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An Interview with Zawadi Parizek About BeTeamRed

Zawadi Parizek

Zawadi Parizek of Honey Bunny Bake Shop


BeTeamRed – Inspire and Act to Create Change

This post kicks off a series of posts that talk about a World AIDS Day collaboration of sugar artists from around the world called BeTeamRed.   

Here is an interview with Zawadi Parizek, the founder and coordinator of this collaboration.

1.Tell me about yourself. How long have you been decorating? Do you decorate professionally?

I have lived in Chicago, IL for the last 19 years but I am from a very small farming town in Iowa. I grew up helping my grandmother bake and can foods from the garden.  So, I think that’s where my like of baking started.  However, I didn’t get back to the oven until more recently. The 3rd year anniversary of my 1st ever fondant covered cake is this Feb.  I made Liz Marek’s Marshmallow Fondant (LMF) and a scratch vanilla cake with a leopard pattern inside which I had to remake 3 times because I kept overfilling my 2 inch pan!  I ended up with a raw overflowing cake and a smoking oven. After that I was hooked. I had this desire to become better at baking and decorating cakes. Now, I continue to work full time as a Cardio-Thoracic nurse and create cakes for friends and family on nights and weekends.  In Illinois we can’t work out of a home kitchen so I have remained a hobby baker and because I make my living as a nurse my cake time can be spent on collaborations and learning.  I became involved with the online cake community through my Facebook page about 2 years ago. I have made a diverse and supportive group of friends through this online cake community.

2. Tell me about BeTeamRed.  Have you created any other collaboration or was this your first one? What was your inspiration for creating this collaboration?  What are some of the challenges that you faced? What has been your favorite part?

BeTeamRed is this year’s collaboration hosted by myself as the founder and creative director of the United Nations of Sugar Art (UNSA).  The UNSA is a coalition of international sugar artists.  Every year we will choose a different charity to support and the members of UNSA can decide if it is a collaboration they want to participate in or not.  This year all proceeds will go The Global Fund to support their war on HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria in countries in need.

Though I have helped others with their collaborations this is the first one that I have coordinated.  I created the UNSA and BeTeamRed because I know what it is like to want to volunteer but never know for what or how.  I wanted to organize an event in which I would research and do all the work (with a ton of help) and then provide the volunteer opportunities for others to stand together for a cause.  I picked World AIDS Day because I’m a nurse, I have friends affected by the disease and to be honest, it’s my birthday.  I wanted to celebrate by doing something bigger than myself.

Language and time zones were my biggest challenges.  We are over 40 different countries and multiple languages and Google translate doesn’t always say what you want it to! I was also up at all hours because so many time zones are involved. Someone on the other side of the world may have questions and its 2am for me but 9am for them so, if my phone beeped I woke up to answer.

My favorite part has been watching people getting to know each other. There is such a diverse group of personalities and skill sets that everyone is able to find someone they connect to.  Louise, my member relations officer would do interviews and post daily spotlights along with weekly questions.  Through this I saw our novice members blossom and friends made around the world.

World AIDS Day Cake

3. Tell me about your piece. What was your inspiration? What is your piece made from and how did you make it?

My contribution to the digital art gallery for this year’s BeTeamRed collaboration is based on a sculpture that I came across surfing Google.  I don’t know who the artist is but the moment I saw it I knew I needed to recreate it in sugar.  For me it represents the veil of ignorance, stigma and fear that those with HIV and AIDS face. More specifically the weight of worry facing an HIV positive women who is pregnant especially if she can’t get the proper healthcare and healthcare education needed not to pass HIV to her child.  It was also important to me that our mission, Inspire and Act to Create Change, be present because if the over 200 members of UNSA didn’t do just that this event would never happen.

The topper to my piece is a fondant/modeling chocolate mix covering a wire human frame.  The red draping is rice paper that has been dipped in red colored water until it had a fabric like consistency.


Here’s Zawadi’s contact information and the links for the United Nations of Sugar Art (UNSA) and BeTeamRed Collaboration for World AIDS Day.

Name: Zawadi Parizek
Business Name: Honey Bunny Bake Shop
                Chicago, IL 60626

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/honeybunnybakeshop
Twitter: https://twitter.com/neevagrl 
Periscope: @HBBS (honeybunnybakeshop)
tsu: HBbakeshop

The United Nations of Sugar Art (UNSA) & BeTeamRed:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeTeamRed 
Instagram: https://instagram.com/unsugarart 

Please click on the GoFundMe link below to contribute to The Global Fund to support their war on HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria in countries in need.

GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/beteamred
BonfireFund T Shirts: https://www.bonfirefunds.com/unsa-beteamred 


World AIDS Day Cake