Pastry Chef & cook book author, Marianne Stewart

What’s your favourite Bird item  and what do you love about it? 

The Red Heron apron - I'm absolutely in love with it. This is clothing for people who live and breathe food!

Tell us about your first food memory?

Aged 5, mixing flour & water to make a weird “pastry” with my sister, baking it, then trying to feed it to my parents. And wondering why they didn’t ever want to taste it!

When did you start your journey in the industry? 

I did a Cordon Bleu course in cookery after I finished school and worked as a private chef during my uni days. I then got into doing a PhD, but quit after 2 years and moved down to London to work as a pastry chef. I started in a patisserie kitchen and just kept following my feet. 

What is your go-to staple meal? 

Um, I mostly bake, so although I am a trained chef I am very lazy about cooking for myself! Frittata is a good one when I’m working from home as it’s quick, nutritious and you can use up all sorts of odds and ends from the fridge.

What made you choose food as a way to make a living?

The sense of connection and creativity. I moved out of an industry (academia) that was quite isolating and into one where you can make small pieces of happiness for people everyday.

Which 5 ingredients can always be found in your kitchen?

lemons, salt, sugar, flour of some variety (not always plain white) and either butter or plant butter depending on what recipes I am testing!

What is your most favourite project that you’ve worked on in the past five years? 

Probably my book, Nourish Cakes! But anything that involves recipe development as I love being creative, detailed and just having a tinker in the kitchen.

Where can people connect with you? (socials/ your kitchen)? 

I half live on instagram! @mariannebakes is the easiest way to find me and catch up with what I’m doing.

What are you working on at the moment? 

I am doing a lot of recipe development for different food businesses and working on getting my next online vegan baking course up!

You’re gifting a cookbook to a good friend, what’s an absolute must-have? 

Would depend on the friend and how into baking/cooking they are. For home baking, Dan Lepard’s Short & Sweet - approachable, but plenty of explaining the why of baking. 

For experienced bakers, Tartine Book number 3 is a classic everyone should have. Lots of brilliant recipes with alternative flours.

For cooking, Claire Thompson’s Home Cookery Year.

How do you practice sustainability in the kitchen?

My sister is a sustainability consultant so this is an area I care about a lot, but also struggle with because so much of my job is inherently wasteful. I think it works best when you allow yourself to make small incremental changes gradually. 


I try to re-use as much as possible - I never throw out a jam jar! And being inventive with ingredients so I waste as little food as possible. Also, it’s great practice to share baking kit with fellow buddies so you don’t have to buy things you only use once or infrequently.

What do you listen to when you’re cooking?

Podcasts or lots of Taylor Swift!

Please share your favourite recipe 

Italian Meringue Frosting

Pastry Chef & cook book author, Marianne Stewart