We are so lucky in Cornwall to be surrounded by some incredible chefs, and so lucky here at Philleigh Way to count some of them as tutors. Our Pâtisserie and Chocolate course tutor Emma Adams is one such incredibly talented chef. Emma started her career in the kitchen of a Michelin star restaurant, and went on to become the go-to pâtissier called upon to create delicious deserts for private celebrity events and weddings. She’s catered for famous names such as Elton John, Robbie Williams, and the Beckhams, and now you can come to Philleigh Way to learn the secrets of her incredible creations. Ahead of her upcoming courses teaching Pâtisserie (November 26th – now sold out) and Christmas Chocolate (December 11th), we sat down with Emma at her café in Truro’s creative quarter (where she’s brought baking back to the Old Bakery Studios for the first time in a quarter of a century) to find out a bit more about her back story and her baking.
Did you go into the hospitality industry with the aim of becoming a pastry chef and chocolatier, or was it a role that you developed into?
No, I started out at the bottom as a 2nd commission chef working in the main kitchen. I moved to the south of France, and I was put on the pastry section, and that was the start of my patisserie journey. I actually love cooking starters and mains too.
What is it that you love about pâtisserie?
I love patisserie because everything is a science. Get one thing wrong, and it won’t work! I enjoy the challenge of that. You can never be complacent that it will work ,no matter how many times you’ve made the recipe. Plus the end results speak for themselves.
You’ve worked with high profile chefs and in Michelin starred establishments, and catered many celebrity weddings and parties. What does it take to work at that level?
It takes many hours of hard work to learn the trade, giving up my weekends, bank holidays and evenings, sometimes working 60 to 70 hour weeks. I’ve probably worked double the amount of hours to most people. Also a passion for cooking and detail is absolutely essential. I try to work to the best standard that I possibly can.
What skills from those experiences do you bring to your courses at Philleigh Way?
I am classically trained but love a modern twist, so modern classics beautifully presented with some tips and tricks and a bit of science as well.
You’re also teaching a Christmas Chocolate course on December 11th – what can attendees expect from that?
For the Christmas chocolates, we will be making beautiful bon bons and truffles and Christmas treats with festive flavours.
What is your favourite recipe to make, and your favourite to eat, and why?
I actually love making south east Asian food, anything spicy. My favourite patisserie or dessert would be something fruity with exotic flavours like a delice of passionfruit, mango and coconut.