I am a sucker for cake or pastry centric television. My favourite by far is Ace of Cakes. Chef Duff and his bevy of attractive indie-credible cake artists makes me swoon. I love the combination of DIY rebellion and well-practised craftsmanship. Therefore, when I read an article in the Skate / Culture / Art / Lifestyle magazine, Color about a former professional skater turned French trained cake chef I was enthralled.
The article focuses on George Barracuda one of the first pro-skaters and the inventor of the incredibly complex aerial manoeuvre, the aptly named, “Barracudair.” Barracuda was living the dream as a pro until his career was cut short by a brutal accident in 1982 that destroyed his knee. He has walked with cane ever since.
Barracuda did what any young skater would do after a career ending accident: he sold skate parts to finance a move to France and an education at L’Ecole du Gateux, a famous cake-baking school outside Toulouse. As you can see George isn’t your average sports story. He now owns a cake slash skate shop in Vancouver called, well of course it’s called, Cake Skate.
Trucks and boards sit next to exquisitely baked confection. Barracuda’s story and store are surreal and great fodder for a documentary. The documentary could be accompanied with a biography that is one part skate mag and one part cook book. Blend this ingredients together and let sit, and you get one rad media experience.
And what’s the best part? George is endlessly quotable. Here he is talking about the pitfalls of fame and professional boarding:
It’s funny what can happen while napping on that crooked bed of glory, waiting for the savage ritual of time to pull the sheets from under us. At some point though, you awaken from the illusion, realize the wave has crashed over you, and you are adrift in a sea of disposable icons. (from Color Magazine 7.5)
Incredible. That is skate poetics if you ask me. Barracuda’s story is like Ace of Cakes meets The Wrestler, sadness tempered with surrealism, and great lines like this: “Truth is nobody wants to pay for cake anymore. Not a real cake anyway. Not gâteux” (Color Magazine 7.5).
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