At Home With Jordan Rondel of The Caker, Los Angeles

Sweet treats and the avant-garde...

Expression seems to come as second nature to Jordan Rondel, mastermind and baker behind The Caker, blending the opulence of sweetness with the decadence of the avant-garde...

Jordan has been part of our Tessuti family for years, fom working part time in our store, to us now stocking her delicious and fail-proof cake kits. With the recent closing of her Auckland bakery, it seems like a perfect time to celebrate The Caker, and all of the hard work and reward Jordan has achieved setting herself up in Los Angeles. Photographer Greta van der Star visited Jordan at her home, a minimalist space that champions nostalgia and calmness...

Tell us about your working life in LA, and how this transition has invigorated The Caker.

What I love about LA is this magical sense that anything can happen. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. You wake up in the morning and kind of have no idea what the day might have in store for you, which can be terrifying but definitely invigorating too. Living here has made me realize with certainty that if you put the right kind of energy out into the world, amazing things will land at your feet.

What are some of your favourite spots to frequent in LA?

There are so many incredible places to eat in LA, from fine dining to cheap and very authentic eats. I eat out a bit but I also love to cook at home because the produce you can buy here is next level and needs little intervention. During the weekends I try to do something a bit adventurous so I might visit the Huntington gardens or go for a hike in the Angeles Crest mountains where natural rock pools have formed over time from melted snow running off the peaks. During the winter I love going to the movies because there are some very iconic old cinemas here!
Jordan Rondel's Los Angeles home.
Photography by Greta van der Star.

Can you tell us about your home, and (as a busy woman) what this space offers you.

I have always been a minimalist. I love living in a fairly empty, clean space because it helps me think clearly - as soon as there is clutter or mess I feel my brain gets easily scattered. Since moving into my studio apartment, which is one big room essentially, I knew I only wanted to fill it with pieces I absolutely love so that’s what I set out to do. I worked with the space to create a calm and peaceful home that makes me feel at ease coming back after a busy day in the city.

The flower markets in LA look to be an absolute dream, can you talk about the market you visited with Greta and what this place offers you?

Yes, the flower markets really are so dreamy. They are super close to my home so I visit them frequently to collect blooms for cakes and of course for my vases. In this district there are many different flower retailers to choose from and it’s so difficult to choose where you will stop and buy something from. But after a quick lap Greta and I saw some dahlias that simply called our names and we found the bunches destined for us.

Your dad worked in metal, and one can see the appeal for the material in your own life too. Can you speak to this handed-down aesthetic, or perhaps how you interpret it, where it shows up in your life?

My dad Stephane Rondel definitely gave me my love for metal. I love metal for its cold, brutalist, avant-gardist nature that is so incredibly timeless and elegant; my dream house would be made out of just metal, glass and concrete. I clearly have an affinity for hard, clean surfaces but not necessarily straight lines, my dad used curves a lot in his designs and I’ve brought that into my cake designs a lot. His designs celebrate the essential and extract the minimum in order to create something pretty futuristic and he always chose function even before form, although I think the two go beautifully hand in hand. I am lucky to have a few of his pieces in LA, but I wish I had more because they are my favourite things I own.

Ok let's talk about cakes - tell us about your latest kit releases, and where the inspiration for these hero flavours came from?

People normally associate a cake mix with something light, simple and classic, so I took that notion and added my spin to it. My hero flavors at first glance are not necessarily that out there, but if you look closer you’ll notice, for example, the dark chocolate one is flourless and comes with a sheet of edible gold leaf for decoration, the coconut raspberry one comes with freeze-dried lime leaf, which adds an intensely fragrant flavour. The ingredients my kits contain are all as clean as possible and truly are hand picked from only the best suppliers. The packaging is intentionally designed to look less like a food product and more like a cosmetic or beauty product, making them gift worthy and display worthy, which you must admit, the average Betty Croker is not!
Jordan in her kitchen with her collection of The Caker kits.

What are you currently working on that we can look forward to from the Caker?

Outside of my core range of cake kits I have four special release collabs in the works, which are all brand new flavours and will be released over the next few months. With the winding down of my Auckland bakery I’m excited to have more time and energy to focus on continuing to innovate in the cake mix space and to keep pushing the boundaries of what you think cake business might look like! I plan to creatively direct lots of cool new shoots and step more profoundly into the media world.

Last quick fire question: chocolate or cheese?

Ouch….I simply can’t choose, sorry!

See our complete range of The Caker kits in store and online here.
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