Meet the guys who make pancake art for Hollywood's elite
It began with one fry cook, Dan Drake, creating smiley face pancakes for customers at a Saint Louis diner. They gave him tips, good ones, the better he got at it. Now it’s a team — the Dancakes squad — who get to rub elbows with Hollywood elite or make children smile at catered events all because of gracefully placed batter on a hotplate. And YouTube, of course. “It’s a blessing we never could’ve predicted,” says Drake. “It’s changed all of our lives in a crazy way.”
1. THE OUTLINE
Want to be a pancake artist? Start easy. “They were simple,” says Drake of his firsts. “I’d make eyes and a mouth with pancake batter, and layer them on top of round pancakes to make faces. People seemed to really love them.”
2. THE COLORFICATION
The Dancakes team adds flavorless coloring to different bottles of batter depending on the subject. After that, it’s practice. Lots and lots of practice. “The better tips gave me incentive to keep practicing,” says Drake. “I improved, bit by bit.”
3. THE REWARD
Flip it and enjoy. “When strangers see what it is that we do, they’re usually really impressed that we’ve found a way to make a living doing such a silly, fun thing,” adds Drake. It’s those reactions — and a little monetary incentive — that keeps ‘em going.