Meet Bastien, our Pastry Sous Chef, and Tyra, Pastry Chef de Partie – part of our Pastry team here at The Wolseley.
From making our much-loved Afternoon Tea each day, to creating new dishes for the menu throughout the year – find out what a typical day looks like for our Pastry team here at The Wolseley.
How did you first get into hospitality – have you always worked in pastry?
Tyra: I started baking when I was little, about 5 or so, with my Grandma. We would bake simple things like fruitcakes or cupcakes (and I’d always get the wooden spoon); from then on I knew I wanted to be in the kitchen. She definitely inspired me to do this. I’ve now been working in kitchens since I was 16, so it’s been about 9 years now. Before joining The Wolseley, I was at The Dorchester. I only recently transferred across to pastry from The Wolseley main kitchen, as I wanted to be well-rounded as a chef – and I love it.
Bastien: For me I ended up in pastry by unexpectedly… I was doing my chef’s training back at home in France, and I thought I should study the pastry section too in case I ever wanted to open my own restaurant. But then I realised I loved it! I moved to London back in 2013 to learn English and have worked at Le Petit Maison, Cubitt House, Colbert (a Wolseley Hospitality Group restaurant) and then as an agency chef for big hotels. And that’s how I first came to work at The Wolseley; then I got offered the job at the end of 2019, and the rest is history!
And what’s the best thing about the job?
Bastien: The atmosphere we get to work in – it’s tidy, calm and methodical; we get to be creative, but also really precise with our recipes.
Tyra: I enjoy learning new skills, being creative, and sharing and developing new ideas – we get opportunities to input into menus, especially with our weekly specials. It’s really great knowing that your dishes are going out to the public, and getting feedback on how well they’re being received.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Bastien: I’m not sure there’s such a thing, but typically we start very early, by 6am and finish around 4pm. We start by preparing things for breakfast service, such as banana bread, granola pots etc., and of course our Afternoon Tea which is served to around 150 people per day – at least 1000 people per week; all made fresh in house each day.
Tyra: So like Bastien said, some things we do every day; Afternoon Tea for example, choux pastry for the éclairs etc… and we might make carrot cakes most days too. Some people might not know that we also bake focaccias fresh each day, which are used in main kitchen for chicken sandwiches (a popular order at lunchtime!).
The rest is dependent on stock control and customer demand – and with things like the Battenberg, which is a lengthy process over a number of days, we make sure we make enough as it’s not something you can make quickly. We find that demand changes throughout the year. This also influences the desserts we develop too, for example our choux buns were hazelnut based for autumn/winter, but now they’re passionfruit.
If you had to pick one patisserie to eat from The Wolseley menu what would it be and why…
Bastien: The Millefeuille, the crème diplomat vanilla is delicious.
Tyra: For me it’s the Sachertorte… I love chocolate.
And finally, what’s your favourite thing about working at The Wolseley?
Bastien: The people are amazing, it really does feel like a family. Everyone is passionate about the job we do, and we also have good benefits and time to develop new skills.
Tyra: I love working with the team we have here. There are so many opportunities to keep learning, especially when working with someone like Bastien!
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