Contrary to popular belief, fashion people do eat—just ask Breanne Butler. The 26-year old pastry chef, who cut her teeth in the kitchen at Facebook HQ, has made a name for herself creating couture-inspired cakes and intricately designed candy rings for high-end brands, seamlessly fusing the worlds of style and food and gaining Instagram fame in the process. “What I love most about the rings is you can wear one just for the night,” she recently told InStyle, before adding that you’d presumably eat it later as a very chic late-night snack. Below, more about her stint at the famed social networking site and where she finds inspiration for her over-the-top confections.
At what point did you become interested in baking?
"My grandmother used to make cakes. When I was 16, she taught my sister and I how to decorate one—it was the only thing I was better at than my sister! So I kept going with it. Later on in high school, I enrolled at Macomb Community College, took a pastry class, and realized it could be a viable career. So I got my degree and started working at a bakery in Detroit. It was so fast-paced that I learned how to ice a cake in 30 seconds."
Why did you decide to start your website, By Breanne?
"I was intrigued by the fashion world—even though I can’t sew a button on—so I started making cakes inspired by designer collections and runway shows. At the time, I was working 90 hours a week at Rouge Tomate on the Upper East Side, and it was great to have a creative outlet."
How did the gig at Facebook come about?
"I got a Facebook message from them saying 'Hey, we’re opening a kitchen in New York and we want you to be our pastry chef. Can you come in for an interview?' I was like, Is this a scam? I still don’t know how they found me!"
Then you made your foray into candy.
"I was making cookies for a jewelry shop in the West Village called Flat 128, and they would go bad before they even sold. I started thinking, 'I wish I was a jewelry vendor who could drop off a shipment of rings and not worry.' So I decided to make candy rings. It was so fun experimenting with the different colors and flavors. And they never go bad!"
Where do you look for creative inspiration?
"I live right by Museum Mile, and I love getting lost there, observing all of the different textures and color combinations—particularly the Manus x Machina exhibit at The Met."
What’s the next thing you want to make?
"I want to explore 3D-printed candy. I think it’s really important to be constantly evolving. I don’t want to pigeonhole myself."
The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.