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Emma Smith is the owner of Mrs Smudgers Kitchen, a family-run cake studio that’s renowned as the place to head for delectable sweet treats and masterful cake creations.
Passionate in creating pretty and delicious cakes at an affordable price, Emma's level of knowledge is sure to be of great benefit for all those who enrol on her courses.
The business has been running for two and a half years and we’ve been in our shop on Boutport Street for 18 months.
I love the fact that I’m able to design and create such special cakes for so many occasions.
Fundamentally, I want to offer them the belief that they can create beautiful cakes themselves. It’s great to be able to change people’s opinions on their baking abilities, and there’s nothing better than seeing a happy face after they’ve made a beautiful cake.
It’s because I love teaching and passing on information. I want to give them the confidence to be more adventurous with baking and help them craft unique cake creations in their own homes.
I had to make a cake for a wedding once that was 4ft high and covered head-to-toe in hand-made edible flowers. Thankfully it worked out perfectly and the groom bit a huge chunk out of the side as soon as he saw it!
We aim to bring on more staff in the coming months as the demand increases, and I would also love to do more classes. I have a few ideas in the pipeline that I can’t yet tell you about. Ultimately, we’re always looking to offer something that’s a little different to all other cake making shops.
At Christmas I would say Love Actually, but the rest of the time it’s Con Air.
Chocolate cake without a doubt!
After Carlo studied the art of chocolate making in his native Switzerland, he brought his skills to the UK and set up Melchior Chocolates.
Carlo has been decorated with numerous awards over the years, his first being the highly esteemed Henrietta Green's 'Best Chocolates in Britain'. More recently, his Champagne chocolate truffles won the Silver Award in the 2011 Taste of the West Awards. His products are found in delicatessens and shops all over the country, including London's Fortnum & Mason and Dart's Farm near Exeter.
We were able to speak with Carlo to find out more what about he hopes to offer through his Chocolate Easter Egg Workshop course, which will be running at our North Devon Campus.
I hope to teach them about chocolate making and give them the experience and knowledge to do this themselves. Everybody likes chocolate, but not everyone knows how to do it.
It’s a case of natural progression, challenging myself to do something a little different. I wanted to make people aware of the difference between good and bad chocolate, as so often people think that all chocolate is the same.
It’s very nice to see people enjoying my products and praising my skills. Knowing that you’re good at the job you do naturally spurs you on to do more.
When I was younger it was definitely milk chocolate. However as I’ve got a bit older I now much prefer dark chocolate.
I’d say it’s got to be having Fortnum & Mason stocking my products for the last 26 years. To have a store with such a reputation selling my chocolate is truly an honour. The hand-rolled Champagne truffles I produce also won gold at the Great Taste Awards in 2012, so that’s something I’m also very proud of.
If you want to know the secret of chocolate, book yourself onto my chocolate making course today and find out.
Craig Chant is an experienced chef who worked at the Boathouse, one of North Devon’s leading seafood restaurants, for 13 years.
Craig holds a Level 3 Professional Cookery qualification which he gained while studying here at Petroc.
I can help to provide students with the skills to produce good quality food and the confidence to do so.
I have many friends who are teachers, and the majority of those have always said that I would make a good teacher. I started by doing some part time and voluntary work, and after I found it enjoyable I found myself wanting to do more.
It’s an industry which is constantly evolving and there are so many different types of foods to explore – particularly in the case of fish. Everyone needs to eat, so being able to cook proficiently is something that’s always going to be of real benefit.
It’s hard to put my finger on an exact variety because I like to cook with all of them. Fish is very easy to cook and it offers a host of nutritional benefits. However, it’s very easy to get wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing.
I really like Marcus Wareing because he’s on Masterchef. It’s such a good programme and it’s great to see how simple ingredients can be expanded and paired with different flavours.
Have confidence in your abilities. Confidence is absolutely huge and will ensure your skills develop. Also, just ensure you have as much fun as possible.
David Rowe is an experienced and enthusiastic wine tutor who has delivered courses across the UK and Eastern Europe.
David has been involved in wine education since 1996, moving into e-learning in 1998 by combining work-based learning with numerous e-learning content creation projects. His overwhelming knowledge of the wine industry is sure to be of great benefit to all who enrol.
David is the course tutor for World of Wines, our fantastic new part time course which offers information about beautiful wines from all over the world. Here's a little more information about him.
I want to offer the students the opportunity to learn in a relaxed atmosphere while being aware that information is there for them should they ask for it.
I’m keen to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for the world of wine. There’s a lot of detail about wine readily available which is incorrect, and I want to ensure my students are learning the right information. It’s often the case that people know a lot more about wine than they originally think, an aptitude which quickly develops after just a few prompts.
It’s got to be the wealth of wine experiences that are available. No less than 63 different countries around the world produce wine, which means that the variety of types currently on the market is bigger than ever.
My favourite film is the Battle of the River Plate, the 1956 depiction of the battle in 1939.
It would have to either be a top class Bordeaux or a Pouilly-Fumé, but which I would choose I’m not too sure. If they weren’t available, it would be a Chateau Palmer.
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