Interview: Award-winning baker Kieran joins the team

This month we’re welcoming a new member of The Llama Tree team; award-winning baker Kieran Slator. Read our interview with him here!!


So Kieran, tell us a little bit about yourself….

“Well, I’m 20, originally from Bexleyheath, South London and I’m due to start my third (and final!) year at the London Southbank college in September. I’m studying for a degree in baking technology and management.”

What first got you into food?

“I’ve always cooked with my Mum at home for as long as I can remember and that must have sparked a passion. I went on to complete a GCSE in catering and then an A-Level in food science nutrition, before starting University.”

What do you most love to make?

“I prefer baking, especially bread. And working with chocolate – it’s so versatile! I once made an intricate chocolate flower centrepiece, sat on top of a chocolate log, that’s probably the piece I’m most proud of.”

And you’ve just won an award?

“Yep, I’ve just got back from the Alliance of Bakery Students and Trainees conference competition at Alton Towers. I was entered into two chocolate based categories – the first to create a chocolate wedding cake, and the second a novelty chocolate Easter egg and accompanying chocolates.

I made a cake into a tree, with chocolate leaves and vines curling around, and a pair of owls nesting on the top for the first round. Then a delicate dragon’s egg and sea salted caramel, and mint ganache with lime jelly individual chocolates. The egg and chocolate’s won me first place with an amazing prize – a two day training course with chocolatier manufacturer giants, and a huge hamper full of chocolate goodies.”

So what are your plans for The Llama Tree?

“Well, every morning I’m planning to bake lots of fresh bread – different varieties, so customers can buy and take it home with them. I’ll also be creating a pizza each week for the specials board, so be sure to keep an eye out for those! And we’ll be baking cakes and making chocolates too. The Gozney oven can do so much more than just bake pizzas, so I’m looking forward to experimenting with a few new recipes and flavours!”

And finally, we’ve got to ask…. What’s your favourite food??

“I absolutely love Chinese food. Oh, and Nutella. Anything smothered in Nutella, or straight from the jar! And pizza, of course!”

Thanks for the interview Kieran, we’re really happy to have you working with us this summer!!

Kieran’s special this week is a sourdough base topped with homemade beetroot pesto / goats cheese / courgette, pepper, onion / rocket and scattered with pine nuts – available until 2nd July, come and give it a go and say hi to our latest addition to The Llama Tree team!!

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