Dine & Drink
Meet our Pastry Chef
Where and when did you start baking Heather?
I first began cooking at school in Home Economics. I really enjoyed this class but didn’t see it as a future career at this point. After I left school I got my first job working in Stephen’s Bakery in Dunfermline serving freshly baked cakes. Whilst here my mum suggested that I go to college and study a cookery course. After 2 years I left Stephen’s Bakery and headed to Glenrothes College. I completed my first year, passed and secured a work placement where I ended up meeting my husband, Donald. In my 3rd year I studied for my Higher National Certificate in Professional Cookery/ Patisserie.
Once I’d finished studying I applied to St. Andrew’s Bay Hotel (now Fairmont) and this is where I met The Daffodil’s Executive Head Chef, Graham Harrower. I started off in the main kitchen but after a month I realised I’d made the wrong career choice and decided that Pastry was my calling! I handed my notice in but the Head Chef didn’t want me to leave so he managed to get me into the fine dining restaurant in pastry and as they say, the rest is history!
What do you enjoy most about being a Pastry Chef?
I love that pastry is so diverse, it isn’t just cakes like everyone thinks! There is a lot to learn such as how to make bread, petit fours, mastering chocolate, sugar work and all different types of pastry. It takes years to learn all of these skills and understand how to fix things when they go wrong. Sometimes you have to start from scratch, but this is how you learn and can pass the knowledge on to fellow pastry chefs with handy tips that you pick up.
What are you favourite flavour combinations?
This is a hard one as there are so many amazing flavours! It really depends on the season and what is available. In summer I love strawberries and basil, in autumn pineapples and dark rum and for winter you can’t go wrong with something warming like a good crumble with apples, raisins and mixed spice.
Person you would most like to bake for?
Now this is a really hard question! I’d love to make a gateau opera for the baking queen that is Mary Berry! I’d also like to bake for Gordon Ramsay as I’m pretty sure he would tell me if it was up to scratch or not.
Favourite item on the new Dessert Menu?
My favourite food item on the new Dessert Menu would have to be the Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberry & Basil Soup and Gingerbread Crisps. The strawberries are at the height of season and provides a lovely refreshing soup to accompany the panna cotta and the gingerbread crisps provide a nice crunch. It’s nice to eat and colourful – just like summer!