Journey of how it began ......
Jackie Thompson of Contemporary Cakes and Classes
"What I love most about my work is that I get to create beautiful cakes for clients celebrations.
Creating the 21st birthday cake, engagement cake, wedding cake, baby showers, christening cake and then more birthdays cakes.
It is a privilege to be chosen to create edible art for their special occasions and thank you to my returning clients "
Journey of how it began......
Jackie Thompson of Contemporary Cakes and Classes
"Every cake I personally demonstrate in a class is donated and delivered afterwards,
to Ronald Mc Donald House in Brisbane City."
Jackies cake designs and tutorials have been published around the world in many international cake publication. Published 3 books including Business 2 Business.
"Growing and supporting people and small businesses is a passion of mine."
Gary Mehigan (Australias MasterChef Guru!) and I both attended the same college and Gary was in the year below.
We both competed together at the same time at the highly regarded Hotel Olympia in London, both representing our college!
I managed to meet up with Gary at the Brisbane Food and Wine Show in October 2016 and showed him my first self published cake book Contemporary Cake Designs Book One. Proudly I showed him the page that I had written about the college days at Highbury College and with a mention of Mr O'Dell our amazing lecturer/ mentor. He was a little stunned as to what are the chances?
I excitedly read to Gary, the chapter about how my cake journey began by attending a college interview by an amazing inspiring lecturer Colin O'Dell. It was lovely to hear about Gary's amazing journey after college too. He too had travelled overseas to Europe to expand his cooking skills and knowledge of food.
What a small world we live in, we both ended up in sunny Australia.
It is a small world after all!
Training as a chef and patisserie chef I fell in love with food and pastries. Travelled around the world to further my skills and returned to the UK
Jackie Thompson has just about done it all! Jackie emigrated to Australia in 2004 where she established her own highly successful Contemporary Cakes and Classes cake decorating business in Brisbane.
Jackie is a highly qualified chef and pastry chef who has worked in some of the grandest five-star hotels in the UK and Europe; she has created cakes and food for Bridget Jones’ Diary, Finding Neverland, Wimbledon and Iris in the UK
Jackie's qualifications are of the highest level of British City and Guilds in Sugarcraft in all aspects of cake decorating and flower making.
I started cake baking at the young age of 9
My 2 brothers and dads birthdays are 3 days apart and every July I would create a joint birthday cake for all 3
My Mum always encouraged me to bake and I was always first to volunteer my baking skills for the school fetes, youth groups and church groups I belonged to.
In the last year at school, I planned to become a cookery teacher.
One of my friends Neil informed me he was about to enrol on our local Highbury College, a catering college and train to become a chef.
That was the moment I knew that would be the pathway to discoveries and possibilities. In those days it was a man's world. After convincing my Mum this is what I really want to do. With her blessings, I went for an interview and was so excited when I was accepted.
Lady chefs were not allowed to wear trousers or chefs jackets, only long lab coats. Thankfully things have changed since then.
Cakes and fondant decorating exploded in the early 1980s in the UK. Before then, most cakes were decorated with buttercream or with marzipan and royal icing. At the hotels and restaurants where I worked, any birthdays or events that required a cake, I was the go-to person.
That is when I realized my true passion, was making and decorating cakes.
Joining the British Sugarcraft Guild in my early 20's and left when I emigrated at the age of 38. I was thankful to the nurturing ladies in that group. Their knowledge and no tall poppy syndrome helped my cake decorating skills.
The amazing talented Debbie Brown would visit our group with her young children and her husband sitting at the back of the freezing church hall that we hired. I was in awe of her modelling skills. Alan Dunn, Tombi Peck and many more taught and demonstrated and it was sugar art created at its best.
Starting my cake business just after my son was born, my reputation as a cake maker began in the UK
I worked for a lovely catering company, Champagne and Caviar in East Sussex UK. Where I had the great privilege to make elaborate wedding cakes for the wedding events that we also catered for.
There I was introduced to the multi-talented Gina Craig who works as a freelance food stylist. Through that connection, I was asked to create cakes and food for Hollywood movies and food commercials, food for the BBC that was filmed in the UK. Bridget Jones The Edge Of Reason, Finding Neverland, Wimbledon, to name a few.
My husband Matt and son Adam and I emigrated from the UK 16 years ago.
Many people said we were brave leaving the UK and moving to a new country. For us, there was only a great opportunity in this beautiful amazing country.
(We call ourselves the Thompson Trekkers!)
For the first 4 years living in Australia, I worked as a head chef at a restaurant in Thornlands, building my cake business at the same time. My husband gave me a gentle nudge to leave the restaurant and said your ready to do the cake business full time and for once I listened!
We obtained council approval to get a home-based food license and our business expanded quickly after that. So much so, that we built a separate food licensed cake studio in our garden. We have achieved a 5-star food safe certificate for the last consecutive 7 years.
The lovely Laurel Edwards from The Great South East Show Channel 7 visited and filmed a cupcake class. The episode is featured in our video links. This gave our business a big boost for the classes and the celebration cakes.
5 years later people still approach me and tell me they first heard about fondant and cake decorating by watching the show.
For the last 12 years, I have volunteered and teach and share the sweetness at my our local Logan libraries, with kids and local residents.
Teaching cupcake or cookie classes for children and teenagers and parents too.
Why I do this?
By sharing the sweetness I feel makes the families who attend bring them closer. They leave with a wonderful sense of achievement in their creativity which is very much lost in this electronic world. Have you ever seen a child finish an electronic game with a sense of achievement and feel proud?
By baking and decorating with our kids/ grand kids our lines of communication are on a different level than any electronic game can give. So please get baking, get making and get creating.
I work 2 days a week cooking in a local awesome school and the rest of the time in my cake and cake school business.
Bake and make, do not outsource anything and also teach a broad array of cake decorating and baking classes.
However, none of this would be achievable without considerable support from my husband and son for their delivering and carpentry skills (and cake sampling!)
We are a family business, trying to make a difference in our local Logan community.
I regularly offer free cupcake workshops at Logan Libraries at no cost to the libraries. This allows library attendees to join in the fun with their families and get more hands-on in activities.
Each cake that Jackie uses to show the students is donated to Ronald, McDonald's house for the last ten years. As a family, we have had our son unwell early after he was born and so know the greatness of this house and what it does.
"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."