Mich Turner MBE, the founder of the Little Venice Cake Company , has been described by Gordon Ramsay as ‘the Bentley of Cakemakers’. You can understand this quote when you see the quality and creativeness in Mich’s cake designs. The passion, intricate detail and styles have certainly put Mich and The Little Venice Cake Company at the forefront of cake making and decoration.
Create and Craft TV will be teaming up with Mich and the little Venice Cake Company to present seven live hours of demonstrations, tips and techniques on their sister channel, Ideal World starting at 9pm on Tuesday 22nd April.
Michael O’Connor, Head of Marketing at Create and Craft caught up with Mich to talk cake, food and family.
You are bringing a lovely range of cake products to the Create and Craft channel which you will be demonstrating live on air – how long did these take to develop?
“I established Little Venice Cake Company in 1999 but have been designing, making, baking and decorating cakes for over 25 years. I studied Food Science and Nutrition at University and worked as a Patisserie and Bakery Buyer at Harvey Nichols. I have made over 5000 special occasion cakes- many for high profile celebrities such as Madonna, Pierce Brosnan, Sir Paul McCartney, Gordon Ramsay, David Beckham and Her Majesty the Queen, written 5 books, received numerous awards and regularly appear in the Press and on TV most recently as a Judge on Britain’s Best Bakery on ITV. With my experience I have become an authority on Cake and regularly appear at International Cake Shows and teach classes all over the world.
With this in mind I have been working very closely with Docrafts for the past 4 years to create a range of professional quality, aspirational, affordable cake making, baking and decorating tools which I am thrilled to be bringing to Create and Craft TV.”
Did you find there was a personal need with these products to help with your cake making?
“Very much so. As an authority on cake and an international teacher – with my bespoke cake business, books and classes it is important the tools in the range are quality made, fit for purpose, beautifully designed and packaged and ensure a professional result. This knowledge and experience can now be passed on to budding cake makers and decorators.”
How will these products help our viewers?
“Every tool in the range has been designed and produced with optimal results in mind. I look to offer added value with every tool – such as recipes on the packaging, helpful tips and user guide, practical suggestions. It is important to me the products are made from the best quality materials for the task and sit comfortably and cohesively together as a range.”
What advice would you give to someone who is new to cake making and decoration?
Invest in good quality essential tools, reliable recipes and the best quality ingredients.
A great cake starts with a fabulous bake! My range of tins, bowl scrapers, palette knives will help to ensure every cake bakes evenly. I have a number of rolling pins, smoothers, cutters thickness guides and icing sugar dusters to ensure every cake is perfectly and evenly iced.
My selection of cake decorating nozzles, modelling tools, turntables, paintbrushes, palettes, and ribbons provide endless options for hand finished decoration. I have even included stylish boxes and tissue to ensure your creations are beautifully packaged!”
What are the key tools you always have to hand when decorating cakes?
“For me it is essential to have a rolling pin, smoothers, icing sugar duster and an acrylic work board to ensure my cakes are covered professionally. These tools ensure my cakes are flawless and the perfect blank canvas for all my additional decoration.
With my selection of piping nozzles and disposable piping bags I can create many of my show stopping iconic designs.”
Create and Craft always broadcast live. Does this make you nervous when you are on the channel or do you feel there is a better ‘connection’ with the viewers watching in real time?
“I am used to working in television. The benefits of live broadcasting allow me to create a cake real time showing the viewers designs that are real, achievable and effective. I like to highlight top tips and point out pitfalls as I work, Live TV allows for this. I appear at many cake shows and teach regularly – this is similar to live TV so I am used to it!”
You have been creating cakes of all sizes, shapes and flavours for many years. Do you still follow recipes?
“Absolutely! It is important with cake making that all ingredients are measured accurately and recipes are followed diligently to ensure successful results.
As a food scientist I am aware of the physical chemistry involved at every step of the cake making and baking process. It is important not to rush any of these stages, the ingredients should be at the correct temperature and the cake baked at the correct temperature. Magic happens in the preparation and creation, not in the oven!”
What was the last food book you read?
“I have a number of books I regularly dip into – J Sheekey’s for the best fish pie recipe!”
Your cakes are incredibly creative – where do you take your inspiration from?
“I am constantly inspired – fashion, history, jewellery, architecture and nature all play a part, but I do think about the personality and emotion or mood a cake will create too.
You’ve created some amazing cakes for top celebrities and the expectations must have been high. Which were you the most nervous over and which one were you most proud of?
“I am proud of every cake I create where the finished result matches my design expectations. As a consummate professional I plan every cake meticulously to ensure every eventuality is considered and planned for. Every cake has to be perfect and on time. It is a challenge, but one I have lived with and been at the top of my game for over 15 years.”
What’s trending at the moment in the world of cake decoration? Colours, styles etcetera?
“Home baking and decorating – rather than employing professional services! It is fashionable for brides or bridesmaids to make their own, very personal wedding cake. Cupcakes continue to be popular with these bakers looking to expand their repertoire by creating beautiful ombré style cakes.
Hero ingredients – bakers are sourcing ingredients with provenance, maximising flavour and creating unique bakes.
You have two lovely boys. Do you still get time to all get in the kitchen and make cream cakes, cupcakes with flour, icing and cake mix all over the work surfaces?
“No! Not now, and Not ever! My kitchen is my haven and I like it clean at all times. My boys are into sport, music and lego (which do not mix with cake making!) – long may that continue!”
We love your company name – The Little Venice Cake Company – what inspired the name and where is your favourite food city in the world?
“When I established my company 15 years ago I was living in Little Venice – an area in west London on the canal. The canal boats and palatial Italian style villas inspired the name Little Venice. I wanted a name that embraced my core brand values – refined opulence, completely bespoke, totally indulgent, intricate craftsmanship and unrivalled prestige. I hope I have achieved that!”
“My favourite food city? It has to be London, Paris, Chicago – in that order!”
Mich Turner and The Little Venice Cake Company will be live on Ideal World TV at 9pm on Tuesday 22nd April and throughout the day on Wednesday 23rd April. Tune in to Sky 644, Freeview 22, Virgin 747 and Freesat 812.