Zoe's wedding cakes scoop national magazine accolade
A WEDDING cake maker to the stars who grew up in Torquay has won a national award for her creations.
Zoe Clark, who spent her childhood in Kingskerswell, has made wedding cakes for household names such as Colin Montgomerie and footballer John Terry since moving to London.
Her sugarcraft constructions have now been recognised by Perfect Wedding magazine as the best wedding cakes in the UK.
Zoe set up her own business two years ago after working for renowned cake maker Peggy Porschen.
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But the former Westlands secondary school pupil said she had to triumph over her old boss to win the award.
"There were five of us who were nominated, and when the voting closed I was the winner," she said.
"I was quite surprised because I was up against really tough competition — one of the people I was up against was my old employer, Peggy.
"When I was working for her I made my wedding cakes for John Terry and Colin Montgomerie."
Zoe said she had taken an unorthodox route into the world of cake making, having studied languages at university.
She credits decorating cakes with her mum at home in Kingskerswell as the inspiration for her cake-making ambitions.
Yet her studies shoved those aims to one side, until she embarked on a spell living abroad.
It took a job as a pastry chef in Australia to convince her she was destined for a career in the culinary field.
"It was in Australia that I started to be a chef, and trained to be a pastry chef," she said.
"When I moved back to London I managed to get a job as a cake maker."
She nows makes three or four cakes per week on average, from six-tier creations to small Christening cakes.
Her first book, Sugarcrafting at Home, is being published later this year.
Zoe said her eventual goal was to have her own premises and 'cake studio', employing others and expanding her business.
Yet having married an Aussie — Chris — Zoe said her future was more likely to take her Down Under than it was back to South Devon.
Her magazine award and appearances on Wedding TV are helping her to grow her business in the meantime.
"I've had lots of inquiries from the magazine and TV stuff that I do," she added. "It really helps to bring the clients in."