From today’s Virginia section…
By Lindsey Nair
The Roanoke Times
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.”
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Above, you see the finished piece created by Notter. It’s a little hard to see the neck and head of one swan because the bird is very dark and it’s against a dark stone background, but you get the idea. Can you believe that’s sugar?
If you want to see the sculpture up close, it will be on display in the lobby of the Taubman Museum of Art through the end of the day on Friday.