On the 2nd October 2014 a group of bakers with varied experience including Worshipful Company award winners, skilled craft bakers, representatives from milling and training organisationsfrom across the UK and Ireland met in London for the start of 5 day educational trip to Lucerne, Switzerland.
The trip included a 2-day course on Swiss baking at the world renowned Richemont School, a detailed tour of bakery and chocolate shops in Lucerne and a visit to the world famous Café Sprungli in Zurich.
The award winners included 14 of the best student bakers from across the UK and Ireland, who were successful in receiving an educational bursary from the Worshipful Company of Bakers Benevolent Fund. This fund awards bursaries each year at its discretion to further the careers of those training and working in our industry, this year to the value of £15,000. Winners of the prestigious ABIM, Joseph Travelling, Scacco & CBA Awards also attended the trip.
On the course we learnt traditional and modern methods of producing a range of Swiss breads, cakes and pastries, including high hydration spelt breads using starch gelatinisation techniques, traditional Swiss Grittibänz, Valle Maggia with 95% hydration, Fig Bread, Pear Torte and Chocolate Mousse Cake.
The tour of bakery and chocolate shops in Lucerne gave delegates the chance to see the very high standards and product quality maintained by Swiss bakeries. This also provided great inspiration for both student and professional bakers to return home and create new product lines.
The visit to the City of Zurich allowed delegates to have a leisurely walk around the many small craft and artisan bakers and chocolate shops to taste products, take photos, and gain ideas and inspiration. Delegates had brunch at Café Sprungli, an experience every baker should have at some point in their career!
The evenings allowed delegates to enjoy the relaxed and picturesque town of Lucerne, to reflect on what had been learnt during the day, and to network and learn from each other’s ideas and experiences.
Returning to London on the 7th October, delegates have gained a wealth of knowledge and skills, which they will retain, develop and pass on throughout their bakery careers. All have also gained lifelong industry friends who will hopefully continue to network and share knowledge, skills and opportunities for many years to come.
The trip was well structured, professional, educational and enjoyed by all who attended. As the group leader it was a pleasure to travel, and learn alongside such a passionate and dedicated group of fellow bakers.