At the age of 15, most people don’t even know what their weekend plans are, let alone what career path they want to set themselves on. Yauatcha Head Pastry Chef Sarah Frankland’s story began at 15 with a Saturday job in a local chocolate shop which spiralled into a lucrative career.
This initial job flourished into an unstoppable passion for pastry. 15 years or so down the line, Sarah is now the Head Pastry Chef for Yauatcha City which opened in May last year.
List For Life caught up with the award winning chef to ask about the intricacies of pastry making, working in London and the legendary G&T macaron.
1. How did you get into pastry? Talk us through your career journey so far
I worked in a chocolate shop when I was 15 and always loved baking so I decided to take a one day pastry course at Westminster Kingsway College and my love for pastry was formed. I moved to London in 2004 after school and enrolled on a pastry apprenticeship at Westminster and got my first job under Angela Hartnett at The Connaught. I then moved to William Curley as a commis chef and six and a half years later became Head Patissier. I had always admired Yauatcha and loved the patisserie so I moved to Yauatcha in 2013 to become Head Pastry Chef.
2. Did you always want to be a pastry chef?
Since I was 14 I knew I wanted to be a pastry chef, but before that I knew I would do something creative I just was not sure on the medium and field I would eventually choose to work in yet.
3. What is a typical working day like for you?
I start at 6.30am along with my pastry team and prepare all of the patisserie fresh for the day, this is then collected at 8.30am and delivered to the restaurants for the day. After a large coffee, yoghurt and our oat granola for breakfast, together with the team we delegate the mise en place for the day. Every day we make two flavours of the macarons, and generally prepare and build one of the cakes. There are always small prep jobs to do for the daily finishing of the cakes such as crème diplomats and glazes. In the afternoon I take some time out to answer any e-mails and do any costings and paperwork required or at development time I work on new dishes and macarons for the next menu offering.
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4. What unusual parts of your job are there that people may not expect?
There is so much more to being a chef than just cooking, you need to be a manager, motivate your team, manage the financials of your kitchen stock, ensure that the dishes you create hit their gross profit target and much more.
5. Why did you choose London to work in?
London is one of, if not the most diverse, dining scenes in the world, where else can you find Michelin starred restaurants in so many different cuisines in one city? It was a natural choice to come to London to learn and grow and experience so much in one place.
6. What would your advice be for an aspiring chef wanting to follow in your footsteps?
You must be driven, ambitious, determined and most importantly have passion for your chosen career. Know that you will need to work hard but down the line it will all pay off.
7. How did you come up with the Chinese New Year macaron flavours?
Together with Chef Graham Hornigold, Executive Pastry Chef for Hakkasan Group and the Yauatcha team we discussed and researched the 47 different botanicals in the Monkey 47 gin, and brought combinations together and experimented with the flavours to come up with the range.
8. What flavour CNY macaron is your favourite?
Gin and Tonic of course!
Find out more about how YOU can get your hands on the Chinese New Year macarons here.