Sarah Frankland, from the head pastry chef at Yauatcha to Pennyhill Park
We all remember the great Sarah Frankland from her role as the head pastry chef of Yauatcha. Now this talented lady took a new challenge, moving out of London and into a luxury hotel to pamper the guests with her delicious sweet creations.
From Yauatcha to Pennyhill Park. How did this happen?
I wasn’t actively looking for a new challenge - I was very happy working at Yauatcha - however I was living outside of London and this meant commuting to the Yauatcha kitchen in central London each day, which could be challenging at times. With Pennyhill being very close to where I currently live, when I was made aware of the opportunity there and after doing some basic investigation into the role, it perked my interest. I saw an opportunity to be part of a good team producing great products and a chance to use my experience in a way to grow further.
What is the main difference for you between working in a restaurant such as Yauatcha and a hotel like Pennyhill Park?
The main difference is the quantity of different things going on - a restaurant is tied closely to your main menu. Yauatcha had a bigger diversity of product with the retail side of macarons and chocolates, petit gateau and plated desserts.
What do you like best about the new job?
I love being in the country - I spent 13 years working in London prior to Pennyhill so I am really enjoying being in the countryside now. Pennyhill Park has 123 acres of land, a kitchen garden and also a vast number of fruit trees within the grounds - a wealth of wonderful produce that I’ll build into the 2017 menus with my team. I also really enjoy working with my new team – there are some great characters with a good mix of knowledge and experience.
What was the greatest challenge when you started working there?
Adjusting to a larger property and finding my way around - I still get a bit lost!
How are the new surroundings inspiring you?
I am really looking forward to spring and working closely with the Pennyhill Park bee keeper - there are 10 hives on the property in 4 different areas giving us 4 honeys with different flavour notes. Next year, I’ll be using these to create a range of chocolates for the guests.
Your creations at Pennyhill Park are served for the afternoon tea, are they also served in the restaurant?
In my new role we produce products for the breakfast viennoiserie, bakery, afternoon tea, conference break treats, lunch buffets and brasserie style a la carte, bedroom amenities and finally the Spa.
At Yauatcha you were not so much focused on plated desserts, but more on mono-portion cakes. How do you find the change working at Pennyhill Park?
I’m finding that I’m using and improving many of the skills I learnt and used earlier in my career at William Curley and the Connaught Hotel alongside those I was using at Yauatcha. This is great in terms of continuing my development.
Which desserts at Pennnyhill Park are you most proud of?
I’ve only been in the role for 3 months so it is still early days. We have created 2 new afternoon teas and changed the brasserie desserts which I am happy with although I have many projects in flight at the moment ready to land. Ask me again in a few months!
Which of them were made with Cacao Barry chocolate and which Cacao Barry chocolates did you use?
One dish we made for the afternoon tea was Coffee chocolate - I tasted the new Café Crokine just before starting work at Pennyhill and given its lovely crunchy texture and coffee flavor I was really looking forward to using it. The Coffee chocolate consists of a layer of brownie topped with the Café Crokine and an espresso chocolate mousse. This is dipped in a chocolate glaze with roasted cocoa nibs to add the extra crunch and texture.
You are thinking about creating your Or Noir Chocolate? How do you imagine it?
I am not revealing anything yet! This is an opportunity I am really excited about. In short, it will be tied to Pennyhill Park and it will reflect the exclusive experience which guests receive when they stay here.
What did you prepare for Christmas at Pennyhill Park?
We prepared a spiced chocolate and cherry gateau as part of our festive afternoon tea. We used the Cacao Barry Mexique (origine dark couverture) chocolate and its natural notes of spice and fruit as the base chocolate flavor – it’s the perfect selection for this fruit and chocolate combination. To accompany this, we made an anglaise based chocolate mousse and infused it with spices to enhance the spiced flavor. The cake also has a layer of cherry mousse, Cacao Barry Cara Crakine and whipped Cacao Barry Zephyr (white) ganache.
And what is your wish for 2017?
My wish for 2017 is to continue to work and to learn, developing new creations with my team at Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa.