I can't remember exactly where I met Jordan Rondel AKA The Caker, it may have been one of those social media connections, but however it happened we now catch up when in the same city, usually over wine at a delicious restaurant where we share our love of good food. Jordan is admirable for many reasons, she has single handedly turned a baking hobby in to a successful business, seemingly with ease, she has a book and another on the way and her own range of pre-mixed cakes. Along with all these (under 30) achievements she has an enviable nonchalant style and is a total babe, she is doing wonders for the baker stereotype.
Read our interview below
K - I first have to congratulate you on the signing of your second book! What can we expect from number two?
J - Book number 2 is going to be bigger and better than the first. It will contain 75 cake, dessert and cookie recipes, divided in to the seasons. You can expect beautiful, simple and creative recipes with a focus on being wholesome and nutritious. All recipes will be refined sugar free, gluten and dairy free where possible, and occasionally vegan. I am styling the photos myself, so hopefully it will look different to every other cook book on the shelves!
K - How did you learn to cook, and did you ever expect you would become a full time baker?
J - I have been into baking for as long as I can remember; since I was tall enough to reach the kitchen bench. It was my French grandparents who first triggered my love for it, I would help bake apple tarts, cherry clafoutis, jams and other delicious desserts at their knee. To some degree my competence in baking might have been passed down from my great grandfather who was a successful bread baker and pastry chef in Paris. I never really thought I could make a career out of baking though, it just seemed like a hobby and passion that would fit nicely alongside a day job.
I would bake a cake almost everyday for my family while I was still at school and university (I did a business degree), and then one day after baking a particularly successful one, my parents suggested I make a career out of it. I feel lucky everyday to be able to have turned a true passion into a full time job.
K - Your cakes have a particular look and style about them, they are colourful, often decorated with flowers and perfectly imperfect. Is this look inspired by anyone or anything in particular, do bakers have artist models just as an artist does?
J - Thank you! The style of my cakes has evolved quite a lot since day one. Four years ago I was using edible skulls and raspberry blood to decorate my cakes, and today I'm all about fresh flowers, scatterings of crushed nuts and drips of berry compote. I was certainly inspired by other bakers in the beginning, but now a days I feel like my individual style comes very naturally to me, and I like to be as unique as possible in my approach.
K - When thinking of a traditional baker I either think of a round bellied man in a white hat and outfit, or a homely (also round bellied) grandmother, do you think you are changing the face of baking?
J - Haha! Every now and again I do get people telling me that I look too young and slim to be a baker, which I suppose I take as a compliment. I would love to think that I am changing the face of baking, and would be happy to blow that stupid saying 'never trust a skinny chef' out of the water!
K - You recently travelled to London, worked for other bakers and tasted your way around town, what were some of your favourite memories from that trip?
J - In London, my favourite memories involve the incredible food markets, mainly Borough market and Broadway market. I could literally spend entire days at these markets. I was also lucky enough to work for the Meringue Girls over there, so I learnt everything there was to know about meringues, and left the bakery each day smelling like warm sugar. I was obsessed with eating lunch at Ottolenghi and would then go and lounge in London Fields amongst the wild flowers. I never thought I'd enjoy London as much as I did, and it only rained once in 3 weeks!
K - Along with being a talented baker you also have admirable personal style, how would you describe your look?
J - Thanks Kelly! My look is boyish and unfussy. You'll very rarely find me in a dress or skirt, I just don't think I suit them. I really don't own a lot of crazy expensive stuff, mostly vintage and local designers. My every day outfit at the moment is a pair of vintage Levis, Nike Airs or Doc Martens, and a Harely Davidson T-shirt! I also love wearing all white, from head to toe.
K - If you could only wear five designers for the rest of your life who would they be?
J - Phoebe Philo, Philip Lim, Margiela, Raf Simons, Prozena Schouler
K - Lamingtons or Louboutins?
J - Louboutins – much more valuable!
K - Icing or icecream?
J - Ice cream
K - Do you still like to eat something sweet every day?
J - You know it! But I have to admit that I don't eat cake anymore. I love anything to do with pastry, so sweet pies are a favourite, and doughnuts are an absolute weakness.
K - Where do you see The Caker in the next ten years, and what advice would you give to young creatives just starting out?
I see my cake mixes being international, to be stocked at Wholefoods in the States is an ultimate goal! I would like to see a whole line of recipe books, and several cake shops around the globe.
My advice to young creatives is to really stick with something if you know it's what you're passionate about. There will be hurdles and times where it seems easier just to throw the towel in, but if you are able to fight through it and work HARD, things will eventually pay off. Setting goals and writing lists of things I want to achieve has always worked well for me, so I suggest that everyone does it. I also think that money gets in the way of things too much; as soon as this becomes the focus, creativity is lost.
be sure to check out The Caker website here