With the death of the restaurant many things have changed.
For instance, a home somewhere in Glenwood has now been converted into a satellite kitchen for the bakery. There, stainless steel fridges, ice cream machines, heavy duty mixers, a fleet of saucepans, books, spatulas, silicone baking sheets, very large whisks and piles of madeleine moulds are now being housed in the opened up Victorian kitchen of a Glenwood bungalow. And there, a hyper active chef is making financiers, tarts, soups, palmiers, pavlova casings, ice creams, cakes and meringues. He is poaching hams and the tongues of oxes. He is a whirlwind of culinary mania.
Having been born just “post the second world-war rationing, period of deprivation, egg powder and darkness” (A.R.) he is using every scrap of everything and making it into something else. To be sold for money, of course. He makes his own butter, from the buttermilk he makes ricotta for the cheesecakes and the whey from making the ricotta is used in the potato and rosemary bread. The egg whites left from the making of ice cream and hollandaise and aioli go to meringues. The trimmings from the making of biscotti are the crumble on the hazelnut pastries and are about to find their way into the cakes. The flour sweepings from the floor make a special dark loaf which we sell at huge premium to The Oyster Box in Umhlanga.* And, of course, coffee grinds and vegetable peelings go into our compost bin, which go onto our vegetable boxes. It is a truly Dickensian affair.
Managing the now expanded bakery is still the same superb team: Justin (dancer, comedian and extraordinary master of crises), Mla (lauded barista and Mr Calm) and Zanele (small, direct and fierce). To be a waiter at The Glenwood Bakery is not easy. Nearly everything is opposite to natural waiting instincts. Your first training is in how to say no. Your second and third training is in how to say no politely. Only then do you learn to take orders and deliver plates of food. You are taught to never, ever interrupt people if they are reading to ask them if they are enjoying their meal, but to look from a distance for when they need you. You are not allowed to ‘upsell’. You are a shop assistant, waiter and handler of fine Viennoiserie and hot ovens. All the beloved bakery waiters are still with us; Tsepo, Nosiphiwo, Nokwanda and Nogu. On our part time staff we have the unstoppable Lindo and the formidable Olivia.
In addition we have Cornelius, manager of the former restaurant, now as waiter and expert maker of Oxford marmalade added to the bakery waiting team. Please ask for this marmalade by name. You will not be sorry. He is still a single bodied charm offensive and seems to be enjoying less responsibility and more daylight hours.
Orlando, long lost Glenwood Bakery baker has returned to the fold to bake with Frank and Thanda. Frank is leading this team; this beating heart of the bakery. We hold them tenderly and thank them every day for working at midnight.
Chief café chef is Phindiwe, trained under the austere gaze of Adam Robinson at The Glenwood Restaurant. Jabu has come across from the restaurant too and is primarily part of the pizza night team, with Kulu. Leading this pizza team is Sithe. Not enough can be said about this man. Know that he has been trained by Robinson and worked at his side since The Corner Post in Howick. Alongside his cooking at the restaurant he has for the longest time been the person responsible for the pizza nights at the bakery, before and through the existence of the restaurant on the two closed nights there (Mondays and Tuesdays) and is the reason why we can now offer more pizzas nights.
Carin Robinson is still having her way with the publicity forums used by the bakery. Here she consistently manages to offend some people but charm others.
She leaves you with this barrage of information. It is important stuff. Thank you for your attention.
*This is not true, but perhaps a bit of a subversive fantasy.
Important notices: A pop-up dinner celebrating Kokstad truffles is coming up end of July. Please keep your eyes on our Facebook page. Or send your email address so that you can be directly notified: firstname.lastname@example.org (please do not give your email address to the staff for this).