The Master Patissier Eric Lanlard
Within the shop/cafe based in London, all the baking is done, the cakes, pastries, all of Eric Lanlard's amazing creations are on display to eat on the premises, and if you prefer with a glass of bubbly, wine, coffee or tea or to take away.
There are also take Master classes on the premises with the man himself showing you how to bake and decorate. Classes are all day or champagne afternoon tea.
His books, Home Bake, Tart it Up! Afternoon Tea, are also available to buy within the shop or you can download from the App Store, Google Play or Amazon. Visit www.cake-boy.com/app or simply search for 'Cake-Boy Classics'.
Several TV shows followed his 'Baking Mad' book offering top tips for baking success.
P&O cruises announced there would be celebrity chefs for the new Britannia ship. Eric was among other top chefs , James Martin and Marco Pierre White. They offer tuition classes on selected cruises. Eric's patisserie range is available at the Market Cafe on board.
I interviewed the fabulously talented Eric at his beautiful shop in London; Cake Boy.
Q: You obviously have such a magic touch in your baking, your passion shines though your books, tv programmes, what's your secret?
A: Passion for what I do. All my life I had always wanted to be a pastry chef. I think the key to our success has always been making sure that anything we produce tastes as good as it looks, that has always been the key factor, and to make it look as glamorous and fabulous as possible. People will always remember a good cake or a bad cake even more!
Q: How do you keep reinventing and making your marvellous recipes and creations, where do you get your inspiration to make such beautiful cakes?
A: I keep updating all the time on new products, new ingredients, new techniques, I subscribe to international professional baking magazines from places such as France, Italy and the USA. I give our suppliers a hard time so they tell me when there is something new! I go to the warehouse to see what's going on. I would say though, the main inspiration is from traveling, I'm lucky to travel for work and pleasure, and obviously when you travel you are a bit more relaxed so the inspiration flows better. I keep my eyes open, I can't help myself. I could be in the middle of a souk in Abu Dhabi and will find some Persian rose petals, take a picture, makes notes, and will create a dessert or something. I would say that travel is number one for inspiration and creativity, if you look at my books most of the receipes have a travel list.
Q: I have to ask this question! what is your favourite ingredient, the one you could not do without?
A: It has to be Chocolate! I don't really have a sweet tooth, give me cheese! But, Chocolate is my guilty pleasure, good quality though, South American is the best. (I agree being half Latina!)
Q: Everybody obviously knows you for your sweet creations, but what savoury dishes do you like to cook at home?
A: During the week when it's only the two of us, I try to keep it healthy and simple and different. but when I entertain I go the other way as I love entertaining at home, I get that from my mother. I like being a good host so I try to keep it as easy as possible on the day, so I make stews, tagines, or things I can put in the oven or slow cooker overnight so I am not running around like a headless chicken on the day and I can be there with my guests. It's quite a surprise sometimes for my guests as they may be expecting michelin-type food and usually it is completely the opposite, very rustic.
Q: You obviously put your heart and soul into everything you do. When it comes to charity which is the closest to your heart and why?
A: That would be the Back-Up Trust which we got involved with over 10 years ago when a friend's son broke his back ski-ing. The Back-Up trust cannot cure people with spinal injuries but is there to support them. It helps and transforms people lives who are affected by spinal cord injury and shows them that life with this type of injury can be a full and active one. It's a small charity but we have been getting more and more involved over the years, we can see where the money goes directly, it's all about fund raising and awareness.
Thank you so much Eric - a truly lovely interesting talented man. Cake Boy is located at Battersea Reach London, open Monday to Saturday. For any enquiries about Classes, Ordering Cakes or Visiting the location, their website is www.cake-boy.com. @kitchenaidlondon