I’m so excited to keep going with the inspiration section on my blog. It is always delightful to share inspiring post with all of you. I sincerely want all my posts to inspire you to be the best you can be and not allow anyone to detour you from reaching your goals and living the life you deserve. I’m talking to the beautiful Grace Stevens today, who has inspired me to pursue my talent in designing custom decorated cookies. Grace Stevens is confectionary goddess, teacher, artist, designer and one of South Africa’s most well known celebrity chefs. One of the friendliest, nicest people I’ve ever met. Grace champions the idea of mindful eating, eating food that makes you look and feel your best and living a balanced lifestyle which includes a sweet treat to satisfy all our sweet tooth cravings. I know you’ll love her interview and I hope you’re as inspired by her as I am!
Grace Stevens: Award winning author, Award winning cake designer, sugar craft teacher, TV chef and food blogger
Where do you live
I live with my family in Bergvliet, Cape Town
What sparked your interest confectionery and cake designs
I have always liked to bake, but never decorated any of my cakes until just before I was 30. I couldn’t find someone to make my eldest son’s fourth birthday cake, so I decided to make it myself and that was the beginning of many more cakes.
How did you build your passion into a career
Back then, social media was very new and when I posted pictures of my work, it was easy for many people to see them and share them. I had such amazing feedback and wanted to do more cakes, so I advertised my cakes just for the opportunities to create more designs and get more practice.
Who inspires you
I am always inspired by strong, gutsy woman. Those who believe that: “it’s not what you have, but how you use what you have.” And who push through difficult times.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
What is your biggest achievement so far
I count my two books as one of my biggest achievements, along with being a guest tutor at Pretty Witty Cakes, the largest online cake school in the world. My kids are my top achievement without a doubt. They give me such joy and I’m so proud of them.
What’s your typical breakfast, lunch and dinner
Boiled egg and toast for breakfast, sometimes with bacon.
A sandwich for lunch, usually wholewheat bread, cheese, lettuce and ham.
Dinner depends how busy I am or the family is. Biryani is a family favourite, along with homemade pizza, spaghetti bolognaise, homemade chicken burgers .
What’s your favourite dessert
Anything with meringue. So pavlova, baked Alaska, lemon meringue pie I love fruity desserts.
What’s the best recipe you’ve ever made
My cake recipes, all of which are in my books. Are the ones I worked hardest on and they are fabulous for decorating. Of course my carrot cake is my favourite.
Where do you get the inspiration from to create so many awesome recipes
I love to look at what is in season, so a trip to a market or the supermarket is so inspiring. When I do recipe development for the Expresso Breakfast show, often I’m given the sponsors product and that’s what I begin with.
What are the ingredients you can’t live without
eggs, flour, butter.
Where are your favourite places to eat?
What do you do to stay active?
I have four kids, so that’s a work out on its own. I also walk with a friend every week and with my husband in the evenings, or before we start work in the mornings. I also do pilates a couple of times a week.
What baking courses do you offer
At the moment, I only do decorating courses, ranging from beginners and right through to courses for those who are more experienced. I largely do buttercream piping classes with a few fondant modelling classes. All my upcoming classes are on my website gracestevens.co.za
I am currently putting together a series of baking classes for the second half of the year.
Where’s your favourite place in the world?
This may sound corny, but it’s where my family is. I think the Drakensberg is just the most special place, though. It’s beauty is just breath-taking. New York City is also top of the list for me too., but that’s largely for the shopping.
What makes you happy?
Gardening makes me happy, my family and beautiful things. Seeing people do more than they thought they were capable of also gives me such joy.
Describe your perfect day
I’d have a lie in, then go out for brunch with the family. Have a walk in Tokai forest or maybe the Alphen trail. Come home for a nap and have soup and fresh, crusty bread in front of a fire for dinner. Then I’d read myself to sleep in my cosy bed.
Do you have any favourite tips and tricks to stay healthy and happy everyday
I think that gratitude plays a big part in mental health. It could always be worse and it could always be better, but being grateful for what you have, gives you contentment and this is so overlooked these days.
I stay active,Three or four years ago, I started walking with a friend instead of having coffee every week, this gives us a chance to chat and get some exercise. I’ve started doing this with my husband recently and it’s a great way to spend time together and to work on a healthy life style. I’m a Type two diabetic, so I am careful what I put in my body. It’s taken a while for me to hear what my body needs and to give it that.
Thank you for tuning in. Stay blessed and have a beautiful day. Lots of Love