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April 10, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Welcome to our new Head Baker at Apley Farm Shop

Handmade meringues by Lisa

Handmade meringues by Lisa

2016-03-05, Cakes by new Head Baker Lisa

Some of the first cakes Lisa made for us at Apley

Apley Farm Shop’s Head Baker is an important person, as you can imagine ! Lisa Newell is a fully trained chef with over 18 years’ experience. She has just stepped into the shoes of Julie Wycherley, who has lovingly baked Apley’s cakes for us since the day we opened on 31 March 2011 – now 5 years ago !  Lisa chatted with our marketing assistant, Lauren Heath, about her favourite chefs, where her love of baking came from & a dropped cake disaster.

Where did you train?

I started in the Madley Court Hotel. I started out as a trainee chef but I’ve been cooking & baking my whole life. I’ve been a standard chef for 12 years but specialized as a pastry chef for at least 6 years.

When did you first start baking?

I’ve always baked, ever since I was about 4. My sister (Creamery Café manager, Zoe Newell*) & I used to spend a lot of time cooking & baking with our mum. The first thing I ever baked on my own were Shrewsbury biscuits. They’re similar to shortbread but with dried fruit & lemon zest.

What’s your favourite cake you make for events & birthdays?

I make the most wonderful, moist chocolate cake smothered in chocolate ganache…death by chocolate! I also love making chocolate beetroot cake, as the flavour is so rich.

What’s been your biggest baking disaster?

I had just started a new job & had only been there about 3 days, I was speaking with the boss while trying to carry a 12inch cake across the kitchen & I somehow managed to drop it on the floor! We both looked at each other, horrified & he quickly remembered he had somewhere else to be & I was left cleaning up the mess.

What do you like the most about working for Apley Farm Shop?

I love working with such a skilled team. I really enjoy imparting my knowledge from years of experience onto them & seeing them run with it. I’m keen to support Taryn & Di who work in the bakery alongside me. Taryn & I are planning our own spectacular bakes for the Apley Bake Off on Monday 2nd May. I love using the fresh produce from the shop too – making apple pies with apples from the Apley Walled Garden just makes them that bit more special.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I spend most of my spare time baking & reading cookbooks! I’m always looking for inspiration online & in cookbooks. My favourites are Glynn Purnell’s Cracking Yolks & Pig Tales, but I recently got a signed copy of the Signature Chefs Recipe cookbook (from Apley Farm Shop of course) & it’s fantastic. I’m also a bit obsessed with the Made in Shropshire cookbook (also available in our shop). When I’m not reading cookbooks I love curling up with anything by Stephen King or James Patterson.

Who are your biggest inspirations?

Tom Kerridge, Sat Bains, Glynn Purnell & of course Mary Berry. I’ve taken my team to Purnell’s in Birmingham before & the food is just phenomenal. We were lucky enough to get a tour of the kitchen after our meal & meet Glyn. Locally though, Derrin Westmacott (The Malthouse) & Karl Owen (The Holiday Inn) have been pivotal in my career, they’ve been fantastic mentors & I’ve learnt so much under their tutelage.

What do you usually do on your birthday?

I’m usually at work on my birthday (as I am doing this year), so in the evening we’ll go out for a big family meal. My friends & family know how obsessed I am with cooking & baking so I usually get new gadgets for the kitchen.

*There’s a photo of Lisa on my blog of 28 March with her sister.

Lisa’s cakes are available in our online DeliShop, our Creamery Cafe, the farm shop & Pigg’s Playbarn. Every week, she creates as Cake of the Week using Apley Walled Garden produce whenever possible, sticking to our core ethos of providing fresh, local & seasonal food.

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