Spotlight on Nicola Scott, Pastry Chef - August 2023
Meet Nicola, the talented Pastry Chef at Fitzwilliam College. With a passion for creating delightful desserts, known for her artistry approach and attention to detail, Nicola takes pride in crafting exquisite pastries that leave lasting impressions on every dinner.
What made you become a Pastry Chef?
I wasn’t always a pastry chef I started off as a kitchen assistant and started cooking in my early 20’s because my dad dared me to apply for a job at Jaime Oliver’s restaurant and I got it.
I then went into the colleges as an apprentice but always loved the pastry section the best so went on to study at Westminster in London. Went to the Ritz for a while then worked under Sarah Frankland and Graham Horninghold in Hakkasan group before coming home to Cambridge.
When did you join the Fitzwilliam Team?
Here Nicola is preparing Chocolate Brownies with Fresh Raspberries and Cream:
What do you enjoy most about your job being a pastry chef?
I love the fact that the dessert is the thing that everybody remembers at the end of the meal, and I always like to try and surprise people and leave them feeling happy.
Do you have a signature dish?
I don’t have a signature because I try and always use what’s best at the time and in season to get the best out of the ingredients around. But my favourite is lemon tart always.
What’s your favourite vegan dish to make?
Vegan dessert I see as the same as all the other dish because it’s just about using the ingredients that are best and available to us and learning the new techniques to make it the best it can be – always looking to learn.
What is it like working in a kitchen especially in an industry that’s very male dominated, and you being one of very few female chefs?
I have faced challenges while working in a predominately male industry, which made it difficult for me to gain the respect I deserve as a chef and hinder my learning opportunities. The prevailing bravado and traditional attitude often discourage me from asking questions. However, I have noticed a positive shift in recent years with an increasing number of women entering the industry. I have had the opportunity to work with and meet many talented women who have become valuable friends and mentors.