake designers) intertwine fine pastry skills into the interiors of wedding cakes. You don’t only enjoy the wedding cake with your eyes anymore, your taste buds love it as well.
Describe your approach to meeting new clients during consultations/tastings.
When I meet with clients I like to get to know them, get a feeling of what they like and dislike. I want my clients to have a memorable experience. During the consultation, We discuss cake flavors, color schemes, flowers, and most importantly, design! I encourage brides and grooms to bring in color swatches or pieces of lace from the wedding gown. A cake is more than just cake, its an edible work of art. It’s the one thing (aside from the bride of course) that people gravitate towards, take photos of and remember. A lot of detail and planning goes into a wedding cake. I want my clients to know we will create a cake they will love and cherish.
What are some of the concerns that brides have when deciding on a wedding cake?
I would have to say, it is common for brides to be concerned what their guests will think about their cake. I want the bride to feel confident in her choices. This is her day, her wedding cake. She and her groom are creating a one-of-a-kind cake. This is their opportunity to incorporate themselves into the design of the cake. I want wedding cake process to be fun and enjoyful for my clients.
What is your favorite beverage to accompany a cake tasting?
I like to offer a variety of beverages for the cake tasting. Champagne and cake are a match made in heaven if you ask me.
What is your relationship with a client like, once you’ve booked him or her?
As soon as my clients are booked, they become part of the Bottega Louie family. I want my clients to feel comfortable throughout the process. Sometimes, I get attached to clients. Remember, wedding cakes are usually booked months in advance (I highly recommend that), so I get to know my clients over that period. Often times after the wedding cake comes the baby shower cake, and the first birthday cake. In some cases, a cake for their children’s wedding cake follows. It’s a family affair, and I am thrilled to be a part of that.
What is key in creating the perfect cake topper?
The key to creating the perfect cake topper is simplicity. Cakes can often times have many tasteful details from lace, sugar flowers, pearls, edible ribbons, etc. The topper should make a simplistic, soft and whimsical statement.
Saving a layer of cake in the freezer to eat on your one-year wedding anniversary—good or bad idea?
My honest answer….a bad idea. Cake is a fragile item. Trying to preserve a cake in a freezer for a year doesn’t sound appetizing. I understand saving the top tier of a wedding cake is a longstanding tradition and I respect that. Maybe I can start a new tradition, and I can make a top tier for my clients on their first anniversary.
Hair and Makeup: MAKEUP THERAPY
Photo: BRIAN TROPIANO
Interviewer/Planner: NIRA LUNA, AMBER EVENTS
Wardrobe/Styling: VIVIAN CHAN