Gareth Jones at the Odiham Cake Company
PUBLISHED: 11:45 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:12 16 March 2017
Whether you are celebrating a wedding, a birthday or just because you feel like it – master confectioner Gareth Jones has the perfect centrepiece
After almost two decades as a master pastry chef, Gareth Jones set up his Odiham Cake Company – and his bespoke confectionery has been enjoyed by everyone from wedding parties to celebrity and luxury birthday events.
“As a sixteen year old I started my career as a pastry chef in a luxury hotel in Hampshire,” says Gareth. “I gained invaluable knowledge of French and English cuisine and a passion for creating delicious desserts. I have been making desserts and pastries ever since and it wasn’t long before people wanted birthday cakes too.”
So it may have continued, but in 2012, after almost 20 years in the catering trade, he was made redundant. His employer’s loss was certainly a cake lover’s gain as he decided to take his passion for creating cakes a step further. “The Odiham Cake Company was born and I haven’t looked back since.”
There was a time when a cake meant choosing a flavour and what colour icing you wanted. Today, bespoke cake makers bring us incredible creations that look almost too good to eat. It used to mean that it was someone’s birthday, wedding or anniversary, but we are all getting into the idea of ‘just because’ cakes that celebrate nothing in particular.
“Inspiration comes in many different ways such as creating a bespoke cake with specific details for a client and totally unique to them, to creating a cake that has been inspired by nature or a photo, even a memory,” he explains. “My cakes are aimed at anyone - but they are usually looking for something unique, something that can’t be picked up off the shelf.”
Gareth now regularly supplies cakes for London-based luxury party planners (as seen on BBC2 documentary The Millionaire’s Gift Guide). “We recently created a bespoke birthday cake for TV presenter Dick Strawbridge, star of the recent Channel 4 hit series Escape to the Chateau, and hand delivered it to France,” he says of one of his more memorable recent orders.
So with cake makers coming up with ever more unique designs, the pressure is on to be even more adventurous – and as the interiors theme moves into greens (Pantone has named its colour of the year Greenery), so, says Gareth, will confectionery.
“There will be more drip cakes popping up,” predicts Gareth. “These cakes are ideal for a centrepiece at any event. Layers of sponge covered with buttercream are literally ‘dripped’ with rich chocolate ganache, finally finished off with chocolate sails, macaroons, edible flowers and meringues. Another big trend will be greens and fauna; I think there will be many wedding cakes decorated in this style – a white cake dressed with mint or pale green leaves either hand drawn or made from delicate sugar.”
Discover more about the Odiham Cake Company odihamcakecompany.co.uk