Cake is just one of those things that universally makes the world a happier place. In light of National Cake Day on 26 November, we sat down with our Executive Pastry Chef, Paula Johnson to learn about her journey in the patisserie industry:
How did you become a pastry chef?
“I don’t remember ever wanting to be anything else! As a young girl, I would spend hours looking at cake pictures in my mom’s recipe books and ended up completing my Chef’s Diploma in England, after which I worked my way up the ranks.”
What is your favourite thing about your job?
“I love the satisfaction of sending out plates of beautifully crafted desserts and seeing the guest’s “ooh and aah” reactions. I also have an incredibly special place in my heart for all the trainees that come under my tutelage.”
What is your best creation?
“I’ve made some good wedding cakes, however, I think my best creation is my Christmas gingerbread house. It’s not as easy as it looks, trust me! My first attempt was a dog’s breakfast, but every year it gets better.”
What inspires you?
“Flavours and good quality ingredients inspire me. There’s nothing worse than eating a piece of cake that looks amazing but tastes poor!”
Do you have any advice for aspiring pastry chefs?
“Be a purist. There is no room for short-cuts in pastry… Do things the right way from beginning to end and this attention to detail will be evident in the final product.”
Paula’s advice to Pepperclub’s guests this National Cake Day? Life is short! Eat the cake….
For the fifth consecutive year, Cape Town’s Pepperclub Hotel & Spa has been named Africa’s Leading City Hotel at the 24th annual World Travel Awards™ regional Africa Gala Ceremony, recently held in Rwanda.
“Not only is this considered a major achievement for our hotel, but awards like the World Travel Awards™ – lauded the Oscars of the international tourism industry – continue to put Cape Town on the global tourism map and, in turn, boost the country’s GDP and further job creation,” says Chantal Maxim, spokesperson for the Pepperclub Hotel & Spa.
“Since Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba announced in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement that GDP growth has been forecast at 0,7%, down from 1,3% percent as tabled in the February Budget, it is imperative that the tourism sector remains a stable contributor to our GDP,” adds Maxim.
“Last year, the travel and tourism industry contributed R402bn (9.3%) to SA’s total GDP and is expected to grow by 2.5% to R412.2bn (9.4% of GDP) in 2017*,” explains Maxim. She continues, “In the Western Cape alone, significant tourism growth continues to be reported, with international arrivals growing by more than 18% last year and growth of 16% recorded in the province’s domestic tourism market.”
Commenting on the achievement Maxim remarked: “We are delighted to have been recognised yet again, and our staff and management remain committed to delivering the highest quality experience to all our guests, ensuring that both business and leisure travellers continue to flock to our beautiful city.”
“Given the international reach of the awards, the exposure for the hotel, as well as Cape Town, is significant. Having competed against other exceptional hotels across Africa, this award cements the Cape Town tourism industry as an internationally acclaimed destination,” concludes Maxim.
*According to a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)
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