“We organised for an opera singer to cycle down a road in our neighbourhood to collect money for all the amazing work being done by @criticalNHS to feed the NHS and support our local restauranteurs.” Emma Dodi Cakes on the strangest thing that’s happened during lockdown
Prepare to behold Emma Dodi Cakes’ couture confections, each as carefully curated and designed as the one before. Known for her signature delicacy: the hand-painted macaron, this bespoke baker is fast becoming celebrated for her unique craftsmanship, beautiful details (unique to every individual order) and ability to whip up flavours that dance and rollick across the tongue. Driving the business – founded in late 2016 – forward, Emma can often be found conjuring up new and exquisite concoctions in her kitchen and approaching fresh bespoke challenges with undisguised joy. I caught up with Emma (digitally, of course) to discover what lockdown’s been like for the explorative baker…
#1 Provide us with three words that sum-up how you were feeling about lockdown when it first started, and then three words about how you feel now:
Before “Energised, excited and ready to go!”
After: “Energised, excited and ready to go!”
#2 What time do you get up? Has this changed? Is life a little slower? Talk to us about your new daily routine…
“I normally get up around 7:30am and get dressed and all set so home schooling for my four children starts on time (or more or less on time!). I used to get up around 6:30am so it’s a little later than before. Life is definitely not any slower. I have to home school four children (11, 10, 8 and 6 years) while my husband is working full time from his office upstairs! I am always very busy either baking cupcakes or delivering meals to St George’s with @criticalnhs. And, since the easing of the lockdown, my cake business has really started to pick up again, so in fact it’s go, go go! And, that is without all the cooking, cleaning and laundry – haha!”
#3 How is lockdown impacting your business, and how can people support you?
“As soon as lockdown began absolutely everything dried up, all the enquiries stopped and business stopped. Rather than worry about it, I threw myself into making cupcakes for the NHS frontline and delivering meals and becoming really active with @criticalnhs. I also used the time to plan new ideas and designs for my macarons and cakes.”
#4 Name three local businesses you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.2 “The Ginger Pig.”
No.3 “Milk & More.”
#5 What’s your favourite isolation snack?
“Ice cream – but it has to be gelato, I am Italian after all!”
#6 What’s your most recommended quarantine pick-me-up when you’re feeling down?
“A run – 5k and the endorphins are flowing again!”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dream continuously about)…
“Mozzarella di bufala!”
#8 What’s the strangest thing that’s happened during your lockdown period…
“The strangest and yet most wonderful thing has been when we organised for an opera singer to cycle down a road in our neighbourhood to collect money for all the amazing work being done by @criticalNHS to feed the NHS and support our local restauranteurs.”
#9 Favourite app for keeping in touch digitally with friends and family?
“Whatsapp and Zoom.”
#10 Name your lockdown hate:
“Not having five minutes to myself!”
#11 Name your lockdown love:
“Having my husband and children home!”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“My mum who is in Rome.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated?
“A doctor dropped some homemade “gratitude” candles on my doorstep to thank me for the cupcakes I’d made for her and her colleagues – heart-warming.”
#14 Talk to us about what’s new at your brand?
“I have been developing new designs for my hand-painted macarons – I will be finalising them soon and photographing them to show on my Instagram. Big events are off so I have been developing some “lockdown” cakes – still as luxurious as the large ones for wedding and events, just smaller! I have also been making cupcakes again! I started with cupcakes and I feel I have come full circle which is rather lovely – I am even making some for a virtual wedding!”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “My family.”
No.2 “My friends – old and new.”
No.3 “My lovely neighbours.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted?
“Tokyo Retro – my local Japanese restaurant on Abbeville Road.”
#17 What series have you now completed on Netflix? Any recommendations?
“None! I don’t really watch Netflix but I have enjoyed watching the documentaries by Simon Reeves.”
#18 What would be your quarantine book list?
“I read the most inspiring book the other week called The Little Big Things by Henry Fraser, it is a heartbreaking story but one of incredible strength and hope. I also read A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne– very good if somewhat dark and twisted. Next, I am going to be reading Educated by Tara Westover.”
#19 And, finally, your quarantine cocktail/tipple of choice?
“I have been drinking white wine (Chardonnay – of course!) and some British sparkling wines – deeelicious!!”