Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, bakery director, Judges Bakery, Hastings
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I run the bakery department at Judges Bakery in Hastings, heading up a team of two bakers and three pastry chefs. The bakers start at 1am and generally finish at 9am making sponge-and-dough white, wholemeal and malted breads, as well as sourdough loaves such as seven-seed, walnut and baguettes. The pastry team starts at 7am and go on until around 3pm. The sponge is fermented in a retarder for about 24 hours and the sourdough gets about 12 hours in the retarder, then eight or nine hours fermenting in the bakery. Everything we make is organic and most of it is sold through the shop.
How did you get started in bakery?
I’m 42 now and started baking when I was 17 so that’s 25 years in the business. I’m from South Africa originally and did a three-year apprenticeship in German-style baking in Cape Town, which had a big focus on pastry. I then travelled with my wife, working in various countries.
When did you come to the UK?
We first got here about 12 years ago and I ended up working for The Savoy as a baker, making rolls for their functions and the restaurant, as well as lots of croissants and Viennoiserie. It was hard work bake, sleep, bake, sleep. After that, I worked at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants Royal Hospital Road and Petrus, which was just as tough, making rolls, macaroons and brioches. I survived there for nine months before joining Flour Power City and going on to do some teaching at Kensington and Chelsea College.
You’ve been about a bit then?
Definitely. It has been really good to have lots of different experiences. One of the highlights of my career was setting up the bakery at Daylesford Organic’s farm shop in Gloucestershire. It was a complete shell and I was given total control of the project. That was a real turning point in my career.
Working at Judges was also another highlight. The bakery was a conventional high street bakery, making simple products such as bloomers and sandwich loaves. We’ve kept those, but also introduced more complicated goods and moved to organic production.
What does the future hold?
Next month I’m leaving Judges to head up the School of Artisan Food’s bakery courses, including the bakery modules of its new Diploma in Artisan Food Production. I’ve really enjoyed my time at Judges, but I’m looking forward to a new challenge.