Zhou Yi was not born into royalty. He ascended to it by virtue of his delicious craftsmanship. Meet the Sugar King. He ascended to the throne by besting all comers at the UK’s Cake International competition by taking the foreign art form of fondant cake, and adapting it into a Chinese style all his own. His Empress Wu Zetian cake was a breathtaking work of edible beauty.
Zhou recognizes the importance of passing on traditional Chinese craftsmanship, but he is practical about it. He knows that if craftsmen can’t make a dime in the market off of their skills, then their skills will die out.
He got the confectionary art form bug from his father, who was skilled in the ways of 面塑 (miansu), which involves crafting beautiful sculptures out of flour dough. Zhou adapted the skills for fondant cake, and updated the aesthetic for a twenty-first century audience, with vibrant colors and anime-inspired faces. This ensured the survival of tradition, all the while creating a new form of Chinese craftsmanship.
Director: Xue Guanpu
Cameraman: Shen Jiajun