Food writer Lindsey Nair brings us this feature story about Chef Ewald Notter’s sugar sculpting at the Taubman Museum of Art on Monday. Lindsey tells me that the sculpture he created will be on display until Friday afternoon. —MikeA
Chef Ewald Notter shows Taubman crowd how to turn sugar into art
The renowned confectioner showed off his sugar sculpting talents to more than 100 people at a free event at the Taubman Museum of Art.
By Lindsey Nair
Ewald Notter was halfway through the creation of a blown sugar swan when the fire alarm went off at the Taubman Museum of Art in downtown Roanoke on Tuesday afternoon.
Fortunately, after more than 40 years of working with a medium as fickle as sugar, the world-famous pastry chef has learned to remain calm and flexible. He set down his dark purple bird and filed out of the auditorium with the rest of the crowd.
“Years ago, maybe you scream,” he said. “Today, you take a pill or something, right? A happy pill.”
Notter’s humility and sense of humor were as much on display as his talent at the free public demonstration, which was organized by the Southwestern Virginia chapter of the American Culinary Federation. More than 100 people attended the standing room-only event, including local chefs and students at the Culinary Institute of Virginia Western.
“This is an exciting day, especially for those of us who cook,” said John Schopp, who owns Center Stage Catering and teaches pastry arts at the school. “This is kind of like having Mick Jagger in town.”
Notter, who was born and raised in Switzerland, got his first culinary apprenticeship at age 16. He ran his own school of pastry arts for 30 years (in Switzerland and U.S.) and competed in several world championships. In 2001, he helped the United States team win its first gold medal in the Coupe du Monde in Lyon, France, with 699 out of 700 points — the highest recorded score in sugar work.