Luciana Gonzalez is a Brazilian confectionery master specializing in ultra-realistic sugar flowers. Her works is so incredibly detailed and delicate that you would never guess she has only three years of experience.
Up until 2017, Luciana Gonzalez had never baked a cake in her life and had never enjoyed spending time in the kitchen. But three years ago the civil engineer decided to abandon her lucrative career in civil construction due to unbearable stress, and try supporting her family in another way. After her former profession put her in the hospital, she decided to go to school again and learn another profession. The Senac Campos do Jordão school of gastronomy was right in front of her house, so she decided to give it a try, despite her total lack of cooking experience.
“I started gastronomy by chance,” Luciana told Sabor Vida. “I was an autonomous civil engineer and worked under the daily pressure of civil construction for 5 years, until I got sick. I was bedridden for three months without a precise diagnosis and under observation for a period in the ICU. I almost died. I always liked my profession, however I couldn’t live in that stress anymore.”
Luciana describes her time in gastronomy school as a climate that made people want to be there and learn. Although she didn’t have any cooking experience, she quickly realized she didn’t want to specialize in the basic aspects of gastronomy, choosing instead to study artistic confectionery. It was this course that helped her recreate the beauty of natural flowers out of sugar and other confectionery ingredients almost to perfection.
Interestingly, Gonzalez’s engineering background helped her a lot in her new career. She quickly realized that principles like thermodynamics were fully applicable in the kitchen, and this helped her understand why certain ingredients worked in certain recipes, as well as better some recipes.
“I understand why recipes work or why they don’t,” Luciana said. “When needed, I can replace one ingredient with another without changing the recipe. I even developed an adaptation of the Korean clay paste, with a base of rice flour, which makes the sugar flower even more flexible, without melting. I am always looking for solutions.”
Last year, Luciana Gonzalez became the first Brazilian gastrologist to have a stand at Cake International, one of the most recognized and coveted confectionery congresses worldwide. It was a chance to showcase her incredibly realistic sugar flowers and a recognition of her talent and hard work.
Today, Luciana Gonzalez is recognized as one of the world’s leading and most innovative confectionery masters in the world. She is also a successful entrepreneur, selling books and online courses on making all sorts of exquisite sugar flowers, as well as various kitchen tools to make the process smoother.
While you’re here, you may also want to take a look at the ultra-realistic porcelain flowers of Olesya Galushchenko, the world’s leading porcelain flower master.