Cardiff Times June 2021

Page 28

Pre-Pandemic Sweets, Post Pandemic Thinking

By Jen Abell

We’ve had a lot of time to think over

global favourites. Like many of us of late;

the past year, haven’t we? Perhaps

watching climate change become

too much time. Although the stop/ start nature of existing as a

climate crisis is making him reflect on his desires and decisions. His

business during a pandemic was

hunger for finding the best custard

distressing at best and ruinous

dishes of the world has evolved

at worst for some; it has given

into an investigation. Has custard,

much needed pause. I eagerly

the timeless classic, in fact, had

watch as business owners

its time? Traditionally, custard is

reveal plans for the future. What has this enforced period taking literal and metaphorical stock meant for entrepreneurs that influence our everyday? For several, it means a move to sustainable commerce. Michelin star restaurant, Eleven Madison Park in New York will re-open as a 100% plant-based eatery. This heartening open-ness to change in the face of climate change data takes bravery and flexibility. Hong Kong grocery store Slowood last month announced it will ‘take a step forward’

a dairy cocktail. Most recipes use milk, cream or eggs; sometimes all three. We now know that it takes 628 litres of water to produce just one litre of cow’s milk. Six hundred and twenty-eight to one. It’s tough to justify that choice in the face of global water shortages. Especially difficult when you learn oat milk requires 48 litres of water for a litre of produce. Can Alan’s lifelong favourites and personal dream survive our necessary, and increasingly popular move to dairy free diets? Enter Thibault and his culinary cleverness.

and cease all fish sales after learning of the environmental

Each month from May 2021 until December 2021, Thibault

damage the fishing industry causes in Netflix documentary

and Alan have scheduled the release of a famous custard

Seaspiracy. Their statement read “We believe every tiny

dish from around the world…with a plant-based twist.

step counts and hope to join our community to make the

Thibault’s small but perfectly formed Splott kitchen, usually

world a better place.”

dedicated to his technicolour vegan macarons (strawberry

Being environmentally friendly needn’t always mean ‘ceasing’, though. What if you could have your cake and eat

and basil flavour anyone?!) has become an experimental studio pioneering in….custard.

it too? Cardiff is lucky to have its own crew hoping to help

The day I’m writing this sees the launch of Cardiff’s first

you do just that! Many of you have met Alan Golding without

ever plant-based Manchester Tart and with it, the premiere

knowing it. He’s the friendly face with the irresistible laugh

of this project. This Northern wonder features vanilla

serving your Riverside Sourdough at Cardiff’s weekend

custard in its jelly form poured over cherry jam. This magic

markets. You’ll know Thibault, too. He’s 2020 Bake Off:

combination is layered over golden biscuit pastry crust and

The Professionals winner and chef extraordinaire behind

crowned with desiccated coconut. The clown’s nose glacé

Patisserie Verte. When these gregarious gourmets got

cherry on the coconut snowscape is oh so satisfying. Today,

chatting at Roath’s Farmer’s Market, a lifelong dream came

this experimental twist on a UK classic sold out swiftly in

one step closer to reality.

Roath’s Farmer’s Market. Alan’s clearly not the only person

Alan is a fully paid-up member of the church of custard.

interested in Thibault’s dairy free custard.

By the time I met him six years ago, he’d been dreaming

Thibault’s company, Patisserie Verte, is a small start-up (not

of penning a celebration of custard dishes of the world

for long!) interested in high quality plant-based produce,

for half a decade. He’d named the book and chosen his

sustainability and buying local. Amongst Thibault’s catering

28 CARDIFF TIMES


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