TEANECK, N.J. — What began as a hobby has turned into a colorful business for Teaneck confectionary Melissa Alt.
The 23-year-old Frisch School graduate pursued a degree in art at the Pratt Institue, and went on to pursue internships with TLC's "Cake Boss" in Hoboken and the popular Carlos Bakery.
Seeking independence, Alt launched Melissa Alt Cakes
But Alt — who works in Artuso’s Pastry Shop in Bronx, N.Y. — wanted a business of her own so she launched "Melissa Alt Cakes."
“I consider my cakes my art,” Alt said.
She began baking them as a hobby in Frisch School in Paramus, treating family and friends. She pursued a degree in art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, then ended up taking a summer internship with the popular Carlos Bakery.
“I learned all of the basic stuff, stuff I’d never have known, like how to properly ice a cake, roll out fondant, because I never went to culinary school,” Alt said.
She then turned to the internet and Food Network.
“I learned to make sculptural cakes and animal cakes by watching TV shows like 'Ace of Cakes'," Alt said. "They show you how to make the cake.”
She also learned how to build with wood from her father, which comes in handy in supporting her cake sculptures -- different animals, a record player or guitar, for instance.
“Any kind of sculptural cake allows me to just to build,” Alt said. “I am very much a sculpture as I am a painter.”