Marina Sousa

Owner, pastry chef and designer of Just Cake

Marina Sousa is owner, pastry chef and designer of Just Cake, located in the Monterey Bay area of California. Just Cake opened in January 2003, and since that time Marina has quickly earned recognition for her impeccable style and the unmatched quality of her cakes. Her work has been featured in several national magazines including InStyle, Brides, Modern Bride, The Knot, Today’s Bride, GO Wedding Style and People. Brides magazine featured her as one of the country’s top 50 sugar artists, and she was named on the "Top Ten Cake Designers" list by Dessert Professional Magazine.

Marina is often seen on Food Network where she has repeatedly clinched first place finishes on Food Network Challenge and has even served as a judge on the show. She also impressively battled to the end of Food Network-Last Cake Standing series. Marina was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show: Biggest Stars of Reality TV episode, building a jaw-dropping eleven foot tall hanging chandelier cake confection. One of her favorite appearances was on Fantasy Weddings, where she had the honor of making the wedding cake for her friend and Food Network star, Keegan Gerhard. She’s also enjoyed the privilege of designing cakes for high-profile celebrities and celebrity events including wedding cakes for Brad Pitt/Jennifer Aniston and Raquel Welch. She regularly creates cakes for Clint Eastwood’s resort properties in Carmel and his private country club Tehama. She also made a sweet 16 cake for actress and singer Miley Cyrus during one of her wins on Food Network Challenge.

When she’s not in her kitchen, Marina is traveling the world teaching others her craft at prestigious institutions including The Culinary Institute of America, The Notter School of Pastry Arts and The French Pastry School in Chicago. She’s also designed her own line of sugar bead and button molds called Marina’s Molds. The sugar beads are her original designs, and the first of their kind in the sugar arts world, bringing edible bling to a whole new level.

Marina holds a degree in Baking & Pastry Arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley. She graduated at the top of her class and was the recipient of CIA’s Baking Achievement Award. She also has a degree in Visual Presentation and Space Design from The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, and a degree in Theatrical Production Management from the California Institute of the Arts.

Submit a tip

Do you have info to share with HuffPost reporters? Here’s how.