Baker’s Dozen, with Sam Bloom

One early morning late last year, we had breakfast with our friend and nutritionist, Sam Bloom, to talk about plans for our January menu. Before getting into Sam’s life’s work, we spoke about strawberries, the truth, and the sound of falling rain.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
6.30/7 am…this morning I overslept and woke at 8 (first time in years!!)

2. How do you take your coffee?
Flat white or cappuccino, occasionally a double espresso with hot milk and hot water.

3. What do you usually have for breakfast?
It really depends on the day and how much time I have in the morning! I always like to include protein, so goat’s yoghurt with flax seeds and nuts, or oats with coconut oil and pomegranate. I really like a savoury breakfast so perhaps one or two eggs with a lentil salad. If I am rushing and can’t prepare breakfast at at home I have GAIL’s porridge with almond butter.

4. How do you and GAIL’s know each other?
I am an outdoor/wild swimmer and often go to GAIL’s to warm up after a dip in the woman’s ponds or the lido in Hampstead.

5. What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
Toast with butter and Marmite and marmalade – I still love this as comfort food.

6. Have you ever baked bread? How did that go?
No, I would love to bake bread – my first boyfriend learnt to bake bread after school, I thought it was very romantic!

7. What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
Hot toast, buttered crumpets and cosy country walks ending beside a roaring fire.

8. What do you spread on your toast?
I always try to have protein with toast so goat’s curd, nut butter or cashew cream, coconut oil, good cheese.

9. For us, bread is the fundamental thing. What’s fundamental for you?
A healthy balanced diet that supports mental well being.  I am passionate about helping people to understand the connection between mental well being and good food.  Oh and good coffee, I am very fussy about my coffee.

10. What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
I rarely eat sandwiches – If I was going to have one I might have a delicious cheddar cheese and pickle for old times sake.

11. If we could give you a lifetime supply of anything we make, what would that be?
Flat whites with semi skimmed organic milk or a plain croissant for a treat. Bread-wise, your gluten-free sourdough or dark rye.

12. We work with three primary ingredients. Four if you include time. What are the main ingredients in your life and work, concrete or abstract?
Exercise. Good food. Buddhism. Family and Friends and My dogs. Supporting people to get well and giving them the tools to eat well and enjoy food. Being of service and having gratitude – we are living in a crazy world and I try to remind myself of how fortunate I am.

13. What would you do for a living if not this?
I used to be an actor and have since then become a nutritionist and I love what I do, my aim is to help people with mental health issues understand the importance of eating properly.  I am not interested in clean eating or passing fads but think we have lost our connection with food for the most part and I want to help support the change in focus towards sustainable food that is good for mental well being as well as helping our planet.

Find out more about Sam Bloom here. 

 

Sausage Rolls

We make our own sausage meat from free-range pork, wrap it in flaky pastry, scatter it with seeds and bake it till it’s golden.

Christmas Buns

Made with frangipane, chocolate crumbs, cinnamon, candied orange zest and vanilla. Iced with orange crème fraîche. Baked throughout the day.

Christmas Cakes

Made with mixed Christmas spices, dried cherries, orange peel and cranberries, soaked in sherry and topped with marzipan. Available individually or in boxes of six, a perfect festive gift.

Baker’s Dozen with Alex Mariz


To celebrate the launch of our 12 Days of Christmas Gift Box, we spoke to chocolatier – and the man behind the bespoke chocolates – Alex Mariz, about his morning rituals.

What time did you get up this morning?

5:30 with Christmas in full swing – no time for a lie in.

How do you take your coffee?

Black with one sugar.

What do you usually have for breakfast?

Coffee, toast and a delicious fruit jam.

How do you and GAIL’s know each other?

We have been friends for many years

What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?

Eating tropical fruits from the trees back in my home country, Brazil.

Have you ever baked bread? How did that go?

When I was studying at le Cordon Bleu we had to bake lots of bread. From what I can remember they were good. I’m usually very patient so no rushing the proving stages.

What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?

It reminds me of home… and that I mustn’t forget to buy butter!

What do you spread on your toast?

Jam… LOTS of jam. I can eat a jar of jam in a day, and making jams for a living enables that!

For us, bread is the fundamental thing. What’s fundamental for you?

Enjoying life through good handmade food.

What’s in your ultimate sandwich?

Anything as long there is smoked bacon in it.

If we could give you a lifetime supply of anything we make, what would that be?

Your olive bread. It’s the best I’ve ever tasted. The fact that Amazon delivers this bread is a big bonus – making it easier to get my hands on! The marzipan brioche is excellent also.

We work with three primary ingredients. Four if you include time. What are the main ingredients in your life and work, concrete or abstract?

Cocoa, sugar, sea, good food and wine. All essential.

What would you do for a living if not this?

Probably back to my early days of being pastry chef.

 

 

Our “12 Days of Christmas” Gift Box is available in all of our bakeries or online.

Limited edition advent calendar

The 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar: What My Baker Made for Me

We want you to share the flavour of the festivities with those you love throughout the duration of the holidays, so we’ve created a gift that will give, and give again (twelve times to be exact): It’s our very first advent calendar.

The calendar features our Blackheath bakery, illustrated in the spirit of the season by Christopher Brown. Behind each door you’ll find a bespoke chocolate, created in collaboration with London chocolatier Alex Mariz. Each is hand-packed with a gift certificate to be redeemed in GAIL’s. Available in all of our bakeries or online.

May you and yours have a very merry, very bakery Christmas.

Gift certificates are redeemable from 1st December – 31st January. Christmas products are only available until 31st December. 

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