Californian native Claire Ptak is the creative force and chef-owner behind Violet, a bakery and cafe on Wilton Way in Hackney. Violet began life in 2005 at its stall on Broadway Market, with bricks and mortar premises opening in 2010 on Wilton Way to meet the growing demands of Claire's loyal customers. Both the bakery and the market stall continue to get busier and busier as Violet extends it’s reach within Hackney and beyond.
Alongside baking, Claire works extensively as a food stylist and writer. Her fifth cookbook, 'The Violet Bakery Cookbook' was released in March 2015, and her weekly baking column for The Guardian will launch later this year. Claire’s work at Violet has been featured extensively in titles such as Vogue, London Evening Standard, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Jamie Magazine, Food52, Food and Wine and Bon Appetit.
Before moving to London, Claire worked as a pastry cook and later pastry chef for Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. With over 20 years professional baking experience and 11 years professional styling experience, Claire understands the importance of imagery to enhance food’s allure. Claire's recent food styling work includes cookbooks for Fern Verrow, Blanche Vaughan and Madeleine Shaw, and Yotam Ottolenghi's column for The Guardian. Claire also teaches food styling and photography workshops, Violet + The Vicarage in partnership with her long time colleague and friend, photographer Kristin Perers.
‘The Violet Bakery Cookbook’ is published in the UK by Vintage, an imprint of Penguin/Random House and in the US by Ten Speed Press, also an imprint of Penguin Random House.