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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Classically trained versus self taught ?

I've never made a secret of the fact that I did not go to college to learn how to decorate cakes. Apart from a term at night school to learn how to decorate a Christmas cake I've had no 'training' at all. I have however, wondered if this would be a handicap in the professional world where qualifications are so important. As I'm on the verge of moving into that professional arena it's been on my mind more often but thanks to an eye opening conversation with Craig my new baker I'm feeling a lot more confident that my work will speak for itself.

Craig is both a baker and decorator, he is classically trained to ice cakes through Thomas Danby College and his piping is amazing, he's fast and accurate and the results are fabulous. My piping stinks, it's something I'm working on but to be honest I hardly ever need to do it and that's where I've realised the distinction is. I'm not trying to be classically trained my cakes are vastly different in style from the traditional piped creations. It's almost like two entirely different products, people who want one of Craig's cakes would not look twice at mine and vice versa.

Craig was shocked at how long I spend icing a cake, he looks at decorating from a completely different perspective, he pipes the borders, the names etc... applies ready made models and hey presto his cake is done. A typical cake would cost in the region of £27 whereas my basic is £70 and the difference is not training it's time. My details are painstakingly created to the clients specific requirements. The models are hand made and details such as wedding dressing can reflect those worn by the brides themselves. I absolutely revel in the detail, I guess it's where my passion lies.

It was fascinating to swop methods and ideas about how things can be achieved and I think we both learnt a lot. I'm really looking forward to working with Craig and his team at Hoffmans. The cakes I tasted were absolutely delicious and the range of flavours fabulous, I'll be updating my website with these shortly.

I think I can safely say that although I do not have certificates with my qualifications emblazoned across them to hang on my wall, I will have stunning (if I do say so myself :-)) examples of my work for everyone to see and hopefully those cakes will tell you more than any qualifications can.

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