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Iceland wedding cakes can range in style from fondant and buttercream to the traditional kransakaka. As Hotel Rangá pastry chef, Andrej Ivetic makes not only desserts but all of our wonderful Iceland wedding cakes. His delicious creations are both imaginative and artistic. In fact, he has a particular talent for creating incredible sugar flowers. We recently caught up with Andrej to learn about how he became interested in working with pastry and all things sweet.
How did you end up in Iceland and start working at Hotel Rangá?
In 2018, I came to Iceland to help a friend working in a restaurant at downtown Reykjavík. Somehow I ended up staying, even though I didn’t work at that restaurant for longer than a year. About a year and a half ago I moved to Iceland’s south coast close to Hella and decided to apply at Hotel Rangá.
What is your background as a chef and baker?
I finished both my middle and higher education as a pastry chef in Serbia and later moved to Hungary. I worked in quite a few restaurants as a pastry chef and have also worked as a head chef. In the past, I worked for a cruise line and in fine dining.
What about your surroundings inspires you?
The variety of textures and colors in Iceland’s landscape inspire me. I’m a visual person.
Did you always know you wanted to work with sweets and baking?
Even as a child I was always in the kitchen bothering my mother or both my grandmothers, especially when baking was involved. So it didn’t really come as a surprise that I would choose to be a pastry chef. I love all forms of pastry related work. I actually started working on wedding cakes much later in my career. It was something that became a part of my work routine. I am quite fond of making wedding cakes.
What is your favorite Hotel Rangá dessert to make?
That would have to be the vegan carrot cake.
Have you ever had any special wedding cake requests?
I tend to think that all of them are special in one way or another. I’d say my sister’s wedding cake was very special – she wanted a pair of dragons, that was fun to create.
How do you translate your design ideas into cake form?
The wedding couple often has some ideas. Next, I look into the decoration of the venue, the bride’s dress, the color palette, flowers and dinner menu. Then, I just let my imagination run wild.
What are the most popular types of Iceland wedding cakes that you create?
There isn’t really one top type of wedding cake – every wedding couple has their own unique idea. My job is to make it a reality for them.
What do you love most about your work?
That I mostly smell like vanilla. Just joking! What I love the most – well, that is seeing a happy face when someone is eating one of my desserts. Or when I deliver a wedding cake that went over everyone’s expectations.