Le Cordon Bleu London alumna Tamsin Robinson graduated in early 2020 upon completing the Diplôme de Pâtisserie. Unfortunately, her graduation coincided with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and national lock down, meaning she couldn't jump straight into working in a kitchen as she had expected.
Tamsin didn’t let this hold her back though and started writing recipes for an online magazine. After realising she was often being asked about where to source high quality ingredients, she decided that it was a great idea to transform her recipe into gourmet baking kits. That's how BaskesterBox was born.
We caught up with Tamsin to find out about her learning experience and what she has been up to since graduating.
How did you feel after graduating from Le Cordon Bleu London?
"I felt ready to take on the world! Superior term was incredible, and I felt a huge sense of achievement upon graduating. Confidence levels were at an all-time high, and quite frankly, I felt giddy with excitement to begin a career as a pastry chef."
What is the most valuable lesson you learned during your time at Le Cordon Bleu London?
"Trust your instincts. It’s a phrase you hear over and over, but at Le Cordon Bleu, I was forced to use my instincts all the time – whether that be with tempering chocolate, deciding on job opportunities or working out whether Chef was joking or actually getting annoyed at us!"
What have you been up to since graduating?
"I graduated in March 2020, the week before Lockdown 1.0. With the pandemic severely limiting pastry kitchen opportunities, I did not go to work in a kitchen as planned. Instead, in Summer 2020, I launched BakesterBox, a baking kit business to bring a little pastry chef flair into home kitchens. I’ve been busy growing BakesterBox since!"
What made you decide to start your own business?
"My goal for the past few years had always been to open my own baking-related business, but I didn’t have a clear enough idea on what exactly I wanted the business to be. I had the lightbulb for BakesterBox after friends were asking more and more baking and ingredient-related questions. I realised that although people are keen to bake, they don’t necessarily have all the ingredients or time. Moreover, most of the baking kit ranges I could think of were all low quality. From there, I did a little research and decided BakesterBox would be a great idea."
Can you tell us a little about your experience so far running BakesterBox?
"It has been a constant rollercoaster - highs of making big sales, lows of feeling COMPLETELY out of my depth at times. Being a solo founder, I must oversee every aspect of the business from digital marketing and social media to logistics and finances. It’s been intense to say the least, but every new challenge is an opportunity to learn and develop my skillset.
"I think all small business owners can probably relate to this! I can’t say I’ve been completely alone though. I have received an extraordinary amount of support from others, be it from friends, family or people that I don’t even know who discover BakesterBox, love the concept and want to help in any way possible. The rollercoaster has been great so far."
Do you have any big plans in the works?
"I would love to move BakesterBox HQ out of my spare room and into its own space. This plan is only in my head now, nothing on paper yet. If and when it happens, it will be a huge step forward"
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
"If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen and turn our lives upside down. I no longer look too far into the future, I try and live in the present, appreciate what I have and see where life takes me. The dream would be to own a pâtisserie one day – perhaps where I sell BakesterBox products too – but I wouldn’t like to put a timeframe on when that might happen."
What do you miss the most about being a student at LCB?
"My classmates. Superior term was so much fun as we’d all gotten to know each other well by then. After-class drinks, impromptu nights out, I felt like I was back in university again! I also miss the guidance and encouragement from the teaching chefs and being in the kitchen in general."
Superior term is when things really kick up a notch and it is the best term by FAR. You really need to experience it!
What would you say to anyone considering studying at Le Cordon Bleu London?
"Ask yourself why you want to study there and speak to past students about their experiences. I would also recommend doing the full diploma if you are able to. Superior term is when things really kick up a notch and it is the best term by FAR. You really need to experience it!"
What does Le Cordon Bleu London mean to you in a few words?
"In my mind, Le Cordon Bleu London is a place where people come together from all over the world to share a common passion."
Find out more about the Diplôme de Pâtisserie, our professional cookery courses and other culinary programmes to see how you can follow in Tamsin's footsteps. Or, discover other alumni or student stories to hear more from a students perspective.