Cooking Superstar

The Sugar Turntable

Cook along with Kathryn from The Sugar Turntable

Kathryn Poduska
Fresno, California
Stay-at-home Mom and Cake Designer

When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?

I got in to cake baking/decorating shortly after my first child was born and I began staying at home full time. My sister, who is also a fantastic cake baker/decorator, inspired me to start dabbling. It wasn't until I became more successful in the wedding cake industry that I had the guts to explore with my own recipes. I don't remember the first recipe I tried, but I do remember tweaking the recipes that I have now about a bazillion times.

What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?

How do I keep organized? Short answer, I DON'T. I try hard to be one of those super organized women and I'm just not. I always start with a clean kitchen and end with a clean kitchen (many times it's thanks to my husband), but the in-between is a disaster! When I bake, it's like watching the Tasmanian Devil... ingredients flying everywhere. I have tunnel vision and my focus is solely on the end product.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?

There is no one way to cook, bake or decorate cakes! Don't let anyone try to define a right or wrong way. I always had a problem with feeling a bit like an impostor because I never took culinary arts, decorating, or cake designing classes. The end product is what matters! As long as you do it safely, find the techniques that work for you. No degree required. If you can look at something and replicate it in a way that is pleasing to yourself and/or the consumer, it doesn't matter how you got there. Experiment with recipes! Some of my favorites have been recipes gone wrong, but turned out much better than the original. Try new recipes, then try tweaking them and making them your own. You'll have some failures, but the triumphs can more than make up for those.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?

This will sound boring, or worse, cheesy: my favorite people are my family. Do I love people like Robert Smith, Neil Gaiman, Stevie Nicks, the entire Firefly cast? Yes! Would I enjoy throwing a dinner party for them? No way! What a stressful dinner. I'd be worried the entire time. (Do they like their dinner? Is the Banoffee to sweet? Do I sound like an idiot right now?) Now, get all my family together and we can have a good time. Nothing better than laughing with the people you love and who love you.

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

I love photography! I approach photography the way I approach baking, I try to look for the unique and different angles that most people overlook.

Which cooking blogs do you love to read?

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Thanks for featuring me!

Kathryn Poduska
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What's your favorite...

TV Show
Arrested Development
Flaming Lips (really hard to answer that one, there are too many!)
Lord of the Rings (Yes, I am 100% geek)
Cook Book
Spectacular Cakes by Mich Turner
Cream, butter, sugar... basically anything from the fat group that is slightly sweetened.
Kitchen Gadget
Parchment paper. It may not technically qualify as a gadget, but it saves the day when it comes to cake baking.