Today I am thrilled to spotlight on the incredible wedding cakes of Liz Chatfield of Sylvia’s Kitchen.
Sylvia’s Kitchen is based in Sussex and has been borne from a keen childhood interest in the art of sugarcraft and specialist making and baking from early days in the kitchen with her Mum.
I had a chat with owner Liz Chatfield to find out all about this amazing Brand…
Who are you, and what do you do?
“I’m Liz and am the founder and cake designer at Sylvia’s Kitchen.”
“Foremost I’m a mum of three, (James, 20, Harry 18 and Millie 16) and three dogs, Charlie, Ida and Tipsy. I’ve been married to my brilliant husband Grant for 22 years.”
When and why did you start your Company?
“I started Sylvia’s Kitchen in January 2012, after leaving a career as a PA to the CE and Board for a leading Sussex Law Firm.”
“Having grown up with a mum (Sylvia) who created wedding cakes in her farmhouse kitchen and me showing such an interest I was destined to continue the creativity she had nurtured in me.”
“After returning to work one Monday morning and not having baked that weekend, it dawned on me how therapeutic I found baking and cake decorating and that I needed to do something about it…so I did!”
“Now I am full time in something I love it makes me realise what a patient person my Mum Sylvia was. Creating cakes can sometimes be stressful, especially if you have small children around.”
“My Mum would always hand me a piping bag or some sugarpaste to make some flowers with, if she hadn’t had that patience I don’t think I’d be doing what I am doing and loving so much today.”
What inspires you?
“All sorts of things! If I’m honest, having grown up on a farm, nature inspires me, particularly floral and fauna!”
“I do love trees, I love roses and all flowers – even if I see some ivy trailing over a house it starts me thinking about a cake design I could create.”
“I’ve also enjoyed visiting places that I know will help inspire me, including an exhibition at the V&A of wedding dresses through the decades, that was really interesting, beautiful laces, silks and designs that I just wanted to recreate in icing.”
“Other cake decorators inspire me too, I really admire their work and have been lucky enough to receive tuition from some of the world’s best sugar artists including Eddie Spence MBE (most famous for creating cakes for the Royal family) and Faye Cahill, from Australia whose sugar work is much admired globally.”
“Of course my Mum Sylvia inspired me too – unfortunately she is no longer with us but she’s in my thoughts with every design I create, she was so artistic and I can stand back and see how that lives on in my work too.”
Do trends influence your work?
“Not really, although I like to move with the times and think it is important to, I have also learned over the past few years that I should be true to my style.”
“The “naked” cake trend has been really popular and I really do enjoy making the naked style cakes and dressing them in fruit and flowers, you can be really loose and rustic which is a complete change from my more intricate sugar work designs.”
“If I see a trend developing, I may do my take on it – it’s always good to try something new, but do it your own way and in your own style.”
What is your greatest achievement?
“Probably the fund raising I have done over the past few years – I’ve run a marathon, cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats and also cycled from London to Barcelona, the last one with my children doing the challenge too and my Dad accompanying us in the support van.”
“We’ve done all these challenges in aid of Chestnut Tree House, a local childrens hospice and have raised just short of £20,000 so I feel really proud to have been a part of that and shared that experience with my family too.”
What do you see as the future of your Company?
“I get asked this quite a lot – I don’t feel that I want the company to grow so much that I end up becoming an administrative manager of Sylvia’s Kitchen.”
“My strengths are in my creativity and I want to ensure that I continue to enjoy designing and creating wedding cakes rather than sitting at my screen managing it all.”
Thank you so much to Liz for sharing her incredible creations, they aren’t just cake, they are works of art.
Love the creativity, and the evident attention to detail is baked right in to every wedding cake she commissions.
To Contact Sylvias Kitchen
Phone: 07816 766146