Food and cooking are food stylist extraordinaire Sarah Dall’s passions. For as long as she can remember Sarah knew that her career would revolve around her love of cookery. Sarah was trained at Silwood School of Cookery where she graduated with the Grand Diplome. Since then she has worked at award-winning restaurants, assisted some of Cape Town’s top food stylists, and has been a private chef for discerning international clients.
Currently Sarah works as a freelance food stylist, product and recipe developer, prop-sourcer and chef. Her styling work has appeared in recipe books, magazines, menus, advertising and packaging and she has worked with some of Cape Town’s top photographers.
‘For the love of Baking’ is Sarah’s debut offering. Never one to merely follow, she always looks for a fresh angle, so instead of red velvet cupcakes, she’ll make red velvet macaroons. The book covers a wide variety of baking recipes and has everything from cakes, cupcakes and desserts to biscuits, tray bakes and even a whole chapter devoted to those recipes that children love, for instance good old crunchies.
Source Food (SF): What inspired you to become a chef?
Sarah Dall (SD): I always loved to bake and with a creative family background it was between the arts or food! I went to have a look at Silwood and loved what they had to offer. That was that, and I wouldn’t wish for any other career choice.
SF: What is your food philosophy?
SD: Keep it fresh, seasonal and real.
SF: ‘For the love of baking’ is your first published book. What drew you to the particular genre of ‘baking’ and what inspired you to write your own cookbook?
SD: I love cooking, but my first love has always been baking. So ‘for the love of baking’ was an obvious first choice for a debut cookbook. I have had the opportunity to work and assist on a few cookbooks and after those experiences I was totally taken with the idea of doing my own book and I knew I had a lot to offer.
SF: How would you describe the style of the recipes in your book?
SD: All the recipes are easy to follow, flop-proof and of course delicious!
SF: ‘For the love of baking’ is the first in a series of cookbooks you are creating. Can you share a bit more about the concept of the series and what we have to look forward to?
SD: The next book will be ‘For the love of…’ I couldn’t give away the surprise yet, but I can say that it will definitely be more focused on savoury.
SF: Where would you like to see your career take you?
SD: I would like to write plenty of books, continue to love baking as much as I currently do and engage with the public to do so too.
SF: You just got married to a chef. What type of cake did you choose and did you bake it yourself?
SD: I did just get married to a chef… our children will eat well one day! I always thought I would bake my own cake, but soon realised I didn’t want to take on that stress. Irma Brümmer (owner of High tea) made our incredible cake, it was 4 tiered – alternating chocolate and carrot cake covered in a white chocolate ganache. I did however make pale pink and peach icing roses.
SF: Where do you enjoy going for a coffee and a slice of cake?
SD: I love going to Four & Twenty in Wynberg, Cape Town.
SF: There are new bakeries popping up all over Cape Town. Some are specialising in macaroons, breads etc. What are your thoughts on the current bakery trends in South Africa?
SD: It’s obvious that people will try to keep up with the latest trends and it is exciting to try something new. But I would take a slice of carrot cake over a macaroon any day!