I always loved making cakes and the warm and fuzzy feelings that surprising a friend or family member with one gave me. But these were simple sponges, of the sort most of us could knock up without too much trouble. ‘Cake Artist’ was certainly not something that figured on that computer-generated list of my possible future occupations when I was at school. As it turned out, after graduating with a degree in French and Russian and with a family background in antiques, I was destined for a career at auction house Christie’s, rising to international director of 19th century furniture and sculpture.
Fast-forward almost two decades to 2013 and I find myself looking for a new career challenge outside of the art world as I know it. After a few months break, I offer to make a cake for a good friend’s Red Wing Shoes London store opening. Expecting just to turn out one of my usual confections, at best incorporating the brand logo, I am instead presented with a leather boot - the iconic Red Wing model apparently – and asked if I can attempt a recreation in sponge. Game on. After 3 days closeted in my kitchen I emerge dishevelled with not one ‘boot’ but a pair. The creative process has been so traumatic I have no idea whether they are any good. I display them on an old cobbler’s bench at the back of the store and in dire need of a stiff drink make a beeline for the complimentary bar. Wholly unexpectedly, I then begin to witness legions of Red Wings fans as they circulate around the store and file past my ‘boots’, snapping them and exclaiming disbelief that they are not actually the genuine article. Feeling slightly overwhelmed by the general public's response, I am suddenly struck by a new career opportunity and Sebastian Wild Cakes is officially born.
Sebastian Davies, Sebastian Wild Cakes