Favorite Ukrop’s Food: Homestyle Meatloaf
When Buntith Chhuon took a part-time high school job working for Chef Otto Bernet’s pastry shop, he had no idea it would lead him down a cake-designing career path. He was working as an electrician when he decided he would rather be in the kitchen. He received a culinary degree from Richmond Technical Center and eventually became a certified Pastry Chef. After working at The Jefferson, Buntith came to work at Ukrop’s with Bernet in 1991.
His favorite part of making custom cakes is mastering new techniques. “I try to teach myself something every day – I love designing cakes.” Buntith gets an adrenaline rush from the chance to create a unique cake, construct a new flower, or tackle a fondant style he’s never tried before. Of the 1,000 different edible flowers Buntith can create, some take several days to finish. “That’s why we need notice to bake a cake,” he says. “Sometimes I have to make one petal at a time and let each one dry separately.”