I have always enjoyed making things with my hands – from my annual Christmas cards, to knitting and sewing - I spent 12 years working on a hand stitched quilt. I would say that first and foremost I like to create with cakes and bakes. It’s the best of both worlds as I get to combine my creativity with my love of cakes and baking.
My mother taught my sister and me how to knit when we were really young. I remember knitting myself a little waistcoat cardigan in basic knit one purl one that I proudly wore to school – I was about 8!
Initially, a police woman…. Then a forensic scientist with the police… Then I discovered FOOD and wanted to be a food scientist – which is what I studied at University.
When Once I graduated with my degree in Food Science and Nutrition! I had been sponsored by United Biscuits whilst I was studying and had spent my Industrial Year working at McVities looking after Christmas cake and biscuit production. I had made my first wedding cake when I was 17 and the exposure and enjoyment cake-making brought me was enough to fuel my passion. I worked as a buyer at Harvey Nichols for 4 years before founding Little Venice Cake Company in 1999 and haven’t looked back.
In addition to running the business, making cakes, writing books, teaching, travelling and my roles as an industry consultant and advisor I have a family so my boys keep me very busy. I love to keep fit so run and do yoga. I still like to quilt when I get a quiet moment – but these are few and far between.
My Kenwood K-Mix
At my age I have fulfilled many of these – to be married, with a family, have a successful business, published author, an MBE – right now it would be to retain health for all my family, be financially secure and secure lifelong happiness for my children.
There have been so many it is hard to single out just one: Making Pierce Brosnan’s wedding cake - it was challenging but so rewarding Making the Diamond wedding anniversary for her Majesty The Queen and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Making David Beckham’s 30th Birthday cake that was transported to Madrid – all with just 48 hours’ notice Creating the cake for the movie Nanny McPhee Publishing my 6th book – and taking a selection of bakes to have tea and a chat with Claudia Winkleman on BBC Radio 2.
Start simple and follow a good recipe. Keep an open mind and practice, practice, practice. There is no fast track to experience. Find the elements you enjoy and allow yourself to be innovative and creative.