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Great British Bake Blog: Episode Seven

It’s hard to imagine the sweltering temperature inside the Bake Off tent on Italian week, particularly when you’re watching it from the sofa in your polar bear PJs under a blanket.

Great British Bake Blog: Episode Four

After last night’s episode of The Great British Bake Off, I’m convinced that caramel is, in fact, the nectar of the gods. This tempting, silky, golden brown delight was poured, drizzled and smothered on everything in sight, as was to be expected in the first-ever caramel week.

Blog: British Baker visits Signature International Foods in Nashik

Multimedia reporter Ashley Williams travels into rural India to visit Signature International Foods’ bakery in Nashik. There he met managing director Yatin Patel and sales and marketing director for the Indian market Shilpa Agarwal.

Blog: British Baker reports from India

Multimedia reporter Ashley Williams is in Mumbai to examine the differences between the British and Indian bakery markets. Here he talks with the boss of one of India’s leading food distributors.

The Great British Bake Off 2016. Episode seven: dessert

Cathryn Dresser, GBBO series three contestant and baker extraordinaire, takes us through series 7 with an expert eye. It's getting tense in the tent, but who will get their just desserts?

David Smart’s blog: Graduation class of 2016

david smartYou will be leaving college/university very shortly, and I wanted to be the first to welcome you all the ‘baking business’ - the industry for which you have been studying over the last few years. It is where everything you have been taught within the classroom becomes commonplace within the trade.

Bread
Bakers should back WeLoveBread in light of SACN's fibre recommendations
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Blog: how to take heart from SACN

Martyn Leek, British Baker editor, breaks today's SACN report down in a way that bakers can take heart from its dietary recommendations. 

Gerhard’s blog: Life is sweet

Gerhard Jenne muses on Pret A Manger’s latest ‘flirt’ initiative and looks towards his own summer campaign. 

Gerhard’s Blog: overseas visitor

Gerhard Jenne, downed by the flu, misses the opening of his new shop, which welcomed a baker-visitor from the US. 

Gerhard’s… away, this is Martyn’s blog

British Baker editor Martyn Leek asks whether the competitive bread market has claimed its first real casualty.

Gerhard Jenne
Gerhard looking forward to Celebrity Bake Off
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Gerhard’s Blog: Celebrity Bake Off

Gerhard Jenne remembers how he started gaining attention as a well-known baker, by cleverly targeting a rather famous celebrity, who will shortly be doing her own baking star turn 

Gerhard’s blog: LA Baking

Gerhard reflects on a TV slot last year, soon to be aired, and reviews some of the highlights of his recent visit to Los Angeles.

Gerhard’s blog: Advent Time

Gerhard Jenne shows how a year of change at Konditor & Cook has made the operation more polished amid a sparkling pre-Christmas London. 

Gerhard’s Blog: learning to tackle the seasons

gerhard jennesAs one holiday season passes and another begins, Gerhard Jenne reflects on the pits and peaks of Halloween, and looks to Christmas recipes.

Gerhard’s blog: Spitalfields is open

Following a quick brush with some TV stars, Gerhard Jenne celebrates the opening of the firm’s new shop in Spitalfields 

Gerhard Jenne

Gerhard’s blog: Halloween on the horizon

Gerhard Jenne enjoys the delights of bakery in the lush valleys of south Wales… then returns to a full inbox and the prospect of Halloween just around the corner

Gerhard’s blog: Training days

Gerhard Jenne shows how some extra training days are helping to create a comfortable learning environment and inspire the firm’s cake decorators.

The Great British Bake Off:
The bakers await to hear their fate
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GBBO: European inspiration and Star Baker predictions

Our reporter Bronya Smolen talks transfering skills from building to baking, and the benefits of taking inspiration from outside Britain in this weeks GBBO blog. 

Gerhard
Gerhard Jenne: thoughts on business evolution
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Gerhard’s blog: Business evolution

From pruning the product selection to a decision to exit the wholesale arena, Gerhard Jenne finds his business moving into autumn with a renewed vigour. 

Gerhard’s blog: the Germans are coming

Gerhard receives a visit from a German bakers’ delegation and hears about the challenges they face to keep their businesses vibrant. 

Gerhard’s blog: The customer is always right

Gerhard Jenne deals with two different customer reactions and ponders whether the customer is, indeed, always right.

Blog: Baking Industry Awards and the nature of competition

Oh what a night! I am of course referring to the 2014 Baking Industry Awards, held at the Park Lane Hilton in London, a grand hotel which is well suited to accommodate a very glitzy evening. 

Gerhard’s blog: More fixes

Gerhard Jenne finds that, when it comes to TV programmes, The Fixer probably has more to offer to small bakery businesses than The Great British Bake Off

GBBO: Towering success… or not?

Bronya Smolen looks at the latest episode of the Great British Bake Off, where tarts, mummified pears and towers stretched the contestants’ skills. 

GBBO: Baking bad or bad TV

British Baker editor, Martyn Leek blogs this weeks Bake Off episode- and explains why the bakers dozen might not cut the bread in the hard working baking industry. 

Gerhard Jenne
Gerhard Jenne: inspired by Roald Dahl's chocolate paradise
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Gerhard’s blog: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Gerhard Jenne harks back to the delights of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book and reveals how he has become involved in its 50-year celebration. 

Blog: cake is the best option

Gerhard Jenne muses on the pros and cons of business decisions and on whether cake can be a panacea for the soul when the world is full of woes

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Great British Bake Off Blogged: Week 1

The fifth series of the Great British Bake Off has begun. The amateur bakers have been armed with their hand mixers, wooden spoons and guillotines (we’ll come to that one later…). Paul Hollywood’s knowing smile was back, along with Mary Berry’s subtle critique and outbursts of the word “splendid!”. The battle for star baker begins. 

Gerhard's blog: Getting into the bakery business

These days if you are a young entrepreneur looking for a foothold in the food industry it most likely happens via a pop-up stall in a market.

Blog: what’s your excuse for not pursuing your passion?

Ok then, let’s get right to the heart of this question: what is stopping you doing what you’ve always dreamed of? The mere hint of it sets your heart racing and you daydream a thousand daydreams, in total abandonment. That’s your passion, that’s you, telling you what you want, that’s you saying to yourself that you are capable of fulfilling your life’s dreams – if only you have the courage to listen. So why don’t you?

David Smart: grammar is of paramount importance in job-searching
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Blog: Has it come to this?

I am now 56-years-old, and my own children like to continually remind me that if there was a hill to be over, I would be not only be over it...

Gerhard’s blog: Gay and other cake commissions

Gerhard Jenne looks back at some risqué cake commissions and points to the importance of moving with the times.

Gerhard’s blog: Raspberry fudge for brunch

Gerhard Jenne relives the rush of a television spotlight on Sunday Brunch and the challenge of making a raspberry fudge tart in front of the cameras.

Gerhard’s blog: Summer of love

While planning for Christmas is in full swing, Gerhard turns his attention back to summer and the strawberry creations flying out of the door.

David Smart’s blog: Daddy’s Little Girl

Family-owned businesses account for about 80% of all businesses worldwide, and about one-third of them are owned by women. Census data and recent research show that daughters and wives are increasingly taking over family firms.

Gerhard’s blog: Glasgow bites

Gerhard Jenne makes a brief sojourn to Glasgow and samples some of the city’s bakery delights

Gerhard’s blog: Sporting challenges

Those of you who read this blog might sometimes question what planet I live on, waxing on about individual servings of pastries that cost anything from £5, even £8. This does not resemble anything in your life, you might think. It doesn’t for most of the time in mine either, but when you live and work in Central London, you can’t help but notice these things and it also makes it very exciting.

Gerhard’s blog: Hot town, summer in the city

Hot town, summer in the city, our displays are looking yummy and pretty… 

Blog: Craft Bakers' Association looks to the future

The Craft Bakers’ Association promised a conference that would be business orientated, relevant to today’s business needs and which would create an ideal forum for bakery owners to meet and network with like-minded people. And that’s exactly what it did.

Gerhard’s blog: the past and future of patisseries?

Gerhard Jenne delights in the sheer variety of London’ patisserie venues, ranging from classic and traditionalist to a minimalist vision of the future

Blog: Summer's sport gives bakers opportunities

John Young, national sales manager, Orchard Valley Foods embraces the growing diversity of baking and suggests bakers take advantage of this summer’s sporting events

Blog: Winds of Change

It is quite extraordinary how things come together at times.

Blog: wedding cakes and their history

How do you price up a Royal Wedding Cake? A multi-tiered extravaganza, plus 600 pre-cut portions, as well as 4,000 portions to be packaged and posted, not forgetting the whole production and logistics shrouded in a cloak of secrecy? 

Gerhard’s blog: Eurovision wonderment

Gerhard Jenne relives with delight the moment his Curly Whirly Cake suddenly came under the Eurovision spotlight.

Value for money or money for old rope?

Honestly, just when are you going to learn, you half-witted, dumb-brained nincompoops? Flogging utter garbage for next to nowt is actually destroying our businesses.

Gerhard’s blog: Change in just one generation

Gerhard Jenne reflects on just how far the UK bakery market has changed since he arrived on British shores.

Gerhard’s blog: Eschewing Easter

Gerhard Jenne examines his firm’s performance at Easter, and finds that a Velvet Bunny Cake hit just the right note with customers

Gerhard’s blog: wedding cake season

With Easter behind us, Gerhard Jenner welcomes the advent of the wedding cake season and the challenges it entails

Gerhard’s blog: the second book is born

Gerhard Jenne describes the challenges of his second published volume… and the differences since the first time around.

Gerhard’s Blog: The principle of ‘GREAT’

We devised a ‘GREAT’ customer service principle and train our staff accordingly. It’s a handy aide memoire, where each letter stands for a particular aspect of our service.

Blog: Smart counts the generational gaps

While you are having your morning coffee, just have a look around and say to yourself, “If I wasn't here for a multitude of reasons who would carry on the business?”

Gerhard’s Blog: Customer perspective

Gerhard Jenne explains why a look at any business from the customer’s angle is important

Blog: Gerhard Jenne’s Icing on the Cake

Gerhard Jenne muses on the huge change in customers’ demands since he started out in the bakery retail business.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne's Icing on the Cake

Gerhard Jenne looks at American styles on both sides of the pond.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne's Icing on the Cake

Gerhard Jenne takes a trip overseas to have a scout around the cupcake bakeries.

Blog: No parking please, we’re British

Politicians, especially local ones, often seem to have had a frontal lobotomy.  

The sap is rising...

To keep up our customer’s interest in our products we like an element of surprise and discovery in our stores.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne's Icing on the Cake

The planets are aligning for Gerhard Jenne, as he dusts down and shapes up his business for the year ahead.

Blog: why you should go to the conference

It's going to be one amazing conference.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne's Icing on the Cake

Rain, rain go away. As the country continues to experience strong winds and continuous rain, Gerhard Jenne contemplates the impact on bakery.

Smart choice: the rural idyll of Burns the Bread

Do you remember the old story books that began with "Once upon a time"? Just sit back, for a moment, and relax… 

Blog: Gerhard Jenne’s Icing on the Cake

In this week’s blog, Gerhard Jenne discusses how the increasing popularity of British food has Continental bakers beating a path to our doors.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne’s Icing on the Cake

As January slowly turns into February, Gerhard Jenne discusses whether 2014 will be the year of the doughnut.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne’s Icing on the Cake

In this week’s blog, Konditor & Cook’s Gerhard Jenne discusses the ingredients required to create a good German bakery.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne’s Icing on the Cake

Konditor & Cook’s Gerhard Jenne is turning his attention to all things pink and cuddly in this week’s blog as he looks ahead to V-Day 2014.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne’s Icing on the Cake

In his first blog for 2014, Gerhard Jenne discusses how to turn consumer New Year’s resolutions into profit.

Blog: teachers trying yeast

A couple of years ago a request came from nabim for a baker to give a couple of presentations for a training organisation called Grainchain.

Blog: Smarter PR

Public relations - I would like, with your consent, to muse around this much-talked-about, almost sacred topic. It is something that no one can pin down, yet could cost a small fortune – or cost a little - depending on your take on it.

Blog: Gerhard Jenne’s Icing on the Cake

In his new blog for British Baker, Konditor & Cook’s Gerhard Jenne discusses showstopping cakes from this year’s Cake International.

Keeping it in the family with David Smart...
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Blog: Ability over birth right

It seems that every country in the world has a similar saying when it comes to family businesses.

Blog: Viva Las Vegas

You really do have to get out of your back yard to see what’s out there, and I`ve wanted to see the Vegas bakery exhibition for some time now so, this year was the year.

Can you keep a secret?

I don’t want to startle you, or gives you a shock that sends you into a mind-melting breakdown, unable to cope, but... I have a secret that I need to share with you, so ssshhh! Nobody is listening? Are you sure? Yes? Ok here goes – Christmas Day is on the 25th of December!

Have we over-commercialised Christmas?

A few years ago, on one very cold Sunday morning, my daughter and I promptly reported to the mince pie department to lend a hand. I wanted to show my face and let them know the boss actually does know how to put lids on the pies. 

Gerhard Jenne, Konditor & Cook
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The Great British Blog Off: Week 4

As we enter week four of The Great British Bake Off, our two professional bakers, Gerhard Jenne and Charlotte Green, reckon it’s time the bakers pulled their floured socks up.

The Great British Bake Off: Episode 4

It was all about beautiful rings and soggy bottoms (and one top!) in this week’s episode of The Great British Bake Off. Week four brought us pies and tarts with even more custard, and one baker was sent packing.

Blog: Sorry boss! How to deal with staff absence

“Sorry boss, I can`t make it in today!” How many times have you heard that dreary comment especially early in the morning and they should have been on shift, half an hour ago? Or worse still, you`ve been woken out of bed, because they have not turned up for their shift.

Gerhard Jenne, Konditor & Cook
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The Great British Blog Off: Week 3

We’ve hit week three in The Great British Bake Off tent, and our two professional bakers, Gerhard Jenne and Charlotte Green, reckon Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood raised the ability bar a few notches higher with desserts.

Blog: salt - the devil's in the detail

Stop demonising our products. It’s so easy to openly criticise and demonise when you have no involvement – but when you are involved – that’s a different story.

Gerhard Jenne, Konditor & Cook
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The Great British Blog Off: Week 2

Our two professional bakers, Gerhard Jenne and Charlotte Green, give you their view on the second episode from this year’s The Great British Bake Off. Did they think the bakers used their heads with different breads?

The Great British Bake Off: Episode 2

Week two in the Bake Off tent saw elbows, plaits, tears, and a psychic octopus. We’ve come to expect nothing less.

The Great British Bake Off: Episode 1

The nation’s favourite culinary series, The Great British Bake Off, returned last night. It brought drama, laughter and, most importantly, an array of sweet treats to savour.

Blog: Let’s teach the next generation

How many of you have some cherished youngsters in your businesses? 

Blog: We all share the same dream

Many years ago I decided to go to a Manchester National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB) branch meeting at the Hotel Piccadilly.

Blog: Postcard from the USA

I really like to travel and I like to go walkabout, just to see what’s out there. My dad always said that you never learn anything in your own back yard and how true that is.

Smart on business succession

You’re all going to die. Or go Ga Ga. Either way Mother Nature will get you in the end! I hope that caught your attention, it was meant to and for a very good reason.

At long last, he’s here!

Many bakers and owners of businesses with either sons or daughters do relish the thought of their children coming into the business… maybe one day, hopefully. On 4 February this year, that day arrived for me, as Stephen Paul Smart started working with Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery.

Blog: Profit before the nation

Before I begin, let me apologise to the entire population of faint-hearted, economically unaware, naïve shoppers about the crippling effects that the major retailers have inflicted on us and the high street. And, these changes are so profound that they are culturally changing the way we live and eat - and it’s all by their design for maximising profit.

Blog: A great night had by all

It is fair to say - and I am sure my own wife will loudly agree - I am not the world’s most sociable person.

Politicians should care for the big and the small

The retail picture is bleak. To put it bluntly, 2013 has started in a torrid style - awful.

It is now the time of “the real bakers”

May I draw your attention to a brilliant article entitled, “A tale of two breads”, by Vanessa Barford, who was writing for the BBC News Magazine recently. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20527294

Shop local, before it’s too late

For one brief moment, let me introduce you to the Shetland Islands, a beautiful archipelago of Scotland which lies just of its north eastern shores. They are situated about 50 miles to the northeast of Orkney and approximately 170 miles southeast of the Faroe Islands. The total land mass is 567 square miles and its total population is 22,210 in 2009.

John Reynard 17th October 1931 – 28th October 2012

The last time I saw John was five years ago at our own 50th anniversary of being in business which was held at Bolton School in their very impressive corporate function suite. Even then, confined to a wheel chair and in poor health, he still managed to entertain his table and maintain his very warm charm and charisma which many people in the baking industry had come to know and love so well.

Spare me please from reality television

The Great British Bake Off is only the latest offering amongst a plethora of challenging, and public orientated programmes that pit contestants against each other for the coveted title of, “whatever of the year”.

It’s all about the #soggybottoms

Sue Perkins, co-presenter on BBC Two's The Great British Bake Off has popularised the above phrase, which spread like wildfire as a topic of discussion on Twitter last night, during the show’s grand finale.

Corporates change via bakery

We’re used to corporate people being, well... just that, corporate.

What makes a baker?

OK it’s not a Monday morning teaser or one of those mind-melting puzzles that have no answer, just a simple question, what is a baker? What amazing powers have been bequeathed from above, or bestowed on that personage, ‘The Baker’?

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