(Yes, this is me!)

Wow! Makeup and hair do wonders!


I have been a teacher for -gosh-over 30 years!

Decided on that when I was in middle school! 

Have taught middle school, high school, and adults

and feel fortunate that as a credentialed teacher,

I can share my passions for baking and cake art.

For the past 20 years—ah—time flies when you are having fun,

I have been working at a dream job, Chef Instructor in the

Culinary Arts Department at West Valley Occupational Center,

in Woodland Hills, CA.

(Created curriculum and redesigned part of the classroom

laboratory to expand the program.)

I Teach Catering and Food Preparation as well at the Occupational Center.


In addition, for 12 years I was an Adjunct Faculty Instructor teaching Cake

Decoration at Los Angeles Mission College in Sylmar, CA.

(I developed the curriculum.)

In 2010, I established the Baking and Cake Art Academy, Inc. to provide

an online forum and laboratory to inspire as many baking and cake art

enthusiasts and professionals as possible to achieve their highest goals.


My Teaching Philosophy (and an Aha Moment!)

I baked my first batch of cookies less than one month after turning 7

under my dad’s aunt’s watchful eye while awaiting the arrival of my mother and

newborn baby brother from the hospital.

I finished and packaged them in a white gift box and to my utter delight

my dad’s aunt exclaimed, “They (cookies) look like an adult made them!”

I will never forget that elated feeling after her comment!

As a teacher, I realize what a powerful effect such encouragement can have on another!

This knowledge guides my approach to teaching.



For me, teaching is serious business, but I do my best to make my lessons

informative and fun!

Students have told me that I am a very patient teacher—

I like that description because each student comes to me with a unique

background and skill level which needs

encouragement every step of the way!

My greatest joy is to help each student achieve their baking and cake art goals

whether they set their sights on the work place, entrepreneurial endeavors or

use their acquired skills to pursue their hobby!

Some Things About My Past

My fascination with Cake Decoration started in the sixth grade.

(Complete story will be in an upcoming blog.)

I digress–

In those days, it was all about the star tip and the rose nail!

(We have come a long way, baby!)

I consider myself a lifetime student and a teacher.

I have studied and worked with some impressive names in the

pastry/baking/restaurant fields:

MarySue Milliken and Susan Fenniger of “Too Hot Tamales” fame, Nancy

Silverton, Patrick Terrail, Gerard Joel Bellouet, Mark Carter, Francois Vignac, Joe

Ortiz, Kamalmal Pootarake, Gordon Hamersley, Hugh Carpenter, Yolanda Chen,

Lie Wong. (Go to Google for more on these phenoms)

And again, since I am a lifetime student and learner, over the years, I have

studied a broad spectrum of specialized international cuisines including

Japanese, Chinese, French, and Thai, as well a baking and cake art methods.


My portfolio includes certification from the Wilton School of Cake Design, near

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, CA (artesian bread baking); St Moritz Luxury

Chocolates in Beverly Hills; New York’s Colette Peters (fondant techniques;

Roland Mesnier (pulled sugar); Scott Clark Woolley (gum paste techniques; Ron

Ben Israel (model making for jeweled embellishments); and Johnson and Wales

College in Denver, Colorado (advanced pastry and bread making).


Had to Attend College to Achieve My Goal

To obtain a California State Teaching Credential, I attended California State University at Northridge (then called San Fernando State College) four years.

Earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics Education.

First Dream Job

After several interviews, I got my dream job teaching an all foods program at the huge Granada Hills High School.

(Was told that many teachers do not want to teach the foods programs because of the extra time and responsibility associated with such a program!

Are you kidding me?!

It was a dream job! I am proud to state that I helped develop the program into what is still a viable Vocational Program (ROP) today!

In the two years that I taught at Granada Hills High the program made news in the

Los Angeles Times when we catered a wedding!


Sometimes We Must Leave Things We Love

Since I wanted more financial security,

I had to look for a teaching position in another school district that offered tenure.

I moved to the William S. Hart District in Valencia, California teaching middle school.

Fourteen years in this district was challenging and my teaching schedule was

sometimes diverse…taught English for a while as well as sewing classes and my

beloved foods program.

Wanting a Master of Science Degree applied to my teaching credentials, I

developed a curriculum in Adolescent Nutrition Education by using my experience

with and input from my middle school students.

My students became my research subjects!

I developed a statistically significant nutrition program that was a prerequisite to other foods programs at the middle school.

What this means is that the program influenced eating behavior to the positive.

Wow! You never know until the math gets analyzed!

I earned the Master of Science Degree…took a few years though!

Chef Susan's 52 Secrets of Perfect Baking & Cake Decorating


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