AFTER working in the catering industry for most of her life, Chloe Bruce, 23, decided it was time to do what she had always wanted – train to be a pastry chef.

Last Summer, Chloe started a patisserie diploma at a cookery school in Devon.

She said: “I had always wanted to be a pastry chef. I tried other stuff but in the end, it always came back to pastry.

“At the start of the course, being a chef was a hobby and now that it’s my job and I can change things and delve into the recipe development side. I am so much more passionate now.

“I grew up in Nether Stowey, over the hills. I used to work in Taunton and then I went to work for a few other places.

“I worked in Saunton Sands for a while. And then the opportunity arose to come back to Taunton and I’d forgotten how nice it was – I had missed it.”

At the end of last year, Chloe started working at The Shed in Taunton.

Most of the cakes and dishes are homemade, and The Shed have recently changed their menu to include more options, such as avocado on toast.

One of Chloe’s favourite dishes is the “fancy beans on toast”, which is a mix of beans, tomatoes and peppers in a smoky tomato sauce.

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She added: “Last week we made a special homemade sausage roll and it was nice to see what everyone thought.

“Often in big restaurants you never get to hear what people think and it is nice here that you can listen to the customers.

“I’ve settled in now and everyone’s really friendly. We are looking at doing different cakes and so on, especially with my pastry background.

“As a pastry chef, I have a more refined knowledge of the sweet side of cooking, as well as savoury pastry.

“A general chef might not know the specific areas but by doing something specifically patisserie and pastry, I’d hope that I would know everything.

“It adds a personal touch – we make all the pastries ourselves.

“What I am most known for here at the moment are my Amaretti biscuits.

“I thought I would try it and see what people thought but people keep coming back so I can’t stop making them now! I think it’s just something different that they wouldn’t get anywhere else.”

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Using local ingredients is really important to Chloe and at The Shed they use Somerset Bakehouse and Riverside Butchers, only across the road in Taunton’s Independent Quarter.

The one ingredient that Chloe uses most is butter, as she believes it makes a huge difference to her bakes. She also loves ground almonds, as they are a great substitute and give a great flavour.

She said: “We often have a vegan banana loaf and a lot of the options are gluten free too. We make brownies with rice flour and we have a coconut, chocolate and cherry slice which just doesn’t have any flour in.

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“I don’t have any allergies, but I can imagine if you go somewhere it must be really difficult if there aren’t any options. I think it’s best to have something that everyone can enjoy.

“I am pretty open to food and I think as a chef it is important to taste everything. But my favourite is a lemon drizzle cake or the cheese scones.

“I can really see myself staying here for a while and growing with it.

“I want to put in quirky different cakes and see what people like and do requests if we get any.

“It is really lovely here everyone is so friendly, and it is nice to be back in a nice little café with regulars and everyone is really chatty. I sometimes come and serve the food as well just to see what people think.”

For more information email or call 01823 278464.

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