We will guide you through the pastry world of Josef Maršálek, where at times you must act impulsively and keep cool when faced with unexpected challenges. A patisserie is not all just a “honeyed path”. Imagine 3 cakes, one mum and a bride. The wedding itinerary stated festive slicing of cakes at 21:30. But at 21:00 the cakes delivered did not resemble wishes of the family in the slightest. Behind the scenes the bride gave way to heartbreaking crying. She intuitively took off a terrible sweet decoration of the cakes which however further deepened their unappetising appearance. A real trouble was very close!
Josef Maršálek in his tactful way asked whether he could be of assistance. He acted quickly. He asked to be brought the greatest bouquet from the catering table and with a pair of scissors, knife, and gold and glitter spray at hand he went into action. Everyone preferred to leave him to it. The bows were flying through the air, 4 tiers of the cake gradually filling with magnificent white and white-green roses and freesias, powder-pink peonies and olive leaves. The remaining two cakes also got a fresh makeover. When the family returned, they couldn´t believe their eyes - in front of them stood luxuriously-crafted wedding cakes!
"Being a pastry maker is a beautiful job. Long hours spent designing, figuring out how to go about it, baking the bases, preparations of fillings and decorations and the last stage of assembly, disassembly and then assembly again; on site. It is a team work. One man alone is quite powerless. But two is a team. You never know when it is you on the other side," says Josef Maršálek.
Quite personal questions, custom-made for Josef Maršálek:
In our home almost always my Mum. She cooked and baked very well, my Dad once in a while made Ondráše (type of schnitzel - transl. note) or French potatoes. But the best cooking and baking (and fortunately this is still so) was done by my grandmothers.
I appreciate and highly esteem my grandmothers. Throughout their life they worked very hard manually in agriculture. I do not remember a single weekend without a cake or some king of special piece of baking. From the professional sphere it is Pierre Hermé, pastry-makers´ Picasso. He gave the world macaroons shaking its very foundations.
Vanilla from Mexico or Tahiti. Tonka beans from Brazil. And perfumes, preferably from India. We eat with all our senses.
It certainly must meet my aesthetic standards. But much more, and the majority of the people don´t care, I am interested in its centre. A balanced flavour, marriage of the filling and the base, a surprise in the form of various textures and scent. I start with delicious smell.
Good chocolate, and it makes no difference whether it is white, blond, milk, bitter or newly also red. Simply good and it is likely to be proportionally expensive.
A 150kg luxury cake in the shape of Egyptian sphinx with the face of Mohammed Al Fayed of 23 carat gold. Taste was of chocolate with nuts in caramel. Many hours of work, but the result was totally worth it.
Violets and roses - I love them in combination with marshmallows or meringues. It reminds me of my grandmothers´ gardens. The scent of hay, moss, pine needles, leather and tobacco in combination with chocolate. That is also my childhood in the village. And the last ten years I have been crazy into agarwood, oud. I have hopelessly fell in love with it. It is my weapon in negotiations...
Gold, metallic colours and surfaces, return to nature in the form of various wood surfaces, leaves and flowers. Art Deco, or the Great Gatsby style, but also the motives of space and galaxies. The great hits at the moment are watercolours on the cake. You must have heard about unicorns, flamingos and pineapples. And once and for all: "No to naked cakes".
God laughs at your plans. Carpe diem.