Aside from the brides who commissioned his work, few have seen the fantastic cakes created by pastry chef Jonathan Elias of Troy.
That will change on December 15th.
On that day, Elias and his team of culinary wizards will make their debut in Disney Plus’s “Foodtastic,” a new TV series that challenges chefs to create extravagant landscapes and larger-than-life sculptures made entirely of food.
” What can I say ? I’m excited. It took a while to come, ”says Elias, who was approached by the show’s producers and filmed the episode in January.
“I think the audience will really love the show and I know they will be blown away by what we’ve created,” adds Elias, who was born in Oak Park but raised in Sterling Heights. In fact, it was during his youth at Sterling Heights High School that he discovered his passion for the culinary arts.
“It all started as a joke,” he says.
His cousin was doing pretty poorly in their fantasy football league, so he made a cake that told him so, in a gentle way. “I made the words (you suck) into nuggets because I didn’t have a pastry bag.”
His cousin loved the cake, as did the rest of his family, who encouraged him to make more.
“It was fun and I was really good at it,” Elias says. “After that I made my mom a birthday cake and just progressed from there.”
Elias says he enjoys the journey that comes with baking a cake. From coming up with a design and cooking it, to decorating it and seeing people’s faces – not just when they see it, but when they find out it’s delicious too.
After high school, Elias completed the Culinary Arts program at Macomb Community College and has worked in the industry ever since. Those who have sampled his pastries include not only many Michigan brides, but also patrons of restaurants such as the Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse. Among her most famous creations was a wedding cake covered with hundreds of carved pink roses, which stood so high that it seemed to be suspended from the ceiling.
He was also one of the pastry chefs who took part in a Halloween baking championship on the Food Network – which is probably what caught the attention of producers behind Disney’s first foodie TV series, hosted by the award winner. ‘an Emmy Award-winning Keke Palmer from Disney + “The Proud Family: Stronger and Prouder.”
In each episode, three teams of three pastry chefs are invited to transform Disney characters into crazy and out of the ordinary scenes, using food. However, taste plays no role in the judge’s decisions. It’s more about the art of food and the creativity of the chefs who use it to tell the story and capture the theme.
The task of Elias and his teammates – who were actually his competitors in the baking championship – was to create a work of art inspired by Disney’s “The Ant-Man”, an action-adventure film featuring starring Paul Rudd as the funny guy who turns into a super little superhero.
“It’s a great site to see,” says Elias. “We used everything from different lettuce, celery and honeycomb to melons, squash, mushrooms and coconut. If it’s edible, you can use it.
This is the secret of their recipes and what could be the success of the show, available to stream from December 15 on Disney +.
Elias said he couldn’t describe how amazing it was to work with his team on the show.
“It was very, very long days that were very, very stressful and exhausting,” he says. But it was also very rewarding – getting the job done and seeing the fruits of their labor turn into a gorgeous scene you would expect in a Disney movie.
“Seeing it come to life was like a fairy tale,” said Elias, who plans to host a viewing party for Wednesday’s episode with his family and friends.
For more information on the show, visit disneyplusoriginals.disney.com/show/foodtastic.