Simon Bimson is the owner and pâtissier at Strawberry Fields Patisserie, Dulwich Hill. He and his partner, Kate, opened the patisserie in 2012 and have quickly become famous for their freshly made cakes, pastries and pies, winning nine medals at this year’s Sydney Royal Fine Food Awards. Here we chat to Simon about his awards and how he got started in the baking business…
When did you discover your passion for food and decide you wanted to work in this industry?
My passion for food started early. I started as a kitchen hand in Newtown in 1996, not really having any idea as to what direction I wanted to take with my career. Then I started work in a bakery as a bakers assistant and realised that I had a natural talent to bake and make pastries. This is what led me to stay in the industry and further my knowledge with studying and becoming a Pâtissier.
How does it feel to have achieved your dream of owning your own patisserie?
I have always dreamt of having my own patisserie. It has been hard, tiring work but the benefits are now starting to show. People love what we do as we are different from any other café or standard bakery. We produce product that is fresh, unique and singular.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
It’s a very rewarding career, there are a number of reasons why I love what I do. I love the smell of bread and croissants baking early in the morning as the sun rises. Also our customers, especially our regulars, really make my day. They are so supportive of my business and what we do.
What four ingredients are essential in your kitchen?
Butter – real butter, not margarine – sugar, eggs and flour. This is the basis of every cake you will make.
If you could invite anyone over for dinner, whom would you invite and why?
My perfect dinner party would be Gordon Ramsey for his honest opinions, Heston Blumenthal because what he does with food is out of this world, my wife because I have to, and lastly, John Cleese to make us laugh and also to do the dishes.
Can you tell us about the exciting Sydney Royal Fine Food awards you won recently in the lead up to the Easter Show?
Last year, in our first year of operation, we won seven medals at the Sydney Royal Fine Food Awards. This year, we won nine medals; two silvers for our Strawberry Fields Forever tart and Pear and Honey Muffin. As well as seven bronze awards for our Custard Tart, Almond Croissant, She’s My Cherry Pie, Petit Fours, Croissant, Chicken and Vegetable Pie, and Beef and Batch Stout Pie.