Alice Toich – Nifty Weekend Takeover

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Follow @alive_toich on Instagram

A few weekends ago we had the rather lovely Alice Toich take over our Instagram account, we’ve been followin’ her via her beautiful photographs for ages, from her New York (she landed up on Humans Of New York) & Paris trips, to her mad painting & baking skills! Her weekend was filled with painting for her final fine art exhibition, writing essays, doodlin’ cakes, whipping up delicious food and a little sun gazing..

We caught up with Alice to talk about very serious things like the great macaron vs. cupcake & sprinkles vs. chocolate chip debate, plus we found out that her greatest extravagance is of all things, butter!

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Alice, I prefer the way the French say it. I studied copywriting; some of my favourite words are Cameroonian, undulate, tuft and ruby. I am a painter. My favourite colours are ochre, cadmium red, alizarin crimson and phthalo blue. I have 54 first cousins. My mom and dad are both identical twins. I bake for therapy.

2. We saw your art work during the weekend takeover and that you were preparing for your final exam. What are you studying and when can we expect an exhibition?

This year I have done a post-graduate diploma in Fine Art specializing in painting at Michaelis (the art school of UCT).  I have painted my whole life but never felt the desire to study until now. Our graduate show goes up on the 3 Dec on Hiddingh Campus which is open to the public and my body of work titled ” The Present” will be up until the 18 December on the second floor of the commerce building. I hope to exhibit a lot more in the future.

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A weapon of Mass Construction.

3. Remember spotting you on Humans of New York a few months ago, please tell us about that experience

It was quite surreal. I was going to the ballet with two friends at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. We decided to dress to the nines and they were running late so I went to sit on a bench in Central Park under the shade to wait for them, heels and all. Brendan appeared out of nowhere- sweating and rushing around and asked if I’d mind him taking a picture. He sat down after and started speaking to me. Before I knew it he had disappeared. Later the next day he posted the picture. I had complete strangers walk up to me on the subway and say they recognised me and that they really liked my quote (and shoes). I hadn’t even been there a week yet. I didn’t realise what an institution that blog was. And in a strange way it really made me feel like I was part of this bigger beautiful thing happening in New York.

4. We’re kind of obsessed with all the cakes and delicious lookin’ food you make, an art x cake cafe in the works ever? Where are your favourite places in Cape Town for tea/cappuccino and cake breaks?

I hope so! I always tell my friends my dream would be opening a spot that was a bakery on street level and an art studio above! Scents of freshly baked vanilla cakes drifting in while I paint a vas if fresh cut flowers on the window sill! A girl can dream..

My favorite cake spot in Cape Town is of coarse the Mount Nelson for a decadent high tea. On Saturdays I love the baked cakes and treats at the Oranjezicht city farm market which are often vegan and so creative and of coarse Charly’s Bakery cheesecake manages to hit the spot every time! I’d never turn down the dessert table at Sababa on Bree street: date balls from heaven!

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There are just way too many Libras that I love getting older and having birthdays this month so I’m doodling over tea some cake ideas and goodies to make for the ones I still owe a treats to..

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Lunch is dessert today. Made up a midnight almond/oat and strawberry fig tart base last night which I proceeded to cram with fresh raspberries, mulberries, double cream yogurt and top with some lashings of melted dark chocolate. Seriously thanking my late night baking escapades right now.

5. Who are your favourite people to follow on Instagram?

I love a mix of local and overseas accounts. Mostly food, art, health and fashion blogs.

@ohladycakes (baked goods)

@thetheorynyc (healthy living)

@armstid (one of my talented drawing instructors from Grand Central Atelier in NYC)

@ane_strydom (CT stylist)

5. What is your favourite photo editing apps?

vsco cam is pretty much all I have space for on my iPhone.

6. What is your greatest extravagance? 

Butter. I could build a house with the amount of bricks I stash in my fridge. And master quality oil paints like Old Holland and Holbein. One small tube can go for €85!

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Close up of a portrait I am working on of my beautiful friend Laura freshly glistening after applying a glaze. I’ve only recently started experimenting with glazes and I must say my skepticism has been ceased- I’m loving the richness and depth of colour they can can bring to a piece. Oh boy, this illustrious medium will never stop enchanting me by how versatile it can be

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Ultimate afternoon snack; Dr Paw Paw to the rescue with some double cream Greek yogurt and a load of toasted seeds and almonds. Man oh man.

7. What is your most treasured possession? 

My health.

8. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Christmas Day on the beach with those I love around me, the sun, the ocean and a belly full of home-cooked lunch. The older I become the more I realise happiness isn’t one big secret formula, it’s a daily choice of feeling appreciation and love for what you are given.

9. Macarons or cupcakes? Sprinkles or chocolate chips? 

Macarons ON chocolate-chip cupcakes with sprinkles? ( Is that cheating?)

Studio selfie #foryoureyesonly. I know I know…this isn’t probably the most genre-defying piece of cutting-edge couture you’ve ever laid eyes on but it truthfully is my favorite piece of clothing and what I spend 80% of my working week in- wouldn’t change that for the world! Stay tuned for more on the world of sexy painters smocks and in-studio fash. #derelict

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And this is the way you end a day like today; drinking in the last licks of golden light with some buddies, watermelon, beers and a checky dip in ocean. My skin is tingling, my hair is dreading with salt and I love Cape Town that little bit more.

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