Meet The Baker: Roz Bado

Blackheath bakery

We chat with Roz Bado, baker and pastry chef at Gail’s Bakery to learn more about her rise through the baking ranks and why simplicity is key to an excellent product.

What inspired you to specialise in baking?
Food is a big part of my family and it was only natural that I showed an interest in it. I was always drawn to baking as a kid because I could get a bit creative and arty with it, I remember always spending hours on these ridiculous birthday cakes for my friends and family, and one day it dawned on me I could actually do it as a career.

Tell us more about your culinary background…
I trained at Le Cordon Bleu when I was 18 studying patisserie. Then I managed to get a job as the pastry chef at Gail’s Kitchen which was opening, and I have worked for Gails ever since. After 2 years of working at the restaurant I was offered to learn more about sourdoughs at our main bakery.

I had already started to dabble in making my sourdoughs and was completely obsessed and have been ever since.

What has been the proudest moment in your career?
Probably when my first bread was launched in all the bakeries. It was like my baby that I had been working on and perfecting for months, so for that to be accepted and made for GAIL’s was very good moment for me, a bit of a stamp of approval.

If you weren’t a chef, which career would you like to pursue?
I couldn’t think about doing anything else, food is what I love to do. Even when I’m not working I’m thinking and researching what I can do next. Putting that aside I think would quite like to be a cheese maker or monger, still surround myself with food and I quite like the idea of working cultivating it.

What is your favourite midnight snack?
My favourite midnight snack is obviously is a crusty slice of sourdough toasted and smothered in butter, it never gets old.

Do you have any tips for aspiring chefs?
I am always still aspiring because the food world is so huge. If you put in the hours and hard work and it’ll pay off. Working in a kitchen is extremely hard and exhausting, so set yourself small goals and you can work your way up to the big picture. Most importantly, have fun.

How would you describe your style of baking?
I’m a simple and rustic kind of girl, making the most of quality ingredients and letting them speak for themselves. I’ve never been one for fancy and intricate; I just don’t have the patience for it.

What provides you with inspiration for new recipes?
I get my inspiration from everywhere, I try to eat out a lot and go to new places, my recipe book collection is huge and always growing, also social media, I love seeing what the rest of the world are doing.

Do you have any role models?
I really admire Roy Levy, our head baker, the ideas he comes up with, combined with his knowledge, always blow me away and I think that’s why I’ve stayed at GAIL’s so long.

What food takes you back to childhood?
Paella. My grandfather is Spanish and my grandmother always used to make it for us. Obviously Sunday roast was a big thing too, but we never had much food in the house. My mum could always make something out of nothing, which is a skill that has lucky been passed onto me.

Do you have any favourite summer recipes?
Summer for me is all about BBQs. Anything on the grill tastes great, but nothing beats a crusty slice of sourdough toasted on the grill and smothered in olive oil and topped with a bit of garlic and freshly picked tomatoes from the garden.

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