The Sybarite sat down with Georgia Green, British master baker and Cordon Bleu trained pâtissière, whose mouth-watering sweet Instagram treats have garnered high-profile fans like Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse and Lorraine Pascale. We spoke about her favourite creations, baking horror stories, and the influence of social media.
Georgia Green looks like someone you already know. Maybe it’s her big, warm smile that gives you feelings of familiarity, or maybe you’re one of her 42.5K followers on Instagram that lust after her exquisite, extravagant cakes.
Georgia’s creative flair for cake design was undoubtedly honed by her arty background. With careers such as graphic design, dressmaking and architecture running through her family, it comes as no surprise when she tells me that art was her strong suit at school. However, after excelling in her A-levels, Georgia was rather unsure of which path she would like to take. She firstly applied to study Architecture at Nottingham University but decided to do an art foundation course in Leeds instead, whereafter she enrolled at London College of Communication to study Animation, but to her dismay, found it was predominantly computerised.
“At the same time, I just developed this love of food and cooking,” she recalls, and the flame has burned brightly ever since.
At the age of 21, Georgia left her animation course a year in and decided to follow her love of cooking, training at Le Cordon Bleu London in patisserie for six months. After graduating in April 2013, Georgia got a taste of the food business by working at North West London’s Black Truffle Deli, before launching her own business Georgia’s Cakes in 2014.
“The amazing thing about patisserie and baking is that it’s all exact. With a piece of fish, you can season it too much or little, overcook it slightly, but with baking and patisserie, it has to be perfect. I make mistakes – some are passable and sometimes I have to start all over again, but it’s all part of the excitement.”
Adding to her list of talents is dance. “I was close to applying to do dance as a career,” Georgia says, but didn’t believe she carried the physique for ballet and contemporary dance, as well as her the short career span of dancers. However, she still manages to dance at events now and again as a hobby.
Georgia’s Instagram account is full of incredible, colourful, inventive cakes and sweet bakes. “I love it when I can bring back some of my patisserie,” she says, then begins to describe a delectable Frasier Cake she’s made previously, containing a wall of carved strawberries, sponge and crème pâtissière in layers.
It is to the hugely popular social platform of Instagram that Georgia credits much of her inspiration for new cake designs. “I follow people all over the world. There’s quite a distinct style in Australia – if you look at any Australian baker they’re all doing the cakes with the drips and the extravagant toppings. I don’t know whose idea it was first but it’s obviously a trend.”
“I think I see different things and think: how can I create it in my own way? Like the unicorn cake – there are a hundred different unicorn cakes on Google, but I have my own take on it. I try and incorporate my training as much as possible.”
One of the most special things about Georgia’s creations is that, because each cake is personally handmade, no two cakes will ever be identical. They are all completely one of a kind and that’s a big part of their charm.
The most extravagant cake that Georgia’s ever been asked for was, unsurprisingly, a wedding cake. With 200 guests to feed, Georgia told me it was without a doubt the biggest cake she had ever created. The bottom layer was 12 inches and each layer was four inches high, complete with popcorn and flowers. “I had to take it in four different boxes,” she says.
So how does she keep her fabulous creations fresh for their assigned events? “I bake them as close to the date as possible. I never freeze – not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just prefer fresh cakes – which means that people can freeze it. I cook it like two, three days maximum before the date – If it’s a wedding I need longer – and then once it’s all encased in buttercream, it’s kind of airtight anyway. It does stay fresh for a good five days.”
Despite her honed skills, Georgia still makes baking blunders from time to time. “You know the knife test? I did that, took the knife out of this ten or twelve-inch cake, looked back in half an hour and the whole thing had sunken in, which means it wasn’t cooked! I don’t know what happened, it’s literally never happened before! What a waste of all those ingredients and time. I was then really pushed back for time because it takes like an hour and half to cook a big one. I also dropped a cake once. Luckily it wasn’t a real one, it was a display for an exhibition and half of it came off!” she laughs.
Georgia is hoping to carve a name for herself in the food entertainment industry. “There’s a real gap in the market for a young face in the baking world,” she says. Georgia currently works with Tastemade to record recipes and do Facebook Live videos to share her tips and answer viewers’ questions. The young baker has previously collaborated with renowned fashion and beauty houses Lancôme and DKNY before. For the latter, Georgia presented It-girl model Cara Delevingne with a specially-made cake at her Cara x DKNY collab launch with the brand. The rising star says she she would love to work with her inspiration Heston Blumenthal one day, as he’s “has no limits” to what he can create.
“The ‘Cara Cake’ for DKNY was probably the first boost I had and it was just mental,” Georgia says. “In the day after her tagging me, I got 4,000 followers literally that day. I think that just shows the power of social media.” Through that, Georgia was then contacted by other people asking to collaborate with her. “It’s not necessarily about the amount of followers you have. Saying that, it does change a profile now. My Facebook page was always a few hundred, it was very localised, but now I’m being featured on other pages I have like 5,000 followers!”
“With Instagram, if you came across me and I had like 200 followers, even if the cakes were amazing, you’d be like “wow that’s amazing, why doesn’t she have more followers?” You kind of judge it on that, but it’s the reality.”
Being a millennial, Georgia has a native knowledge of digital. “Nowadays, digital and everything online is huge, and all for young people,” she says. As much as she would love to one day have her own BBC series and release a hardback book, Georgia contemplates the success of those ventures due to the average age of TV viewers and book readers compared to the average age of her current followers, who tend to prefer their content online and through social media.
The power of social media to reach audiences all over the world is huge and something that is revolutionising the careers of bakers, chefs, entertainers, artists and the like before our very eyes. Georgia Green is one to watch.