Nadia Colella: A creator in the kitchen and an artist at the canvas
A creator in the kitchen and an artist at the canvas, Nadia Colella is rising to new heights.
Perhaps nowhere in cooking is the balance of artistry and tastes more evident than in pastries, cakes and other delectables. And this takes more than just being able to bake. It takes a fine eye for inspiring design and a deep passion for the craft — two attributes that artist Nadia Colella possesses in abundance with her eight-year-old Toronto-based company, Nadia & Co. Art and Pastry.
Like any world-class baker, Colella has the basics mastered. It’s her artistry and design she adds in the decorative process that make her tasty creations highly sought after.
Colella began baking for fun at age 15. Her eye turned to art, and she then obtained a bachelor of fine arts degree from the Ontario College of Art and Design (now OCAD U), before being trained in French pastry and starting her business in 2012. And she draws her inspirations from her life experiences.
“The art on my cakes comes from my past fine arts, which have inspired me for years,” says Colella. “Architecture is another influence, as the details on an ornate building can inspire a detail on a cake. I also love china and ceramics, wallpapers and fabrics, and that leads to fashion. Many bakers have ‘cake-brain,’ where we see something and wonder how we can transfer that onto a cake.”
Colella has become one of the most coveted designers of custom wedding cakes, all of which are hand-painted, in the Greater Toronto Area.
During this unusual time, Colella is using her engaging personality to expand her presence on social media, where she has created a series of how-to videos on Instagram via @nadiaandco with her Share the Tea show on @IGTV.
Offering expert tips, sharing recipes and answering viewers’ questions, the weekly show is where Colella’s naturally enthusiastic passion for her craft shines through. She also recently returned to her first love — painting — and now offers custom-designed prints for sale.
“It’s interesting how painting on cakes has opened up my eyes to what is possible and what people are looking for,” says Colella about this burgeoning part of her business. “That’s where art becomes more sellable, with florals or landscapes. It’s also interesting to see clients who have enjoyed my cakes over the years now purchasing my prints and putting them in their everyday worlds.”
Nadia Colella has merged her passions for exploring life through art, as well as creating decadent cakes and pastries, supplying her with platforms where her true artistry can bloom and flourish.
Interview by Cassandra Giammarco