You know, a recipe is so much more than grams
and ounces and cups. Recipes are a way to tell a story. Did you ever dream that you would create your
own cookbook? I never dreamed that I would create my own
cookbook. I didn’t know that that was possible. I didn’t know that was part of my journey. It wasn’t planned. A lot of what’s happened with Bigger Bolder
Baking has been a wonderful surprise. Hi I’m Gemma Stafford, originally from Ireland
I live in the United States in Santa Monica California. I live here with my husband Kevin and my dog
Waffles. Growing up in Ireland was really, I think
I was really lucky to grow up in Ireland I was really fortunate to have my childhood
there. It’s a really special place, a lot of people
think that Ireland is a little bit behind the times, but there is something kind of
nice about it, it is at a slower pace, it is an island. Food played a big role in my family because
there were so many of us. All together there were 7 of us, five kids
and my mom and my dad. Everyone always says their mom is the best
cook, but like, my mom is the best cook. My mom never worked in food professionally,
but I suppose it doesn’t get any more professional full time job than feeding a family of seven. She put so much effort into making all of
our meals, but saying that, she put a lot of effort in but she made it look really easy
and she did it in no time at all. And just, it seemed like no hassle to her
and it just, that was my perception of cooking. Some people think it’s really hard but I
was taught by watching my mum that it’s something really easy and you can do it like
fast and you can produce like wonderful meals. My mom was a great cook but my dad actually
worked as a wine merchant and as a rep for Heineken in Ireland. So food and drink were something that were
always around in our house and enjoyed and we had family and friends over. One of my earliest memories of baking in Ireland
was being in the kitchen with my mum and making an Apple Crumble. It’s a very traditional Irish dish you can
make it all by hand and it was really easy to show us, like the kids, how to make it. And then she would get us to rub in the butter
into the flour and the little bit of sugar. All the signs were kind of pointing me to
be a chef because on the weekends, even even since I was very young like 6 or 7 I would
bake on the weekends I would bake in the evenings I would make cookies and buns. The only thing I would read were cookbooks
and food magazines. It was just obviously a path I was destined
for. When I went to college it was pretty easy
I was going to work in hospitality or tourism or train to be a professional chef. My mom I remember to this day because I was
probably around 17 or so. My mom said to me, “Gemma don’t be a chef
because they work very long hours and make very little money.” So I went to college to be a chef and, years
later I worked very long hours and made very little money. I went to this very famous culinary school
in Ireland called “Cathal Brugha Street”. And then after Cathal Brugha Street, I went
to Ballymaloe Cooking School which is a famous cooking school in Cork run by a woman called
Darina Allen and it’s been around since the 70’s, it’s been around a really long
time. People from all over the world go to Ballymaloe
Cooking school and I was very fortunate to be one of them. It was the beginning and it kind of opened
up a whole new world for me where I traveled to Australia, I traveled to Italy, I worked
as a private chef, I worked in a ski resort. I first came to the United States in 2008,
I was 25 years of age. I didn’t know where I was going I didn’t
know what I was doing. I was in South Lake Tahoe working as an apprentice
baker. I don’t think I knew it at the time but
I was working towards my American Dream, I don’t think even I knew about it. San Francisco was kind of a crazy, crazy ride. I didn’t know anybody in San Francisco I
didn’t know a sinner. I worked for over a year at a Michelin star
restaurant where I was their morning baker. So I would go in at like 5:30 in the morning
and I would make beignets and get doughs made and spin ice creams and just do a lot of stuff
before the kitchen got too warm. I always knew that I wasn’t going to spend
the rest of my life as a traditional chef in a traditional kitchen. So I moved on from that restaurant and started
my own catering business. Catering for tech companies catering breakfast. Working in catering, as you can imagine, there’s
no kitchens in offices I was in people’s offices cooking on hotplates, using microwaves
using toaster ovens. So this is the business card, the very professional
business card that I created online for my catering business in San Francisco it was
called “Rise and Dine.” And she’s a little chef with a wooden spoon
and bowl and that’s kind of ironic because that’s the first chapter in my book, wooden
spoon and bowl. I didn’t realize that until now. I was going above and beyond because I had
half an hour to impress these guys they had breakfast catered every morning. It really was where I realized, hey you don’t
do things by halves Gemma. I start with a thread of an idea and I see
where I can go with it and what I can create. And that’s really where Bigger Bolder Baking,
even though I didn’t know it at the time, started to form and started to take shape. Kevin, my husband and I had just gotten married. Kevin had a background in entertainment and
still wanted to work in entertainment and wanted to move on a little bit. So we decided that we would join forces, we
would take the two things we’re really good at and passionate about and see what we could
come up with. Hi everyone I’m Gemma Stafford and this
week I’m gonna share with you a recipe for my cinnamon roll pancakes. I had never hosted a cooking show I was actually
a bit camera shy. I wasn’t someone who really welcomed a lot
of eyes on me. So I didn’t really know how I was going
to do that, but I did know that I adore food, I love to tell people about food, I love to
tell people how to make it right and if I could just get those messages across I could
get through this no problem. We just decided early on, listen we took this
leap, we quit our jobs, we’ve packed up everything, we moved to a different city where
we don’t know anybody, we’re going to put everything we’ve got into this and make
it work. Bigger Bolder Baking was born. Hi Bold Bakers. Hi Bold Bakers. Hi Bold Bakers. This is called Bigger Bolder Baking, The reason
I waited until now to write this cookbook is because I spent the last 4 plus years building
a business from scratch. 5 years is a really good time to make a cookbook
because I’ve learned a lot, I’ve shared a lot, and I think that I give enough value
and I have enough knowledge to share with people that would be a good value to them
in one cookbook. You know I didn’t really know what the book
was going to be until I started writing the proposal. You write about your background and where
you came from and what you’ve learned. And when I got to the end of my story, it
hit me, your story is about baking no matter what kind of kitchen you have no matter what
kind of tools you have. The journey of writing a cookbook is, you
think, pretty straightforward. Like you decide the recipes you wanna do you
test them and then you write them down. Which is kind of the case, but not at all. So I’m testing recipes for the book, as
you can see I’ve got all my notes up here, the green are the recipes I’ve done and
everything else is what I haven’t done and what I still have yet to do. You have to really prune and like pick really
wonderful recipes because you want somebody to buy the book, you want it to be a value
to them. These aren’t random recipes that I plucked
from the sky. These are recipes that I’ve been making
for years. Flapjacks I used to make in Australia, cookies
that I used to make when I worked at a law firm in Dublin. So these are my notebooks that I’ve carried
with me from all throughout the world. So the book was really inspired by these notebooks. I saw that I had this collection and I wanted
to do something with it and I wanted to catalog it and keep it all in one place. In these notebooks I jotted down the recipes
that I tested in kitchens, there’s one here for chocolate fondant that I made in Dublin
a very, very long time ago as a young pastry chef. The funny thing about chefs who write in these
notebooks is that their handwriting is usually terrible and no one else can read it so, the
notebook is pretty much only useful to you and nobody else. This is from Tuscany, this notebook is from
Tuscany. I bought this while I was there and I wrote
down what we made for lunch for dinner for dessert. I just saw the date here, 28th of the 7th
in 2005 so that was 14 years ago. Oh my gosh. I had to go back and re test them because
to be honest with you I don’t even remember writing half of this and some of it didn’t
seem like it made sense. Here’s one for banana pudding which I have
in the cookbook, steamed banana pudding and it’s absolutely delicious. I used to make this at Menard’s which is
a spa that I worked at in Ireland. Same here Linzer Torte we used to serve this
with afternoon tea. So this is a recipe records book and I just
realized on the inside I have, you know when you’re a kid and you write your name and
address on everything, I have my name my address my phone number, and also the fact that it
was ’98, oh my gosh I had no idea. You know, a recipe is so much more than grams
and ounces and cups. Recipes are a way to tell a story. And luckily with a book you have the time
and the space to tell those lovely stories. Coming up in the next episode. I have a bake sale in 3 days to sell all of
the products for the cookbook and nobody knows it’s from the cookbook they just think that
I’m recipe testing which is kind of exciting because I get to see what they think. Recipe testing was probably the longest and
the biggest part of the book. There are 115 recipes in the book which is
a lot, but to do that many and test that amount of recipes takes a very long time.