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Executive Pastry Chef Benjamin Condé

Executive Pastry Chef Benjamin Condé champions French dairy produce and the freshest ingredients for technically demanding but beautiful desserts and pastries. His culinary journey started as a child with his chef grandfather shaping his early fundamentals and passion. This put him on a culinary path to precision and passion. Growing up in rural Llanelli, West Wales, Chef Benjamin relocated to pursue pastry and has never looked back.

A Final Six contestant on Bake Off: The Professionals 2022, this talented chef has honed his skills under names such as Cherish Finden, Tommy Heaney, Laurian Veaudor and establishments including Arôme Bakery, L’Oscar Hotel and more. From recently leading a team of 20 bakers across Bristol’s high end Mokoko Bakeries, to undertaking the role of an Executive Pastry Chef at a prestigious Dorchester Collection hotel this April, pastry chef Benjamin’s artisan-ship extends to creating beautiful desserts for weddings, afternoon tea and Michelin starred restaurants at the highest standard.

sugar showpiece

What inspired you to become a pastry chef? You’ve been in the industry for quite some time. Would you have done anything differently when first starting out?

My late grandfather was my surrogate father growing up, an incredibly inspirational man. A chef his entire life I was brought up with a spatula in my hand! He was and still remains my largest inspiration/reason to follow food. If i had to do anything differently I’d love to have focused on competitions earlier on, less for winning but for personal growth as they’re a fantastic outlet and opportunity to learn with networking. Bake off: The Professionals 2022, was a truly door opening experience with new faces, great team mates and I met some great friends.


What is the philosophy and ethos behind the food you create?

My food philosophy is one of simplicity. Taking an ingredient and making it the best it can be with supporting flavours and techniques to truly highlight and elevate the focal points of what makes pastry great. Pastry to me should be a combination of childlike creativity paired with great technique to invoke nostalgia.

What’s the latest trend when it comes to baking and patisserie? What is one food (pastry) trend you wish would just go away?

For me, pastries are slowly becoming more classically influenced again such as millefeuille based desserts; which I’m here for! I do wish the optical illusion fruits would bow out soon!

pain suisse-almond and chocolate

What is your baking style and the philosophy behind it?

My baking style is concise, thoughtful and to the point. I want technique, flair and flavour to all be in balance to create harmony – beautiful harmony. Clean, clean, clean.

What’s your favourite comfort food? What’s your favourite pastry or cake or baked product ?

My favourite comfort food is a Thai Green Curry with Coconut Rice! Ooooof – love it! My favourite pastry is always the Pain Au Chocolat – dipped in a flat white, always. If I could eat one a day, I would!

Matcha, raspberry and coconut

Who or what was your inspiration to become a pastry chef?

I’ve had many incredible mentors along the way but I’d always say my grandfather, Keith Court. He’d take humble apples and make them taste ethereal with technique. Opened my eyes as a toddler to how food could make people smile or even cry! Those eye opening moments early on are vital to one’s passion.

What is your advice to aspiring pastry chefs?

Learn, learn, learn! Whoever you can get a snippet of knowledge from, get it.

A class in chocolate? Take it! Someone offering sugar experience for a day? Do it! Don’t like a flavour profile? Test how you can make it so YOU enjoy it. Never compromise on standards, learning or passion.

Mango, passion-fruit, coconut petit four

Future Plans?

At the beginning of April, I’ll be taking over as Executive Pastry Chef at a Dorchester collection hotel – an achievement/opportunity I’m both humbled by and excited to undertake. We will push the boundaries of what afternoon tea can truly be, with building an amazing team ethos of flavour, passion and skill along the way! I’ve got some amazing chefs there, and excited to get going.

hazelnut cross laminated tart shell and milk jam petit gateau

 Would you consider yourself as an artist? Are you inspired by artists when you create your pastries? When you create different products everyday where do you get inspired from?

Art is so subjective, it’s what makes it great. My mother and stepfather are keen artists and portrait painters; opening doors to creativity when i was young helped a lot. Inspiration comes from daily life for me.. a moment, a memory or a thought can be transformed by passion. Starting with flavour first, I build back from there. Clean elegance can be inspired by a building, a trip or even just the sunrise! Your imagination is limitless!

lemon pie

The topic of local food, from smaller, specialized and personally known producers, is becoming more important. What are some of your local partners from whom you source?

I try to source as much local produce as available. Wildflowers from hotel grounds, fresh fruit from the best sustainable sources and more. Always open to new, exciting and local ingredients – freshness is key.

bee pollen/honey/apricot tart

What would you say is the key/winning feature of your creations ?

I like to champion an ingredient and support it with other beautiful flavours and textures. Sea salt with chocolate, miso and ginger… soy with caramel, and Bee pollen/Tarragon with apricot. Balance is key, freshness is paramount but creativity is always paired with good technique first and foremost!

What are the most important considerations when crafting your menu?

For me it’s about people. You’re only as good as your best team member. Working together on ideas to add flavour, flair and precision to perhaps a team member’s new afternoon tea, the latest flavour combination or build a menu the team are excited to create. Anyone can make tasty desserts, making a beautiful menu for so many people daily requires skill, patience and a great team work ethic; all about people. Is it doable? Is it doable on scale? Can be as good as want it to be? Pushing boundaries, pushing people to be the best they can be but pushing ingredients to new levels, always.

chocolate, Lime, Banana/Miso

 Have you ever considered being a vegan chef? How practical is it being a pastry chef?

A vegan pastry chef!? I have butter running through my veins, BUT I would say that chefs like Phil Koury have really pushed the limits of vegan pastries in the past few years; it’s really evolved. We offer a free menu as all great pastry chefs know, dessert is social! Regardless of dietary changes and restrictions – hint, it’s always as good as our standard menus. Being a pastry chef is a tough balancing act, but like all passions there’s a trade off.. you have to sacrifice many things for focus and learning; at the end of the day.. if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life!

pain au chocolat

What’s your signature dish?

Signature dishes for me celebrate nuts and channel the nostalgic by the fireside snack of nuts; but currently my signature pastries include – Almond & Vanilla praline, Milk Chocolate Pain Suisse.. and of course at home when not working it’s always a sticky toffee!!


How can restaurants/ hotels/ chefs communicate the approach of innovative sustainable plant-based food/ food chains to others?

Make your vegan food to the same standards as the usual menu! In 2024, we are far more close to replacing a lot of dairy products, fillers and more with like for like flavoured products. Creating menus after consulting customers makes them not only feel included, but excited to join for an afternoon tea or an up market meal – it’s all about how you present, value and flavour your food. Communication of vegan influences comes naturally by showing off the produce first, and it being darn tasty food.

bon bons

Which is the dish you’ve created that you are most proud of and why?

I’d say my Juniper, lemon, honey and bee pollen afternoon tea dessert. For me, pairing such delicate notes and keeping them in harmony? Always a winner in my book. Zingy, delicate but refined all together. Delicious.

A recipe all pastry chefs should know, and can do at home with a madeleine tin!


Ingredients :

  • 150g Eggs
  • 130g Sugar
  • 130g Unsalted Butter
  • 50g Milk
  • 124g Plain Flour
  • 5g Baking Powder
  • 24g Veg Oil
  • Pinch salt
  • Zest of lemon for citrus variation.


  1. Whisk eggs and sugar until fluffy and ribbon stage, add sifted powders followed by milk and oil. Finally add browned butter and lemon zest.
  2. Chill batter for 60mins before using, ideally overnight.
  3. Lightly brush pan with melted butter.
  4. Bake at 180c 10-12 mins.
  5. Dust with topping when cool or dip in chocolate.



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