Cake artist Vinny Garcia has had a busy few months: he and wife Michelle moved to San Francisco from Chicago and before he even unpacked, Vinny was off filming Halloween Wars for the Food Network, while working on his new cake shop, Broken Sparrow Cakes.
In Chicago, the Garcias owned Bleeding Heart Bakery. Vinny—a trained savory chef who was a saucier at Wolfgang Puck–says he got into cake decorating entirely by accident: Michelle and the other ladies at Bleeding Heart were creating figures for a cake and Vinny was laughing at their techniques. Naturally, they said “if you can do better, why don’t you?” And try he did. Take a look at the amazing pictures from Broken Sparrows and it’s clear why Food Network tapped Vinny to join the green team on Halloween Wars, which premiers October 7.
Halloween Wars showcases five teams including a cake decorator, pumpkin carving artist and candy craftsman who must create an elaborate themed display in each of the show’s four episodes. The grand prize winners score $50,000. Vinny says that his favorite thing about being on a Food Network competition is that it pushes his skills to the extreme: everyone in the competition is talented so contestants really have to out-do themselves. The hard part of working with a team that you don’t really know is making sure that everyone gets to share in the final product. “I think our team did a really good job showing everyone’s skill so it wasn’t about just the cake or just the candy or just the pumpkin,” says Vinny.
Aside from the show, Vinny is hard at work finalizing details for Broken Sparrow Cakes. He’s excited to be working in San Francisco where organic and sustainable ingredients are such a huge focus. Broken Sparrow creations are made using TCHO chocolate, Straus and Clover Dairy, Ritual espresso and the like. Even some of the cakes have very local names, including the Haight, Hayes Valley, and Marina cakes.
Halloween Wars starts this Sunday, October 7 on Food Network at 9pm and will run through October. Look for the final cake the green team makes for the competition—it’s Vinny’s favorite cake ever. To learn more about Broken Sparrow Cakes, check out their website.
Image courtesy of Jennifer Wilson