California native Claire Ptak moved to London ten years ago to set up her bakery, Violet. The ex-Chez Panisse pastry chef set up shop on a quiet street in Hackney. Violet has since rejuvenated the surrounding area. It is now a thriving little hub of shops and restaurants, all existing around this simple bakery. The space is small, with an open kitchen showing all the mixing and piping of the head bakers. Upstairs people write, read, relax and enjoy afternoon delights. Claire believes cakes should be worth it, and creates recipes using minimal sugar and organic ingredients.—London's Issy Croker and Megan Abbott of The Curious Pear and F&W's Around the World Network.
Basically what we do at Violet is sort of my idea of the best things to eat for a sweet treat. What I love with baking is to make it seasonal and to make it delicious. Really make the flavor stand out because you want it to count when you're eating something Sweet and indulgent. When I opened the bakery, the first thing that I wanted to do was have the kitchen be open plan because I wanted it to feel like you were, both, for the customers and for the bakers, that you were in a really lovely, warm, cozy, delicious space. [LAUGH] So, it's really nice to come to work here, it's also really nice to be a customer her. And nothing's hidden. So, you see everything. It's exciting. You're gonna feel, I think instantly go back to being in your mother or grandmother's kitchen. [BLANK_AUDIO]