This year’s hostess with the mostess in the demo tent is baker, author and super-stylish Bedford-resident, Charlotte White.
After studying for a film degree, Charlotte fell into baking by accident when she made a wedding cake for friends in 2007. “I’d baked with my nan for as long as I can remember, but in 2007 I started taking evening classes in cake decoration and then set up my own business, Restoration Cake, in 2009,” said Charlotte. “I had a policy of saying ‘yes’ to everything, which lead to an ‘alternative wedding providers’ photo shoot for Rock n Roll Bride in 2012. That was seen by the team at the Make Lounge in Islington and they asked me to teach evening classes. One of the ladies I taught was from a publishing company and six months’ later I had a book deal!”
Charlotte’s first book, Burlesque Baking was published in 2013, followed by Deliciously Decorated in 2014. Since then, she’s hosted live events at the Cake and Bake Show, Foodies Festival, Goodwood and This Morning Live. “So much of what I do now is ‘performance’,” explained Charlotte. “I’ve played bass in bands since I was 13 (yes, I was ‘that’ kid!), so it comes naturally to me.”
We asked Charlotte for her top compering tips:
- Preparation: know your stuff, out of respect for the chef and the audience. I always make sure I thoroughly research whoever I’m working with. During the demo there’s often time to interview the chef, so it’s important I know what I’m talking about!
- Ask the stupid question! Professionals sometimes forget that audiences don’t have an in-depth knowledge of ingredients, processes and techniques. I’m not worried about looking stupid if it means the audience gets a better understanding of the recipe.
- Keep it fun! Visitors are coming to Taste Bedford to have fun. We’re used to food as entertainment and we want people to enjoy themselves and come back for more next year.
Finally, we wanted to know the can’t-do-without ingredient that is always in Charlotte’s store cupboard. “I’m never without good quality vanilla extract,” she revealed…
As well as Taste Bedford, Restoration Cake’s Charlotte White can be seen in action at Foodies Festival, This Morning Live and Goodwood later this year.
You can check out her website at restorationcake.com
We will have copies of Deliciously Decorated for sale at Taste Bedford on 16 June and we’re sure if you ask Charlotte to sign them, she’ll definitely say yes!