Susan Holtz is a natural born teacher with decades of professional experience as a baker, instructor, and entrepreneur…and she has a portfolio of accolades to show for her efforts in each of these arenas. What Susan takes just as much pride in though, are her hundreds of graduates now working in the culinary field.
Most recently, Susan not only has served as Director of Culinary Arts at West Valley Occupational Center in Woodland Hills, CA (where she created the curriculum and designed the classroom laboratory) and as an Adjunct Faculty Instructor in Cake Decoration at Los Angeles Mission College in Sylmar, CA (where she also developed the curriculum), but she has also just established the Baking & Cake Art Academy, Inc. in order to provide an online forum and laboratory to inspire baking and cake art enthusiasts and professionals everywhere to achieve their highest goals.
Entertaining and informative, dedicated and patient, Susan delivers her instruction in a uniquely low key manner, but with a quite evident passion for sharing her wealth of knowledge on baking from her own academic, apprentice and work experience. She really knows how to encourage her students and make the learning process fun so that all levels of students find her teaching understandable and inspiring!
Susan’s fascination with cake decorating started in the sixth grade. In those days, it was all about the star tip and the rose nail! Since then she has studied and worked with some pretty impressive names in the pastry/baking/restaurant fields: Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Fenniger of “Too Hot Tamales” fame, Nancy Silverton, Patrick Terrail, Gerard Joel Bellouet, Mark Carter, Francois Vignac, and Joe Ortiz, Kamolmal Pootarakfa, Gordon Hamersley, Hugh Carpenter, Yolanda Chen and LiE Wong. (You can find out more about all these phenoms on Google.com!)
Ever the student as well as the teacher, Holtz has studied a broad spectrum of specialized international cuisines, including Japanese, Chinese, French and Thai, as well as baking and cake art methods. Susan has earned certification from The Wilton School of Cake Design, then in Chicago (pulled sugar and international cake art methods – Philippine, Australian, English); the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan, Kansas; Joe Ortiz of Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola, California (artisan bread baking); St. Moritz Luxury Chocolates in Beverly Hills; with New York’s Colette Peters (fondant techniques); Roland Mesnier (the very intimidating process of pulled sugar); Scott Clark Woolley (gum paste techniques); Ron Ben-Israel (mold-making for jeweled embellishments); and Johnson & Wales in Denver, Colorado (advanced pastry & bread making).