Sally Owens puts the finishing touches to the wedding cake watched by Welsh National Culinary Team manager Graham Tinsley and team member Toby Beevers.
A chef from the Welsh National Culinary Team has revealed the magnificent wedding cake that she has baked and decorated to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Sally Owens, a cake decoration lecturer at Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, Rhos on Sea, has devoted more than 300 hours to the special royal project that has dominated her spare time over the past few months.
The impressive square cake has four tiers and is traditionally decorated with ivory royal icing and bears the monograms of William and Catherine, Prince William’s coat of arms, the red Welsh dragon and a harp.
“Each tier is two cakes deep and it stands at four feet high with pillars between each tier,” said Sally, a mother of two. “The rich, moist fruit cake was made to a traditional recipe.
“It has taken me around 300 hours to bake and decorate and literally seems to have taken over my life. If someone were paying me for all the work, it would cost around £3,500, but it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to do a cake like this for a royal wedding.
“I wanted to push the boundaries by doing something that I hadn’t done before. Probably the most difficult parts of the cake were the matching curved flanges.
“Although it has taken over my life, I would do it again tomorrow. I am proud of the result, but I wish I could start again because there are still things that I would like to perfect.”
Prince William and his bride-to-be took Welsh National Culinary Team manager Graham Tinsley up on his offer to make a cake to celebrate their wedding at Westminster Abbey on April 29. With the couple’s blessing, the cake will be donated to Centrepoint, a charity for homeless young people of which Prince William is patron.
Mr Tinsley, executive chef at Carden Park Country Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa near Chester and a director of the Castle Hotel Conwy, said the team was honoured to bake the cake for the royal wedding.
“Sally has done a brilliant job in making and decorating a cake that is truly fit for royalty,” he added. “It’s a shame that the royal couple will not get a chance to see and taste it.
“With Prince William being stationed on Anglesey with the RAF search and rescue team and going to live in North Wales with his bride following the wedding, I think it’s fitting that Welsh chefs should bake a cake for them.”
Arrangements are now being made to deliver the cake to Centrepoint, whose chief executive, Seyi Obakin, said: “It will be a special way for young people supported by Centrepoint to be involved in our patron’s wedding day celebrations.“
The Welsh National Culinary Team, which won a gold medal at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg last November, is proud of its royal connections. The Prince of Wales is team patron and the chefs have cooked for members of the royal family several times.
The wedding cake has attracted global attention, achieving media coverage in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan and the UK.
A film crew from ITV filmed the cake yesterday (Thursday) for a documentary about the royal wedding and a crew from ‘Entertainment Tonight’, one of Canada's leading shows, is due to fly in next week to interview the Welsh chefs.