This month’s watermelon carver is Aneta Lekas, who’s a regular in our annual carving contest. Aneta was born in Poland immigrated to Canada in 1993.
She has spent 20 years in the catering industry, but didn’t start carving fruit until 2011. Her skills developed quickly, and she began carving professionally in 2012. Today, Aneta is the founder of Say It With Fruit, a company that creates unforgettable fruit carvings for special events. (You can also check out Say It With Fruit on Facebook.)
Aneta entered several carvings in our 2014 carving contest, and her floral arrangement (below) won third place in the category of “Most Elegant,” and her peacock (right) was the first place winner in the “Animal” category.
I recently had a chance to chat with Aneta about her carving skills, including what inspired her to carve watermelon, her most memorable carving, and what 2015 has in store for her and her carving skills.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF. WHEN YOU’RE NOT CARVING WATERMELON, WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO?
I like to spend time with my family doing different activities. I love to travel. Summer time is camping time. We have a great time with friends enjoying nature. I also spend many hours as a volunteer.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START CARVING WATERMELON?
It was my vacation in Mexico. The resort we stayed in had so many carved watermelons on the buffet every day. I fell in love with this kind of art and decided to try it myself. First, I tried an online fruit and vegetable carving course. Then I decided to improve my watermelon carving skills, so I traveled to Poland to get professional lessons from carving masters and European champions.
WHAT SORT OF CARVINGS DO YOU LIKE TO CREATE?
I always liked to sketch with pencil so I transferred that skill from paper to the skin of a watermelon. Carving images and engraving words enables me to personalize watermelons for each person to make them feel special. Besides that, I love Thai carving. Creating flowers from the three colors of the watermelon is always impressive.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE WATERMELON CARVING?
It was the peacock carved for the competition last year. I received two awards in two different competitions for it. First place in Best Animal Carving in your carving contest and fourth place in a people’s choice carving competition in Ohio.
WHEN IT COMES TO EATING WATERMELON, DO YOU PREFER CHUNKS OR WEDGES?
I usually cut it into wedges. It is faster, but I love when someone cuts it into chunks and serves for me.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AS A CARVER? WHAT WILL YOU BE CARVING THIS YEAR?
I would like Say It With Fruit to be a company recognized for its motto: To Make Everyone Feel Special. My carvings beautify important days in people’s lives, such as weddings and anniversaries, and makes them memorable.
This year, I will be working on new carving designs and improving my carving skills to make every watermelon unique for each person.
I am also planning to do carving presentations for special events in our city, such as the Pan Am Games and organize a fruit carving competition. I want people to be aware that fruit carving exists in Canada and that edible art can make their important events unforgettable!
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