Monday nights and Thursday nights are something special in the Infinity Foods Kitchen. This is when the magic happens and the cakes are made!
I first became vegan 20 years ago and lived in an area where it was almost impossible to find any dairy-free cakes or treats to eat, so my mum bought me the only vegan cookery book in my local book shop and I started experimenting.
I always dreamed of being a cook and working in a little café but I didn’t think as a vegan it was possible. Instead I did a degree in Archaeology and consoled myself with the idea of being a female Indiana Jones.
However I never stopped dreaming about this little café and I spent hours designing menus and dishes for my make-believe cafe. Then one day someone told me about Brighton, a place I was told not only had veggie cafés, it also had a pub and restaurants and even a shoe shop! I didn’t quite believe this could be true but I got a train down a few days later and never really went home.
I made a list of all the veggie/vegan places I could find and then begged them all in person and by letter for a job. Eventually The George caved in (Infinity was not quite ready for me then) and let me in. I was so happy!
Several years later, after a professional tour of many of Brighton’s veggie havens I decided the chef life was pretty tough and was feeling a little frazzled. I realised my heart lay with cakes and I decided to take a gamble and set up my own little cake business. Things went well but I needed some extra cash and saw then I saw Infinity café were hiring. I was pretty determined to just do a few hours and really concentrate on my cakes but the café is a special place and I got a little hooked. I was happy and it was fun but I was missing the cakes.
For many years the café had been happily buying cakes from a local supplier. The cakes were popular and it was easy. I voiced that I would like to do them but people were concerned when I could fit it all in and would the cakes be as consistent and as good? Why change a good thing was justifiably the view. In truth I did have a lot on my plate in the early days but as time went on we ended up with a really awesome team in the kitchen and I found myself with a little extra time. I managed to persuade the upstairs gang that the cakes were something we could take on and they let me give it a shot.
I think it is fair to say that this decision has not been regretted. It took a little while to get into a good rhythm but now we have it down to a tee and you can buy our cakes at the Infinity shop and Grocer and Grain as well as the Kitchen.
The cake fridge in the café is my favourite thing and I can often be found staring at it in wonder. The cake shifts are loved not just by those of us who make them but also prove popular with staff both past and present. We have become accustomed to late night callers, just checking if we need a hand or a lift home and maybe, just maybe, if there are some off cuts and icings to try they could be happy to do that too!
My early cakes were driven by the desire to eat vegan treats and I didn’t think much about nutrition or health. However Infinity has taught me a lot about this and it is reflected in the way I now cook and live. Bye bye sugar!
Our cakes are now almost completely refined sugar free. We use a lot of date syrup along with some maple syrup and coconut palm sugar. We pack them with loads of nutritious ingredients such as our new raw chocolate, maca and orange blossom cheesecake which is full of avocados and cashews. They have powered me round a few half marathons and I am hoping they will get me round a full marathon soon.
I feel very lucky to get to do what I do for a living. I sometimes wish I could go back in time and tell the younger me that this would be the future, that I would get to eat good things once again! I thought my choice to become vegan was relegating me to a world where treats consisted of the occasional dry flapjack. The idea that I would make delicious cakes for a living would have been unbelievable to me. Life has worked out pretty well so far I think!
So if you fancy a sweet treat please swing by and see us at Infinity Foods Kitchen and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.