Jeff Stoveld, age 30, demonstrated talent and creativity at an early age. He had a passion for drawing from the age of 5 and began figure skating in the Ice Dance Elite program when he was only 6 years old.
During his time in Ice Dance Elite, Jeff was a member of the Canadian National Figure Skating Team from 2001 – 2006. In 2003, Jeff and his dance partner received the BMO Financial Group Possibilities Award at the Canadian Novice Ice Dance Championships. In presenting this award, Skate Canada stated “this free dance raised the bar for future competition, while putting the crowd on their feet”. This was the first of many demonstrations of Jeff’s need to break the boundaries. Jeff and his partner represented Canada twice at the North American Challenge Skate Competition in 2002 and 2003. Jeff’s final competitive season in Ice Dance was in 2006, and competed for a spot on the Canadian Olympic Figure Skating Team during the Canadian Figure Skating National Championships, placing 13th in Canada. At the end of this season, Jeff retired from the sport to focus on a post secondary education.
Jeff continued to contribute to the world of Ice Dance as the graphic artist for the International Skating Union, drawing and perfecting existing and newly developed dance patterns to be used worldwide in judging compulsory dances.
After finishing high school, Jeff was unsure where he wanted his life to take him. Initially, he attended Centennial College (Toronto 2004) earning a Fine Arts and Design Foundation Studies Certificate. During this time, his former skating coach Jon Lane introduced Jeff to a professional kitchen, opening his eyes to a new passion. He changed programs and attended George Brown College’s (Toronto 2006) Hospitality Management program – a cuisine course, with an occasional pastry class. As one of the top students in his course, he was fortunate enough to be recommended for a summer position at Jamie Kennedy Church St, a 3 star establishment, for the catering branch of Jamie Kennedy’s business. While working that summer in the same kitchen that the restaurant operated from, Jeff found himself frequently in the pastry section asking questions to further his knowledge. It became evident that this was the profession for Jeff, but he felt that his past studies didn’t allow him to hone his skills in the kitchen enough. It was then that Jeff learned about Le Cordon Bleu, where most of the instruction is done in the kitchen.
By September 2007, Jeff had moved to Ottawa and enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa, where he successfully completed his Grande Diplome in early 2009. At Le Cordon Bleu, Jeff realized his true passion was in pastry.
After Graduating, Jeff became a Pastry Chef at Signatures Restaurant @ Le Cordon Bleu, a 5 Diamond establishment, now Le Cordon Bleu Bistro @ Signatures, right on the premises of Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa. Privileged to work under Chef Yannik Anton and MOF Chef Christian Faure, Jeff was able to take advantage of their knowledge to develop his own abilities past the fundamentals he was taught. While cooking in the pastry kitchen, Jeff had to be quick yet precise, to please the high-end clientele that attended the restaurant. In addition to plated desserts and banquets, Jeff frequently made wedding cakes for receptions held at the restaurant. In the late fall of 2009, Jeff helped reopen the restaurant under its new name Le Cordon Bleu Bistro @ Signatures, and had to juggle both Garde Manger and Pastry Chef positions, which was a challenging and rewarding task.
In November 2009, Jeff began working at Top of the Hill Bakery with his former classmate and friend, Adam Quinn-Taylor as General Manager, Head Cake Decorator and IT Specialist. In November of 2011, Jeff purchased the bakery from Adam, and continues to expand the bakery’s name across the city giving all corners of the Ottawa Valley a taste of fresh baked goods. Although he is the owner, his responsibilities still remain; as the Head Cake Decorator, Jeff is responsible for preparing cakes, from scratch, on a daily basis, and making custom cakes to order. In the beginning, custom cakes were something the bakery did not often offer, other than the occasional wedding cake. Jeff took it upon himself to use the fundamental skills in ice, vegetable, and fruit carving lessons, as well as the guidance from the Chefs at Le Cordon Bleu during his studies and employment, to teach himself the craft of edible art. From carving cereal treats, to designing an edible replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in 3D, to winning the first, second and third annual Celebrity Cake Decorating Competitions at the Orleans Festival (2010, 2011, 2012), Jeff Stoveld has become a well known name across the city of Ottawa as one of the top Cake Decorators. To this day, Jeff continues to expand his knowledge and skills.
In additions to Jeff’s numerous cake decorating awards, he has led his bakery to win Ottawa’s Best Chocolate Dessert at the Carefor Annual Chocolate Competition. In 2012, Jeff and his team took home Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice awards, and People’s Choice again the following year (2013). In 2014, Jeff and his team were unable to compete, but took home both Judge’s and People’s choice again in 2015 and 2016. Jeff and his team are the only competitors to win a single trophy more than twice in the 12 years the event has been taking place. Jeff has won the Judge’s Choice 3 times, and People’s Choice 4 times.
In 2015, Jeff and his team were named by InStyle as One of the Top Ten Naked Cakes from Across North America. Jeff and his team were the only bakery from Canada to be named.
In 2016 Jeff and his team were awarded the platinum award for Ottawa’s Best Wedding Cupcake Display by a panel of peers at the Ottawa Wedding Awards.
Word of mouth has led to Jeff receiving numerous specialty cake orders, from extravagant 1st birthdays to remarkable wedding cakes. Jeff continues to push the limits of cake decorating each year when he creates edible themed cake scenes for CHEO, including the addition of a real working waterfall in the cake for 2016, and a gravity defying cake in 2017. Judging from the ever increasing number of orders, word is getting around that his desserts are of top quality and it is no surprise that they are becoming a huge hit in the Ottawa area.