Interview with Ceri Griffiths
I have been lucky enough to be taught by Ceri on a couple of occasions, and not only is he extremely talented at what he does, but I can also confirm that he is a thoroughly nice chap! He has an excellent teaching style and he gives you the confidence to produce creations you never thought possible. Ceri is a published author and has an online school – you can find out more here http://ceridz.co.uk
Read on to find out more ~Sister Victoria x
Define your business/ style in three words
A. Knowledge Sharing Nurturing
How did you get into baking/decorating?
A. I was a cook then a trainee chef, I was always asked to do the deserts and my head chef recommended I moved out of the kitchen environment and went to train as a confectioner as it was much more creative and lent itself to my artistry.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
A. Seeing the faces of the students when I’ve got them to create something they never thought they could do.
What has been your worst cake nightmare?
A. Once I was asked to create a modelled horse with a the bride sitting on it and the groom leading it, it was a chocolate cake and model, I’m not the greatest of modellers but I was determined, the week before the wedding my client called up saying that her mother had changed her mind and wanted to do the wedding cake…..they never knew how much I was struggling and I was very grateful that they cancelled.
What is the most challenging cake of your career and why?
A. I would say the next one I’m working on as I’m always trying to do something new and different and believe me they don’t always work but I love the creative journey.
How do you find a work/life balance and has it always been this way?
A. I’m very bad at the balance thing, I’m a little OCD and definitely a workaholic therefore there normally is no work/life balance, but I believe all of this effort will pay off one day and then I can sit down and enjoy the ride.
If you could be another cake artist for a day who would it be?
A. Karen Portaleo, so that I could understand what she sees when she models
Who inspires you/has been your biggest influence?
A. There are too many as it is not just one person but a couple of people per medium
What would you do if you weren’t a caker?
A. Be a photographer
What are you working on right now?
A. My next book
What drives you?
A. The love of what I do and possibly the fear of failure
Are you where you thought you would be in the cake/royal icing world?
A. When I first became a baker and confection in 1980 people didn’t do what I do now so no I never thought I would be where I am today and certainly didn’t even imagine that I would be as well know as I am today and for doing what I do every day…. but back then there wasn’t the world wide web
What is the worst part about cake decorating?
A. Trying to understand exactly what your client wants, also trying to convey your imagination to a publisher as I can’t always draw what I want to create.
What made you decide to start the online school?
A. People wanted DVD’s from me and I personally feel they are a thing of the past, for me to reach everyone who wants to do class with me and to be able to keep things current, I had to do it virtually.
You travel around a lot with your teaching – have you had odd experiences at airports regarding your equipment?
A. Yes the official’s don’t seem to understand what I do therefore when you scan my luggage, piping nozzles can sometimes look like bullets, there have been a few funny faces when I open my suitcase and have to explain toothpicks, nozzles, edible flowers and packs of icing sugar.
What do you find people ask for most help with?
A. Making royal icing and the consistencies you require
What is your favourite part of your business?
A. When I’ve been travelling and I come home and have a cup of tea in my own kitchen and then sleep in my own bed.
Describe yourself in three words
A. Cheeky, caring, fun
Morning, noon or night?
A. When I’m awake I’m awake
What was the last film you saw?
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
What did you eat for breakfast?
A. Very little as I don’t like breakfast but if anything its normally crumpets
What is your favourite cuisine?
Which three people would you invite to dinner?
A. The Queen, Richard Attenborough, Cher
Where would you visit if you had the chance?