Brumby’s baker Damian Faulkner, who won the best apprentice award for best bread and best cake at the Lismore Show 2011.
Brumby’s baker Damian Faulkner, who won the best apprentice award for best bread and best cake at the Lismore Show 2011. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Baking's in blood for apprentice

IT'S something that would warm any parent's heart - especially if it promised well for the future of the family business.

Having their son take home two awards as best apprentice baker in the Northern Rivers means the owners of the Brumby's Bakery outlets in Lismore and Ballina, Donna and Wayne Faulkner, can rest easy knowing they have one of the region's top talents working for them.

Damian Faulkner, 21, won the award in the bread and cake categories at the Lismore Show, and was presented with it at Lismore Heights Bowling Club on Friday.

His parents have owned the popular bakery outlets for seven years.

Damian, who will become a fully qualified baker next month, has done his apprenticeship by correspondence from Gold Coast TAFE. He began working with food in his food tech classes at Emmanuel College in Ballina and now divides his work between the two stores.

The bread he won with was a white cobb, which is judged on its texture, shape and the hand-skills demonstrated in forming it.

"It's important that it is tightly rounded, because if it's loose it's no good for the texture inside," Damian said.

As for the pastry, it was made to Damian's own recipe and consists of fruit - in this case a mixture of berries - custard, apricot gel and "a nice cookie base", he explained. Fruit flans are judged almost entirely on their appearance, he said - "how it's laid out".

Damian said he had a passion for baking "which goes into the product". But it's also the hours that appeal. He starts work at 1am and finishes at 9 or 10 - giving him plenty of time to take out the kayak or go fishing before he puts his head down about 6pm.



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