I am the baker in my family (shocking, I know!) but I got the flair from somewhere and I plan to pass it on too!
I don’t have kids and I’m not sure I want to have them any time in the future, so I will be passing on my baking knowledge to my nephews and niece where I can. But first, I want to talk about where I get my love of baking from. I have to admit I always thought it was from my grandmother on my dad’s side, she baked a lot as is pretty normal for that generation but she wouldn’t ever call herself a baker I don’t think. And then she told me about her father, my great grandfather. He died when my grandmother was very young so I never met him but she recently told me that he was the head pastry chef at Cumberland Hotel in London. Which was extremely exciting for me to find out! And not only that, he once constructed an 80lb scale sugar model of Westminster Abbey! She sent me photocopies of the article and photos and I will share them with you now
The article reads: “This scale model of Westminster Abbey, made entirely from sugar, was awarded first prize and gold medal in the Pastry Village Section of the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering Exhibition, at Olympia, last month. Pastry-chef Charles Cloet, of the Cumberland Hotel (on left with M. Bregeon, Head Chef), made the model. It weighed 80lb. and took more than 250 hours- over a period of four months – to construct.”
Apologies for the slightly warped photos, I don’t have scanner!
As you can imagine, it was a really amazing thing for me to discover, as I knew nothing about him before I found out about this. I did contact the hotel to see if I could get more information on him but unfortunately with so much time having passed and management changing multiple times they weren’t able to find anything. It’s great to have these photos though. My grandmother also told me about the “cake” he made her for her 2nd birthday – it was actually a shoe made entirely from chocolate and intricately decorating – she told me about how much she loved it and had tried to wear it!