Sylvia Weinstock Dead at 91: Did 'Sensational Cakes' Author, Queen of Cakes Die of an Illness?
Sylvia Weinstock, a respected baker within the food industry and author of several cookbooks like "Sensational Cakes," has passed away at the age of 91.
According to her representative who spoke to People Magazine, the Brooklyn-born baker has passed away "peacefully" in her home in Tribeca, New York, surrounded by her family.
The cause of her death was not mentioned, but the Queen of Cakes suffered from breast cancer, which she survived at the age of 50.
The news of her death comes a month after she came out of retirement to design an enormous floral cake for Bill and Melinda Gates' daughter Jennifer Gates' wedding.
Weinstock is renowned in her field as she is credited with being a pioneer in modernizing traditional white wedding cakes. She's known for her towering creations adorned with sugar-flowers and intricated details.
In a previous interview with InStyle, she mentioned that she doesn't count flowers on a cake; instead, she adds more until "it pleases the eye.
She added, "That could be hundreds, or thousands. To put it in perspective, one artist can create 100 roses in a typical (40-hour) week. They are all individually hand-crafted."
The world-renowned baker has always kept a mantra that cake was more than just food as it is a centerpiece of an event because it is the last thing that attendees would eat.
Sylvia Weinstock's History of Baking
Despite being known in the food industry for her creations, she didn't start baking professionally until she survived breast cancer at the age of 50.
She used to be a teacher for elementary students in Massapequa, New York. She and her husband later moved to Manhattan, where they started the business of making custom cakes.
Over the years, she perfected the craft of baking whenever they go on family ski trips to Hunter Mountain. Her family members would ski, and she would stay behind and bake from the French chefs who worked around the area.
Later on, she began selling her creations to restaurants in the ski resort.
In an interview with The New York Times, she revealed that world-renowned dessert-maker William Greenberg told her that she should "go into the cake business," so he did. She opened her first store in 1980.
Weinstock later took over the dessert industry and became one of the most in-demand bakers in the world.
In the same interview, she opened up about her humble beginnings, saying her store on Church Street had three floors and around 15 staff members.
The Queen of Cakes' creations stood out as she primarily uses buttercream frosting, far different from fondant as most chefs prefer.
Weinstock said she hated fondant because "it's cheap and easy."
Her husband of 68 years, Benjamin Weinstock, died in 2018.