A Sugar Artist Leads a Cake Walk Through Central Italy
By Lisa Cohen
Oct. 22, 2014
What is inspiration? It’s not enough!” says the New York City-based sugar artist Margaret Braun. “I want to harness a flavor, or look, or sound and I want to share that with people.” Braun, who began as an aspiring artist toiling full-time in bakeries in the ’80s, soon combined uncommon colors and forms with confections, and became a self-made designer of works that fuse culinary arts and fine art. Her designs have included 2,000 individual desserts for a royal wedding in the Middle East, a mosaic-like treat for a Venetian masquerade ball and a hand-painted, 28-foot-tall wooden sculpture — that glowed in the dark — for Brooklyn’s Googamooga festival. These labor-intensive sweets, which often include pearl dust and gold leaf, are the ultimate in edible luxury. “Early on I learned how to do great work — and then let go,” Braun says about making beautiful things that have an inevitably short shelf life.
She is currently well into constructing a series of 5,000 all-white cups from sugar, no two alike. “I see them sitting on rocks, or in the woods, or on grass,” Braun explains. She is also planning to publish some sketches (she uses food coloring for drawing) and she continues, increasingly, to teach around the world. This November, Braun has scheduled a “real-time incarnation” of her 2001 book, “Cakewalk — Adventures in Sugar with Margaret Braun,” through Marche, Italy. Participants will admire the art and architecture in Urbino, visit vineyards and hunt for truffles in the surrounding countryside and learn how to translate these experiences to their own cake-crafting. “It’s about synesthesia,” she says, “taking what you see and smell and hear and want to eat — and making it into something beautiful.”
Five Days of Art, Cake and Wine in Le Marche
Updated May 23, 2017
If you're aching to visit Italy and wouldn't mind cooking classes, a porchetta tasting and an intensive, hands-on class on cake design, this is the tour for you. From Oct. 7-12, renowned sugar artist and cake designer Margaret Braun will host a group in Sant'Angelo, a small, picturesque village in Le Marche—a.k.a. truffle country. The trip will include Italian feasts, a truffle hunt, art tours and master cake classes with Braun throughout which travelers will design their own sugary masterpieces. The trip costs $3,650 (not including airfare). Learn more about the incredible itinerary here.
The Guy from East Tuscany (Le Marche)
Well I met a really nice and fascinating Italian Wineaux at a really cool wine bar in Dallas called Brian’s Wine & More. Brian’s place is a true “old school neighborhood wine store” and next door to the wine bar down on Monticello Ave. If you are ever in the area, I would highly suggest a stop in and say hello to Brian and his staff, and enjoy a glass or two of great vino!
When I was in Brian’s enjoying a great glass of Pinot Gris, I met Piero Pagliardini, a native of Sant’Angelo in Vado, Marche. Now I know what you are thinking; “Where the heck is Marche in Italy?” Well I ask him the same thing, and evidently he gets asked this same question all the time. Le Marche (pronounced lay markay) is in central Italy, bordered by Emilia-Romagna (think cheese), Tuscany to the Northwest, and Umbria to the West With the entire eastern boundary being the Adriatic Ocean. Piero finally got tired of explaining where Marche is, so be began telling everyone he was from “East Tuscany” as a joke. Ha!
While everyone knows about the rich history of Tuscany and to an extent Umbria, few know how terrific the lands of Marche truly is. Piero loves his homeland, and still has many connections for wine, food, and tours. So after meeting and marring a Dallas, Texas native in his homeland of Le Marche, he moved to Dallas with his his lovely bride Katherine Cohen and began working with producers, importers, and distributors reprenting some of the incredible wines of his homeland right here in Big D.
A few years ago he began personally arranging Food and Wine Tours, led by Piero himself, to visit his favorite vineyards in the most unexpected parts of Italy, Tuscany and Marche!
The tour through Tuscany and Marche begins on October 12, 2014 and ends on October 23rd. And there is only about 18 on the tour, so you will be assured a tremendous amount of personal attention, not to mention the lifetime of friendships that you will build with the incredible Wineauxs during the two weeks in paradise!
You fly into Rome, and the fun begins with a welcome wine dinner where you will meet all of your new friends. Next morning you are on a luxury bus to the infamous Montepulciano, where you will enjoy a Music, Art and Vino Nobile tour, and visit 600 year old wine cellars! It only gets better from there…
Here is a link to the complete itinerary:
If you have ever considered taking a Food and Wine tour in Europe, I HIGHLY suggest you check out the itinerary of this incredible journey of wine and food!
2 weeks in Tuscany and La Marche with incredible Italian wines and Italian foods?
WOW what an incredible trip! How could this get better right? Piero and I hit it off and became quick freinds (as so easy to do over a glass of wine). I have convinced him that this incredible adventure would be PERFECT for my Texas Wineaux followers. He resoundingly agreed. So…
I have arranged a DISCOUNT for my followers of $100 per person or $250 per couple simply by providing the PROMO CODE: “Wineaux”
If you want to learn more, call Piero himself at 972-400-8329. Or go to his website vitaverdeimports.com
I unfortunately have another trip planed that month so I will not be able to join you this year, but I assure you NEXT YEAR I will be one of the 1st to sign up!
The only thing I ask if you decide to join Piero in this food and wine journey, is you will send me pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter to @friscokid49
Buon viaggio e bere un sacco di vini Italiano!
Le Marche Italy: Fall Tour for Winelovers
July 7, 2014
I was recently contacted by Piero Pagliardini about sharing information regarding his fall wine tour to Le Marche, Italy. Many of you reading may ask, where? I am familiar with Le Marche (Mar-kay) as a result of a spring #WineStudio hosted by Protocol Wine Studio; however, many wine lovers, even Italian wine lovers, are not familiar with the area or the wines produced. I liked the idea but had two questions with Piero’s request: 1) How do I promote to my readers a wine tour that I am unfamiliar; 2) How do I promote wines from wineries I have never tried? Since Piero already provided me the tour information (which is incredible!), I asked if he would also be willing to provide me two samples of wine (a white and a red) from a winery visited on the tour. Much to my surprise Piero responded with an invitation for my husband and I to meet he and his lovely wife Katherine (we all live in Dallas) at a local Dallas wine store/bar called Brian’s to meet, share some wine and receive a couple samples to try at home. What transpired on this evening was an incredible night of wine, new friendship and fun!
First let me say Brian’s Wine has a great selection of wine and if you live in Dallas and have not been there go check it out. Bruce Candia, a wine consultant and expert was our host for the evening. We began by getting to know one another over a bottle of Tasmanian Sparkling Wine from Bruce’s private collection that was quite lovely. As our evening moved from introductions to discussion of Piero’s business and the tour, Piero opened a wine suitcase and placed five bottles of Italian wine from Marche region on the large wooden table. WOW! I wish I had taken a picture but since I was not sure what to expect I was not planning on writing a blog post on this evening; however, as the night went on it became apparent I need ed to share with you Piero and Katerine’s kindness as well as the delicious wine we enjoyed from Marche. Piero opened three wines for us to enjoy as our lively conversations continued. Since Piero lived most of his life in Marche he shared great stories of the wonderful region in Italy near Tuscany and the great wines produced there.
(Stay with me please, this post is a bit longer than usual with a great treat at the end!)