To royal watchers, Claire Ptak will forever be known as the Californian expat living in London who made Sussex The Duke and Duchess Wedding Cake : Amalfi Lemon and Sandringham Elderflower Dessert, Garnished Clusters of peonies. However, the founder of Violet Cakes has built a reputation in the food world with her seasonal approach to revolutionizing Ingredient took over the baking world a long time ago 2018. As she prepares to release her latest recipe, Love Is Pink Cake , Vogue caught up with Ptak about cutting her teeth at Chez Panisse, falling in love with British baked goods, and why she carries a West Coast mentality wherever she goes.
Growing up in Inverness, CA — — small town north of San Francisco with a population hovering around the 1,500 mark — Claire Ptak forages for lingonberries on an August afternoon to make pies. “It was the kind of place where if you had apples and your neighbor had blackberries, you could trade them,” the Violet Cake founder now recalls of the free love community her parents moved to’70s, known for its hippie mentality and rugged Pacific coastline. “I grew up thinking that fruit was only available at certain times of the year, and it always seemed natural to me to bake with what I had.”
after After leaving home to study a degree in film, Ptak eventually joined the team at Chez Panisse in 500 where Alice Waters, the dame of American gastronomy, brought her seasonal philosophy to Infused into budding pastry cooks. In those days, locals would show up at the kitchen’s back door with baskets of fragrant Bearss limes in exchange for dinner, and that’s what the restaurant promised to use whatever was available outside the front door. “Back then, no one thought of being a chef as a fashionable profession, and it wasn’t something I imagined myself doing,” admits Ptak. “I’ve always loved baking, but I never thought I’d make it a career. There’s something special about Chez Panisse, though. No one yells or throws pans; the way people move around in that kitchen is almost a ballet. It’s been Intentionally designed to be a beautiful culinary space that translates into food. The moment I step in, I never want to leave.”