How did you get into baking?
Growing up in a small village near Cologne, Germany, baking was my passion, but in my heart I knew I wanted to become a cake designer. I have always been artistic and creative; when I started baking, I discovered that cakes were the perfect canvas to express my creativity.
When did you realize you could make it into a career?
I discovered the art of British sugarcraft while working as an air steward, a job which took me on regular trips to London. Soon after, I quit my job, and the rest is history. I never looked back and feel truly blessed that I was able to follow my calling.
Your new parlor in London’s Chelsea (featured here) is like a yummy, ethereal dream. Why was it so important to create such an intricate and lovely space?
In selecting a location for our second opening, it was key to our business plan to evolve the offering of our Belgravia parlor, maintaining its global ‘fairytale’ appeal, yet creating a new flagship store with its own standalone charms. The Peggy Porschen brand combines my lifelong passion for cake artistry and beautiful aesthetic with our brand cornerstones of femininity and romance; it’s this dreamy world of escapism that we strive to bestow on our guests as soon as they set eyes on our parlors’ powder-pink façade and seasonal installations .
What would you say is the biggest challenge facing your industry today?
The high street is facing a tough time at the moment, and we are constantly faced with restaurant and retail closures. Rising rents and business rates, ingredient costs and the uncertainty of Brexit are the biggest challenges of our time. However, where there is uncertainty, we are able to offer a little piece of escapism.
What’s your favorite thing to bake on a rainy day?
I have a young son, and we love to bake together. He has a preference for chocolatey flavors at the moment, so this is usually a key ingredient in our cakes and cupcakes at home. Otherwise, I love to make anything that reminds me of my German childhood. For example, creating cookies and confectionary platters that contain clementines, nuts and marzipan are a big tradition for us at Christmas.
You’ve designed cakes for some serious superstars. Any favorite moments?
The edible chocolate Fabergé egg I created for Elton John’s White Tie & Tiara Ball in 2003 was my first celebrity commission. I made 500 of them, and the next day there were so many celebrities in OK! Magazine featured with the eggs. Another highlight was making the wedding cake for Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, which was photographed by Mario Testino for Vogue. It was quite surreal setting up the cake amongst so many famous and beautiful people who were so friendly and relaxed around me.