One of the first head chefs I worked for told me a good chef is one who can work in all four corners of the kitchen, including pastry. From then on, whichever restaurant I worked in, I was always the guy who got put on pastry because no one else wanted it or could do it. I was never formally trained in pastry, so when I decided to broaden my horizons I locked myself away in a kitchen for six months and just tried things out. Then I opened a little shop in Hyndland Street, which led to this shop, Cottonrake, in Great Western Road. We’re only a year into baking bread and breakfast pastries, and it’s still a learning curve every day. I spent some time in France and fell in love with croissants and pains au chocolat. It’s a struggle to find a croissant in Glasgow on a Sunday morning – that was a motivation for me to start making them. I thought it would take 18 months to master a really good pastry, but we nailed it in ten.
This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on pages 167-197, issue 100.
Interviews Judy Diamond
Photography Neale Smith