(As pulled from an interview by the ShopBakersNook)
SBN: You were taught and mentored by two great ladies in our industry, Betty Van Norstrand and Martha Stewart, what did you learn from each of these women?
RBI: Betty was a great teacher. She, like me, is very interested in technique. Betty is also very organized and methodical. She would teach the method of how to do something and then push her students to turn it into their own creation. I was never a fan of piping, and Betty introduced me to silicone molding. I was never one to have a hobby, so when I was interested in something it generally became my profession. Martha Stewart was the first to put one of my cakes in her magazine. She took me on the Oprah Winfrey show. Martha was the catalyst for me opening my own cake shop.
SBN: You take pride in sharing your secrets with students, what do you enjoy most about teaching?
RBI: When I teach a class is it a chance for me to get out of the bakery and just focus on the task at hand without any interruptions from staff, clients, phones, etc. It is like meditation for me. I love academia it gives me a sense of growth and contribution. It is also a great place for networking and sharing ideas. I do love to share my knowledge with my students in a classroom setting. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to help people when they call my shop for advice and help. I am very busy and focused on my staff and clients when I am at the shop. I love for people to come and take my classes to learn from me.