Jan Kish La Petite Fleur

(614) 848-5855 | http://www.jankish.com
| $$$

Jan Kish La Petite Fleur

"One can always have cupcakes, but you can only have a wedding cake once." ~ Jan Kish

 

They were selected as one of the ten best cake decorators in North America. Jan uses the word art for what they do. It can be culinary art for its taste and visual art for its appearance and it can be sound as well, like cracking of sugar when someone eats the cake. She also believes that ART stands for anal retentive and she giggles as she says it. Jan looks at the wedding as each couple is writing a novel. Each vendor is a chapter and so the couple needs to invest in the vendor that will best help tell their story. The day of the wedding is like launching your novel, it now leaves your hands, you no longer have control. What ever the authors intent was may not be the same as how others interpret what she has said as the novel unfolds. Something else could happen that was not intended. You do your best to set it up the best you can and you set it on its way. You have to let go the day of your wedding and make the best of it no matter what happens. Picking good vendors helps to insure that your book will have a better chance of the novel coming out as intended.

 

Jan Kish is known worldwide for her exquisite cakes, one-of-a-kind flavors, sabering and cupcake delights. National publications and major television networks feature her trendsetting expertise and award-winning designs.

A Master of her craft, culinary artist Jan Kish, has made it possible for clients worldwide to enjoy her exquisite cakes and sweet accessories. Her incredible creations and unique designs often become the grand centerpiece for a multitude of occasions.

Frequently Asked Questions

A little bit of insight about this partner.
Interviewing Jan Kish is more like listening to a wonderful tapestry of interesting cake decorating stories along with funny life lessons. What a wonderful compelling individual. Most of the standard questions get tossed out the window. This was more of a conversation than an interview and was so much fun. What normally takes 20 to 30 minutes consumed an hour and forty five minutes and I loved ever second. There is a reason Jan Kish is so famous and well renowned in her field, she is truly one of a kind. I had a ton of fun with Jan, the answers to questions may take a few unexpected turns. Enjoy.

How long have you been designing wedding cakes?
Jan Kish has been designing wedding cakes for 37 years. She has a hungarian background so she always had good food around and always good desserts around. Rose Beranbaum came on the scene and Rosey wrote the cake bible. In Jan's opinion Rosey's book is as big as the Joy of Cooking was. Its a cookbook that deals with the chemistry of baking and if you use her cookbook you cannot go wrong. Jan took classes in New York from Rose and she also went to the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and the L'Academie Cuisine in Washington D.C. for culinary training. Jan has had two restaurants and a catering business and it all revolved around cake. Jan also worked in cardiology at The Ohio State university for ten years and jokes that now she is clogging arteries. Jan says that baking is a science and savory cooking can be forgiven for how much spices you add. When it comes to baking you have to be right on or it won't work, your cake becomes a failed chemistry experiment. Those are all the beginnings of La Petite Fleur Jan Kish.

More on the beginning of the business?
When Jan started her catering business in 1980, there were really only two caterers in Columbus; Hubbert and Ziggy from Spagio and Jan, that was pretty much it in Columbus at that time. The fondant cakes that Jan Kish is known for was brought to the forefront in 1980 by Rose Beranbaum with a cake on the cover of Bon Appetit. Fondant is a European and Australian form of cake decorating according to Jan. Jan loved doing the other stuff as well. She did the catering and the restaurant and the cakes in 1980, but the thing that got it started was the cakes. In 1990 she simplified or specialized in cakes and gourmet to go. The first person she catered for was acquired by putting an ad in the local Worthington S&P newspaper. Thats how she started, her name was Anne but I won't include her last name and she is still a customer to this day. They catered a Christmas Party for her. They still do cakes to this day as well as Gourmet to go. If someone wants to go on her website and order lasagna and turkey kits or roast beef kits or appetizers or whatever they can still do that. The customer just needs to come get it.

Tell me about "Sabering".
Sabering dates back to Napoleon, according to Jan Kish, La Petite Fleur. Christofle silver company, a high end very old silver company out of France, did a saber for the millennium. They gifted a couple of sabers to some very well known Champagne companies in France which reignited the art of Sabering which is growing stronger all the time. At this point Jan told me a couple of funny stories about sabering that she will have to share herself if she is comfortable with you. The point is that Jan learned the art of sabering along the way and will come to your event and saber your Champagne of choice with her special saber that she owns. Jan will tell the history of the sabering, then do the actual sabering of the bottle and pour the Champagne for the guests. Many times at a wedding the couple will use the saber to cut the cake. It costs $350 for her to come and saber plus the Champagne. The bottle is struck at the flange and the cork remains in the bottle opening. There is so much pressure in the bottle that no glass can make its way into the bottle so it is perfectly safe if done properly. For an extra price Jan will consider aiming the bottle at the guest of your choice (this is a joke she and I shared and is only added in this page to see if your still reading). In actuality Jan takes every precaution to insure no one gets hurt in the process.

How many wedding cakes do you schedule on the same day?
The most wedding cakes they have done in one weekend is 14. The real question is what is the degree of difficulty in each wedding cake that you create? The longest that they have worked on a wedding cake is 4.5 months. They ship cakes via United Airlines and customers even ship Jan herself to come bake cakes in other places. There is no typical cake. There maybe trends but there is no such thing as a typical cake. Some people want an Eiffel Tower, others want a simple two layer cake.

Talk more about your destination services.
Jan Kish has been all over the world baking cakes for events. She is so well known and well respected that clients fly her to their location to bake cakes for them. The first one she ever did was for a birthday party in San Francisco. It was really cool, the client had all the guest come to the house and Jan kinda had a cooking class and made her cake. It was a vegetable garden cake, it was cute it had a picket fence and cabbage and gourds and other vegi's ahead of time. She flys out 5 or 6 times a year now to back cakes for clients. Jan Kish has been as far as the Philippines to execute her craft. She has also been to England and Colorado and each one came with a wonderful story. One trip called for four wheel to reach the destination. Story after story about the cakes and the destinations were shared by Jan Kish and they were all compelling.

How have reality shows like the "Cake Boss" effected your business?
"Ohhh I beat him" " I beat him out in Denver, Colorado.". They were all on the food network and he came in 3rd place. "I liked him, he was nice." There were five of them competing in the competition. Mike from Mike's Amazing Cakes in Seattle was a friend of Jan's and they worked next to each other on that episode. This was back when cake competitions used to be less combative. The shows seemed more about bringing awareness to the industry with fun and big personalities to add interest. The shows have grown into something different now, they seem to try to pit the participants against each other. Jan does not participate as much as she used to even though she continues to be asked. She has been on Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS and the Food Network. Most of her appearances on these shows are very rewarding.

How do you price your cakes? By the slice and does cost vary depending on the design and flavors I choose?
It's time and material on custom cakes. You have to estimate how much time is it going to take you to do a given cake. Some cakes are very complicated and time consuming, others are not. If you go to a high end restaurant and order dessert how much does it typically cost per serving? At your higher end restaurants it can cost 7 or 8 dollars per serving and its not decorated. When hosting a wedding your taking everyone out for dessert. She has done cakes that are significantly more then that, upwards of 45 dollars a serving. She did one wedding were each guest had their own individual cake and each cake had a bow and a ribbon and the ribbon was done in gold leaf. So it can change the price significantly depending on what the wedding party wants. Pintrest is wonderful on some levels and a challenge on another level. It gives many brides wonderful ideas about cakes and what can be done, on the other hand most brides do not understand the true cost of the cakes they see and some unrealistic expectations are set. Every bride has their own totem pole of whats important to them. Everyone is different, for some its the flowers, for others its the dress, and for some its the wedding cake.

What is your minimum per-person cake cost?
The minimum price for a Jan Kish La Petite Fleur wedding cake is $4.50 a serving.

What recommendations can you give me to maximize my budget?
At the wedding the Bride and Groom are the focal pint of the event. At the reception the wedding cake is the focal point (some would argue that the flowers are and Jan and I had a good chuckle over that). People eat with their eyes, when they walk in and see a beautiful wedding cake they say think to themselves that they can't wait to have a slice of that cake. Some people suggest serving sheet cake to many of the guests in stead of serving wedding cake, of course this can be done but many guests will feel unimportant at that point. Jan's point is in her opinion it is better to simplify the cake and its ingredients then it is to cheat your guests out of experiencing the cake you have selected for the wedding. Cupcake cascades are a great way to maximize your budget.

Do you have a "menu" of cakes and prices that I can take with me?
No, most every cake is custom. You can look at cakes on her website but its for idea generation not to limit the options a client can choose from. They do have a list of cake flavors that they can choose from. There are about 20 different cake flavors they can choose from. They are known for creating frosting that match the wedding dress.

What are the fees for delivery and setup of the cake?
There is a separate fee for cake delivery. It is $95.00 an hour delivery and set-up. If its in New York, or some other out of town delivery, they pay for gas and overnight stays.

Are you able to coordinate with my florist for wedding cake flowers if needed?
We work with florists all the time. You want to work in concert with them so that the end product meets the customers total vision. Sometimes Jan will step in and offer suggestions or changes to the direction of the adornments that the client wants added to the cake.

What do you do if the cake gets damaged in transit to or at my reception site?
In 37 years she only had one cake damaged in transit. That was because she had just worked her way around an accident on 71 and gotten off at the next exit when the emergency vehicle was entering the exit. Well to Jan's point the person that yields in that situation is not the emergency vehicle it is the wedding cake van. She was able to make repairs and the client was outstanding about what happened and they are very good friends to this day.

How far in advance should I order my cake?
If you find a vendor that you really like, that you really want to use, get them booked. Don't wait, because you don't want to miss that special vendor to help tell your story. Jan can be more then a year out in some cases.

What is the deposit and when is it due?
The deposit is approximately half the total cake budget. This is a ballpark estimate because the final price of the cake can change and be flexible due to the complexity of the cake and the number of guests that are at the final count. That is non-refundable. A month in advance you must have your final numbers and your final changes you want to make and the final payment is due.

When is the final payment due?
Final payment is one month in advance.

What are your specialties?
Jan Kish La Petite Fleur is famous for decorating cakes that mimic the wedding dress. They are also known for their expertise in fondant cake decorating. Jan is a national celebrity and is known most for the quality of her cake. They try to do things that can't be done anywhere else.

Do you have cake tastings and is there a charge?
When the client comes in for their first appointment they might have 8 or 9 different types of cakes to choose from.

How much time in advance of the wedding is the cake actually made? Do you freeze your cakes?
They do not freeze cakes. They do everything they can possibly do prior to the cake baking in advance. The last thing that is done is the cake is baked. Then it all comes together from their. Jan then goes into some lessons for me on simple steps I can do to make my amateur cake baking skills better. Turns out the best thing I can do is have her do it for me.

What else would you like to say that I have not asked?
They were selected as one of the ten best cake decorators in North America. Jan uses the word art for what they do. It can be culinary art for its taste and visual art for its appearance and it can be sound as well, like cracking of sugar when someone eats the cake. She also believes that ART stands for anal retentive and she giggles as she says it. Jan looks at the wedding as each couple is writing a novel. Each vendor is a chapter and so the couple needs to invest in the vendor that will best help tell their story. The day of the wedding is like launching your novel, it now leaves your hands, you no longer have control. What ever the authors intent was may not be the same as how others interpret what she has said as the novel unfolds. Something else could happen that was not intended. You do your best to set it up the best you can and you set it on its way. You have to let go the day of your wedding and make the best of it no matter what happens. Picking good vendors helps to insure that your book will have a better chance of the novel coming out as intended.

Jan wants to give Back to the military.
Jan Kish La Petite Fleur is giving back and saying thank you! They are giving away $500 towards the wedding cake and dinner for two at the refectory every quarter to active military personnel. If you are active military just go to her website and sign up.