I find it almost impossible to remember a time in my life when I wasn't baking. My earliest memories are from when I was a young child and would 'help' my Nan; I fondly recall pillowy clouds of icing sugar, floury worktops and samples from the mixing bowl, she probably more so remembered a stealthy clean up. My Nan was a brilliant baker and it was always the tradition that she would make Parkin for bonfire night and coconut tarts for Christmas. She instilled in me from a young age the importance of home cooked food, both for health and for flavour. From then on I always enjoyed baking.
The critical moment when I realised that I wanted to bake as more than just a hobby was when I finished my final year of university. I had studied English Language and Literature, and had spent much of the three years baking away the pressure of deadlines and exams. After graduating, I attended a short patisserie course at the wonderful School of Artisan Food in the Welbeck Estate, Nottinghamshire. The school was extraordinary, and I suppose something just clicked; the bakery felt so familiar and comfortable even though it was entirely new. I made some enquiries and after meetings with several of the tutors, was offered a place on their Advanced Baking Diploma. The course was exceptional – it was intense, with lots of hours spent completing theoretical tasks, practical assessments and placements with other artisan bakeries. I was fortunate enough to learn from the extremely talented team at Violet bakery in London, which inspired me a great deal, alongside gaining experience at the prestigious Langham Hotel and North Berwick's revered Bostock Bakery. I graduated with a distinction level diploma in 2016.
The ethos that underpins all my baking is to create something unique to the person receiving it. My style is simple and elegant; the quality of ingredients is paramount, and I have a strict no fondant policy. I am proud to use local Our Cow Molly butter, organic Dove's Farm flours, pure British cane sugars and rich Burford Brown eggs. My decoration always showcases and celebrates the main ingredients used within the recipe, and where desired, fresh, seasonal flowers.
Ultimately for me, baking is a means of celebration; a cake is recognition of a special person, a tray of brownies a marker of a happy occasion, whilst a tart or cheesecake the perfect end to a cosy dinner party. I am always awed by the ability of baked goods to unite people in a shared moment of contentedness, and I consider it a great privilege to contribute towards creating such a feeling with my bespoke products.