Pancake artists Daniel Drake and Henry Gustafson, also known as Dr. Drake and Hank, flipped their way into the hearts of the Lafayette community this past Wednesday. Stationed in the Farinon atrium with their innovative, whimsical pancake creations, the chef duo exhibited their edible art as part of the Lafayette-Lehigh rivalry week.
Dozens of Lafayette students lined up to get their fill of not-just-any-old-misshapen-buttermilk-flapjacks, but real works of art and creativity. Students could order any design in the world, but most opted for a portrait pancake. These students eagerly awaited their turn to sit in a chair as Drake slowly formed replicas of their faces with magical strokes of his pancake batter squeeze bottle.
Austin Ray ’20 said he was impressed. Before Ray knew it, he was having his face drawn on a griddle.
“There was a chair right there so I sat down and we just started talking,” Ray said. “I asked him [Drake] how he got into it [pancake art] and he told me he used to do it to get extra tips where he worked.”
Drake did start from humble beginnings, flipping pancakes at a diner where he arrived at the idea of making smiley-face pancakes for a little extra cash. According to Ray, someone began videoing Drake and helped him promote his talent.
News of the pancake artist spread through Facebook and Reddit posts, but Drake’s big break came when NBC flew him and Hank out to New York City to be a part of the Today Show. As their popularity exploded, the team turned their pancake endeavor into a formal company, now called Dancakes.
Dancakes has pushed the envelope of edible art and has created imaginative pancake designs—from Pixar characters to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and even Harley Quinn. Ray said that Dancakes’ skill and charisma left their mark with their charismatic personality and exciting designs.