RIP Nicholas Lodge: Death of pastry chef prompts outpouring of tributes

Bruno Cooke August 10, 2022
RIP Nicholas Lodge: Death of pastry chef prompts outpouring of tributes

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Renowned English pastry chef Nicholas Lodge has died at the age of 60, as announced in a Facebook post by fellow cake designer and cookery teacher Dawn Butler, aka Dinkydoodle. His death has been met with tributes from those who knew or followed him.

“Today,” Butler wrote in a heartfelt social media post, “the cake world changed forever. So, so, so many people will tell you stories of how Nick touched their lives.”

Chef Lodge hailed from Essex in south east England but moved to the US in his 30s. He was a popular and distinguished pastry chef, cake artist, instructor and author.

Following news of his passing, fans, followers and friends of Nicholas Lodge have paid tribute to the late cuisinier.

Making Tylose Gumpaste / Flower Paste for Sugar Flowers & Cake Decorations with Nicholas Lodge | YouTube channel Nicholas Lodge School

RIP Nicholas Lodge: Mentee and friend Dawn Butler confirms pastry chef’s passing

“It’s been a difficult evening to say the least,” Butler wrote on Facebook late last night (UK time). 

“And as I see the floods of condolence sweeping across Facebook from all over the world, I know the news is no longer private.”

The cake world “changed forever,” she wrote. Nicholas Lodge’s “bright green thread is literally woven into the fabric of the cake world.”

She said she would be grateful for “every moment” they spent together, adding he was “so generous” with his support of her career. She also offered her “sincerest condolences” to Scott Ewing, Nicholas’ business partner of 30 years, and the Lodge family.

How old was he?

Born in Essex, England, on June 12, 1962, Nicholas Lodge died at the age of 60. 

He decorated his first cake aged ten for his parents’ anniversary, around the same time he was recovering from a tonsillectomy. A year later, he enrolled at Moulsham High School in Chelmsford. After some insistence, he was allowed to study home economics, which at the time was not typically offered to boys.

Lodge enrolled at the National Bakery School in London as a 16-year-old and, on graduation, earned the distinction of Most Outstanding Cake Decorating Student.

He made a cake for the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday; created one of the 24 official wedding cakes for the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles; and received his first book commission in 1985 at the age of 23.

Photo by Mike Lawn/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

When did he move to the US?

Nicholas first traveled to the US in the 1980s and, during a two-week class in Atlanta, Georgia, decided he was in it for the long haul. 

According to food writer Michelle Howard, he found the cake decorating field in England saturated, while the practice was in its relative infancy in the US. 

He and business partner Scott Ewing opened the International Sugar Art Collection (ISAC) in Norcross, Georgia, in 1992. A sister school opened in Tokyo, Japan, in 1995. 

In 1993, Lodge received an invitation from the White House to take part in a one-year presidential appointment on internal affairs. But he wasn’t able to accept. Less than a decade later, in 2001, he became the youngest person ever to receive the honor of being inducted into the International Cake Exploration Societé (ICES).

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Tributes pour in after death of pastry chef Nicholas Lodge

Dawn Butler’s Facebook post paying tribute to the cake decorator extraordinaire has so far been liked almost 800 times. It has also received nearly 200 comments from those wanting to pay their respects.

“He was amazing,” writes one. “Can’t believe he has gone. He was such a talented man. Thoughts are with his family and friends.”

People have also been posting words of condolence on Twitter, including chefs Mark Hammerton and Edwina Prouse. See below.

“RIP chef Nicholas lodge,” writes one of his fans. “Your sweet legacy will live on.”

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.