SEATTLE — A Seattle pastry chef is temporarily immortalizing city landmarks on the top of pies. Natalie Popkave makes picturesque works of edible art.
"I sketch out what I want to put onto a pie,” she said. “I went to Kerry Park and kind of sat there for an hour just soaking in the views."
The result was a next-level bake of the Seattle skyline that went viral on social media. Popkave went on to create a Mount Rainier pie (for Pi Day,) and re-imagined Pike Place Market atop a cherry-infused chocolate chiffon pie.
“I made it primarily with ingredients from the Market, so there's Indi chocolate and Chukar cherries in there,” Popkave said.
The detail-oriented work speaks to her background. Popkave holds a degree in Imaging Science and left a career in trail mapping and native plant restoration to become a pastry chef.
"It's a pretty technical process and having that background in science kind of feeds that,” she said. "It was kind of always within me, but I wasn't doing anything like this."
In addition to Seattle-centric pies, Popkave bakes classic French tarts, macrons, and cakes. Her signature pie topping is a "triaxial weave" lattice, inspired by a quilting tutorial.
And her creations taste as good as they look, "It's a huge pet peeve of mine when someone says it's too pretty to cut into or too pretty to eat because I do primarily focus on the flavors."
Her desserts are made-to-order and can be arranged by contacting her via email.
As for the name of her small business?
“It's me and Bee, who is my 90-pound shadow," she said.
Bee is a half Great Dane half German Shepherd who was a puppy when Popkave started baking professionally.
"She's everything to me,” Popkave said. "She just kind of sits and watches and kind of falls asleep as she's looking over at me and it's just a kind of comforting spirit guiding over me.”
Follow Bee and the Baker on Instagram for Popkave’s latest creations.