Gourmet Traveller: On The Pass with Rhiann Mead

On The Pass Interview as it appeared in Gourmet Traveller Magazine December 2022

How did you get your start as a pastry chef? I didn’t really mean to get into
baking. I worked at Harrods Food Halls in London during my gap year before
starting physiotherapy at university. While I was there I saw all of the amazing
pastry creations and chocolates on display and I knew I needed to learn more.
I met one of the pastry chefs there and started hassling him everyday until he
agreed to let me do an apprenticeship with him.

What’s been the highlight of becoming head pastry chef at The Charles?
Curating the dessert trolley has been so fun. It was really exciting to have an
opportunity to do a la carte service as well as a trolley, because I feel like as
a pastry chef, you’re usually doing one of two things: either production for
a trolley or display, or service. At The Charles, I have the opportunity to do both.

You’ve created a magnificent dessert menu at The Charles. How do you
decide which pastries to feature? The Charles is a grand European brasserie,
so I’ve done a lot of research on out-of-the-ordinary Eastern European desserts
from places like Poland or Russia.

Finally, what is your favourite thing to bake at home? At home I love making
things like dougnuts, croissants, or puff pastry. Things that have a particular
formula or process. It can be so therapeutic and soothing to create a dessert
with so many layers.

The Charles, thecharles.sydney