Kevan, author, teacher and sourdough enthusiast and his wife Kat started something amazing during lockdown. They brought the classroom to their back garden! People from all over the world tuned into their live videos with Kevan’s baking and Kat’s cooking (not to mention MC skills). We LOVED their outlook on reaching out during tough times, and while we were all in our homes, everyone picked up some flour (if they could find it!) and tuned in to watch.
Name: Kevan & Kat Roberts
Originally from: Leeds, Yorkshire
Lives now: Mortlake
Kevan, What’s the story behind your bread making passion ? Kevs passion for baking started as a teenager when he left school he started as a bakers apprentice in the 80s and has worked in many different aspects of the industry but found that teaching and sharing his knowledge and experience is where he feels most at home.
Kat, What’s the story behind your cooking and baking passion? Kat’s always had a love of cooking and baking it goes back to her grandmothers love of baking and her late father’s love of cooking and experimenting in the kitchen – she trained as a food technology teacher.
How has lockdown affected your hobby? Lockdown gave us time to reflect like many but as I was desperately missing baking and sharing my love and knowledge with others, baking really is an excellent therapeutic tool and is invaluable to good mental health for many.
We revamped our outdoor kitchen and we started to share with our followers on social media and we have been overwhelmed by the wonderful response from people from all corners of the globe who have all benefitted from some time out of what has been going on globally. You only had to look at empty baking aisles in supermarkets to see what direction people were turning to.
Is this how you started Richmond Bake Club? We started the Richmond bake club just before lockdown and can’t wait to really build a physical community around this soon – our intention is to hold monthly get together in various coffee shops, cafes or anyone that will have us! To learn new skills (like a book club idea) where people will be shown a demo of a product and asked to bring along something from a particular category – perhaps gluten free products, sourdough etc etc.
What was your first video together and what response did you get? The first video we did together was building a sourdough starter – this was before IGTV so we don’t have a saved copy – probably for the best…. we were a little nervous but the viewers were amazing and they seemed to take so quickly to our genuineness and how open and ordinary we were and they liked our banter and ‘Kat’s bossiness’ although she would say she’s not bossy…
What is the funniest sourdough term you can share with us? Funniest sourdough term…. er I tend to say sourdoughifie, when talking about adapting a commercial yeasted recipe a term made up by me….
What is the best thing to bring to bbq as a gift? Best thing to bring to a BBQ as a gift – well for Kat she’s say bring flowers to dress the table preferably from Create & Wild – along with baking she loves gardening. For me I would take sourdough lavash always a fabulous addition to any BBQ food.
Do you name your sourdough starters? Absolutely I name my sourdough starters – we currently have a good strong rye – Gladys my mother’s name. A sweet starter named Kat….. chosen by our viewers.. and the newest addition named ‘The Dude’ yes we are fans of The Big Lebowski.
Do you guys feel like bread makers are in two categories? The sourdough people and everyone else? We feel that learning how to bake with commercial yeast is the gateway to sourdough and many people start out baking this way and then move on to sourdough….well we like to hope they do.
If you want to get a start on a starter, understand what the basics of sourdough are and genuinely pick up a hobby that is for a lifetime, pick up Kevan’s book! Baking Sourdough, published aptly right before lockdown in January 2020.