I’ve been passionate about baking since my youth. I had hoped to pursue this professionally but events overtook me. In the decades since then I’ve taught myself from studying the books and trying the recipes of the great masters in the field.
I believe that to become a skilled baker you need four things. Firstly, you have to have passion. If that is present, you will overcome any obstacles that you inevitably meet. Secondly, you need to find the time to practice (and then practice some more!) Just like mastering an instrument, in fact. If you have the passion, then this won’t seem like a chore. Thirdly, you need top quality guidance. For example, when choosing cookery books go for the masters of their craft; follow the instructions to the letter until you have the bake looking like the photograph before you. Finally, in order to perfect your bakes you should create a network of tasters that will give honest feedback on your creations. With these four ingredients you will be well on your way to acquiring lifelong skill as a baker of distinction.
I enjoy all aspects of baking, especially bread and pastry. Over the years I have been strongly influenced by the traditions of France. However, I am always excited to discover recipes and techniques from other parts of the world as well. Currently I am exploring wonderful breads, cakes and patisserie from the Nordic countries and the Middle East.
Taking part in this year’s Great British Bake Off was a great adventure. Baking in such a highly pressurised environment with the cameras constantly hovering was a challenge that nothing can prepare you for! Engaging with the judges, fellow contestants and the programme makers was always inspiring, and the whole experience fuelled my passion even further.
My dream is to teach baking and help people to build on their skills. I’m also hoping to offer sessions in retirement homes and other settings where people can benefit from the great therapeutic effects of home baking.