The Pastry Architect | Dinara Kasko
Inspiration comes in many ways; you know you are aligned with your creative expression when what you do comes from an inspired action. One life event leads and simultaneously connects you to another on the path of self-discovery to understand that all you are experiencing is adding to your own expansion.
When pastry chef Dinara Kasko was 15 years old, she decided to become an architect. At that time, she didn’t know that she would be designing cakes instead of design objects. She fell in love with the art of pastry making while working as an interior designer for an architectural firm; after work, she practiced baking for pleasure at home. Her interest and passion grew so much that Kasko started attending baking classes and teaching herself.
Born and raised in Ukraine, Dinara tried many hobbies throughout her life, from drawing and dancing to studying at the University of Architecture and Design, until she immersed herself completely into the art of baking.
“Currently, I can’t imagine my life without pastry and cakes. This is my job and my life – I’m a pastry chef,” says Dinara.
Using her professional skills in 3D modeling on the computer, Dinara unified architecture and pastry by creating her own molds that give shape to edible objects of design. She enjoys every moment during the process of creating pastry-art. She loves modeling, 3D printing, and experimenting with all kinds of recipes. It’s fascinating how Dinara uses her imagination, starting with a conceptual idea and discovering how to manifest it.
“I imagine what my cake will look like at the very end. I create a model on my computer, print it on a 3D printer, and then I cast a silicone mold. At the same time, I work on a recipe and do a lot of experiments. It’s quite a rare thing to succeed in creating the perfect mold and the perfect cake with the first attempt,” explains Kasko.
Her unique approach in combining science, technology, and regular ingredients used in baking turn into surprising aesthetic – and very delicious – results. Any shape is built according to certain principles. Dinara is often inspired by the Voronoi diagram, which is a popular method that allows dividing an object into polygons. Also, many of her pastry forms are based on Biomimicry, a way to create objects based on nature’s patterns and strategies, such as photo mold clouds and bubbles.
“For me, it’s important to surprise people. When they look at my creations, they don’t understand that it’s something edible. But when we cut a cake, they can see that there are a lot of layers inside, and when they try it, they like how it tastes. For me, it’s important to impress people this way. The cake should taste delicious and also look beautiful,” Dinara reveals.
Indeed, she surprises with sculptural geometrical shapes in contrasting bright and sharp colors on the outside and in layers of tasty, crunchy or fluffy textures of fruits and jelly on the inside. There is a famous story about the iconic artist and founder of the art movement Suprematism, Alexander Malevich; he was once asked to design a teapot, and after finishing the object, the manufacturer said the design was not very convenient. Malevich responded, “this is an idea of a teapot, not a teapot.” Dinara’s cakes are ideas of cakes; manifestations of her imagination and desires, not just cakes.
“If you do what you really like, you feel less tired as you are thrust into this process with enthusiasm. As I like creating new molds and working on recipes, I never get tired and never get bored doing it. I don’t have an unliked boss or unfriendly coworkers—I work for my pleasure. And I am happy that there are people who like what I do. When you create something, you look forward to seeing that people are interested in what you are doing. Of course, first of all, you should like what you create, but it brings much more pleasure when other people like what you do,” says the pastry chef.
Dinara collaborates with other artists, innovative pastry chefs, and engineers to create new forms, experiment with what are considered healthier products and ingredients, giving birth to a new meaning of contemporary pastry art. Soon Kasko will be opening her new studio that she designed to teach classes, hold events, work on new projects and continue inviting other artists for creative collaborations.
No wonder Dinara Kasko has become an internet sensation. She embraces the idea of limitless connection with the work she does, unveiling it to the rest of the world. Due to the small-scale production, only a few people can buy her cakes, but everybody can see Dinara’s extraordinary pastry-art and her ability to present it through videos, images, and lessons she creates online. The increasing access to sources of online exposure through technology is shifting the mindset of people like Kasko to see more possibilities in doing what they love while sharing their passion with others. Needless to say, she is an example of real inspiration to those who want to take the “risk” to pursue their dreams.
Photography Courtesy Dinara Kasko