Welcome to the Directory - Jamie | The Cake Eating Co.
It’s a rare occurrence to get Jamie out of the kitchen, so I consider myself prettty fortunate to have shared an entire weekend shooting with her! Five minutes with Jamie and you’ll realise her brain is like a crazy fun factory; not only is she perfect for a quiz night, but also a totally insane baker who’s turned her passion into something a bit special.
Tell us about your rather extensive background?
I trained as a chef while working as a commis chef in a former Christchurch restaurant, after training I moved into pastry and was trained by an amazing Canadian pastry chef locally while still working on the side in mains kitchens. I also worked a bit as a cake decorator. After the quakes I went back to mains.
How did The Cake Eating Co come about?
Post quakes when there wasn't so much pastry work available I started tinkering a bit myself. In 2012 I had my son and had taken maternity leave. Two weeks after he was born my Nana (and baking role model) died from Melanoma, a week later I was given the diagnosis too and had a couple of surgeries. It was a good time for evaluating what I wanted from my life at that stage so I decided to go full time into this!
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I get a lot of influence from other pastry chefs I follow and am friends with. I love creating flavour and texture combinations that make you want more but are rich enough that you can't have more at the same time. Visually I think pretty much everything you look becomes inspiration for design these days, colour combos, nature, art. I love how far the visual aspect of the cake and pastry world has come in the last decade.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
...What spare time? I love Sign of the Bellbird. It was my high school make out local (awkward laugh - you don't have to include that!), we have had a few of my birthday parties up there. I love walking all around the Port Hills and that ties in nicely! My husband and son love swimming so in summer we go to beaches a lot, read far too much, watch a lot of documentaries and have dinner parties!
Tell us a fun fact we may not know (not the graham cracker one)
In the eighteenth century people used to rent pineapples. They were a crazy expensive luxury but they would want to show that they had money so they would hire it by the hour to put on display at dinner parties and soirees etc. I also think the Graham cracker one is totally relevant...
What school did you go to?
Villa Maria College
What do you love most about weddings? What’s most important to you?
I love that it is a bunch of people getting together to celebrate two people in love. I cry ridiculously easy so basically I'm spending the ceremony and the reception trying to retain some composure... For me the most important thing is remembering the main reason you are there, and that is to get married and have fun with all the important people in your life - and that doesn't always mean you need cake either!
If you could get married again, how would you do it?
We had originally planned on getting married while we were in Mexico when I was 19 but decided it was too much effort for all the translation and legal work. In hindsight that is still way less effort than a full scale wedding! And I'm a bit in love with the idea of eloping.
What is your favourite all time dessert?
Tough tough call. It would be a three way tie. A perfect creme brulee, homemade frozen yoghurt or an individual entremet cake.
Top three items you can’t be without in your kitchen and why?
Spotify... we work 14+ hour work days a lot so we need good dance songs to keep us going (like Nelly...), a good selection of chocolate so everything can be appropriately flavour matched (we have about 40ish different lines at any one time) and my mixer cos ain't no one got time to whip that stuff by hand. Kade wants me to add my husband, I don't know why this one but he told me to put it in...
Advice to a budding baker?
Be prepared to screw up, learn to be fast, be confident even when you aren't, you're always going to be learning something new so always be willing to learn - don't rush through that stage, take it slow, take your time, there is no rush to strike it out on your own, enjoy the time you get from learning from others experience.
You can rest assured Jamie will be putting the most delectable cake and desserts in front of you and your guests on your big day, and if you’re lucky enough, she might just school you on the origins of Graham Crackers too! Welcome to the directory, Jamie!