We caught up with Kirsten Tibballs, the Queen of Chocolate, and let me tell you right now, she let a little secret slip that you will want to know about!
But you’ll have to read the interview to find out what it is…
If you are a fan of chocolate, patisserie, Masterchef or daytime television then you probably know the name Kirsten Tibballs.
Owner Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School in Melbourne, Kirsten established online classes 7 years ago. The virtual tutorials were created in order to engage with fans and aspiring chefs around the country and world, who were unable to attend the school in person and learn hands-on from this Aussie master.
I assure you I can attest to how fantastic her videos and her teaching skills are! Until I watched a video on choux pastry and followed along step-by-step with Kirsten, I could never ever achieve a perfect choux pastry! I made a batch, swore as I threw in the bin, and then remembered I access to her online pastry classes. Voila, the perfect choux pastry in a heartbeat! I was sold!
Over 2020 Kirsten took advantage of not being able to travel world baking, creating, filming and judging some of the worlds’ greatest patisserie competition and Kirsten filmed a new lesson each week to great applause from her fans.
For fans, home bakers and connoisseurs, Kirsten continues to reveal the secrets behind some of her most famous desserts including her MasterChef Australia challenge dishes Trio of Fruits and her most recent Meljito creation. Or for those looking for some tropical inspiration, Kirsten’s Luana coconut and banana cake is inspired by the rise in popularity of home-made banana bread during isolation.
A series of festive online classes are already loaded and ready to watch and to help get you in the Christmas spirit.
A subscription to Savour’s online classes is also a great gift option for anyone that has an interest in cooking, baking, or patisserie.
We caught up with Kirsten to discover what’s been happening in her world over lockdown and what her plans for the year ahead are!
Lockdown has certainly affected everyone in Melbourne substantially, but I have a feeling you have still probably kept yourself super busy right?
Yes, I have been lucky to have been able to continue to work throughout the lockdown period. I spent a lot of this time busy filming and delivering new weekly video tutorials to those at home via my Savour Online Classes.
What have you been up to over the last 6 months or so? What does a Covid normal day look like to you and your family?
Again, I feel really lucky to have been able to continue working during what has been an extremely challenging year for many. We’ve had to pause our hands-on classes during this time, however, I’m still at Savour most days testing and filming new recipes for the online platform.
Did you take some time out to spend your gorgeous family?
I’m lucky enough to demonstrate my craft all over the world, however, the lockdown period and restrictions on travel has meant that I’ve had to stay put. This has allowed me to step back and spend some quality time with my family at home, which has been really nice.
You have such a massive presence throughout the world as a patisserie chef, an educator, judge for some of the world’s best competitions, how has our crazy world shutting down affected you? Are you missing it all?
Sometimes it is not a bad thing to slow down and appreciate what’s around you. Before this year I travelled extensively for work so it has been really nice to spend more time with my family. I must admit I am starting to miss some of the travel, but I feel very fortunate that I am still able to work.
Are you enjoying staying home for a bit? How do you think all of these comps and education settings will all change in the next couple of years?
I set up Savour Online classes seven years ago having no idea how essential it would be to my business during this time. I think people are more open to training online and that will continue into the future. Online learning is usually the most economic way of learning, no travelling, you can re-watch content and ask questions for the life of your subscription.
Tell us about Savour Online, sounds like its been super busy? What’s been happening in you .com world this year?
Since lockdowns started around the world more than 7 months ago, I have been busy delivering a new online tutorial weekly to virtual classes of students through my Savour Online Classes. My online classes have increased dramatically as a result of the pandemic and it has been really nice to see such interest from those at home during the lockdown period specifically. I feel very lucky to have been able to bring a sense of joy to those at home during this time.
And what can we expect from you for Christmas this year?
I already have around 14 festive-inspired video tutorials available through my Savour Online Classes, with new Christmas online classes set to be released in November 2020. Through my online classes, you can get festive-inspired recipe ideas from gifts to treats and a gingerbread house and Christmas tree, which make for the perfect family activity.
What’s trending in the chocolate and pastry world for Xmas 2020 and into 2021?
I believe we are going to see an increase in packaged chocolate bars which are the perfect stocking filler at Christmas time. Less mousse cakes and more baked cakes, and an increase in croissant and danishes.
It was so great to see your TV series, is there another series in the works for the future?
There is another series planned! We have had a few delays with restrictions on filming in Melbourne, but we hope to get another series wrapped up next year. I think it is meant to be a secret… shhh.
What about your Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School in Brunswick, when this mad state opens up what can we expect to learn from you at Savour and who are looking at coming to create and inspire next year?
Fortunately, we have been able to keep our store going throughout the year as we sell essential ingredients and equipment for patisserie and chocolate creations. I am hoping to start up hands-on classes in the new year again once restrictions ease with lots of exciting new concepts and products. We’ve also been doing some renovations while the school’s been closed and trust me when I say it looks better than ever!
To find out more about the Savour Online Classes, visit: www.savourschool.com.au/online-classes