He admits to having a sweet tooth, so of course it makes perfect sense that he creates some of the tastiest, most beautiful fine French confectionery, Belgian chocolates, cakes, desserts and patisseries we’ve ever laid eyes on!
After watching the first season of MasterChef, Martin went straight to his mother and told her that was what he wanted to do. She tried to change his mind, but the teenager was having none of it, so her headed off to Capsicum Culinary Studio for 2 years. This was followed by a 4-year stint in Switzerland, where Martin spent time interning and learning from some of the world greatest chefs.
He loved every minute, but the pull of the pastry kitchen was too great to resist. Also, it was a bit more peaceful than the bustling main kitchen, and the creativity, once started, seemed to overflow from the young chef.
It was in Switzerland that Martin achieved his Bachelors Degree in Culinary Studies – something which is not offered in South Africa. While focused on cooking, the degree also offers students the chance to learn about the business side of the hotel and catering industry, knowledge that’s vital to Martin and his thriving business today.
Returning home, Martin took some money that was available to him and started Café Patisse. That was three years ago – and this patisserie now creates over 600 bespoke items, with two manufacturing premises and an outlet shop in Emmarentia. There are even plans to launch a flagship store in Morningside later this year on the cards.Returning home, Martin took some money that was available to him and started Café Patisse.
That was three years ago – and this patisserie now creates over 600 bespoke items, with two manufacturing premises and an outlet shop in Emmarentia. There are even plans to launch a flagship store in Morningside later this year on the cards.
His biggest challenges thus far? Cash and creativity flow. Likening creativity flow to something similar to writer’s block, Martin has a trip planned to Paris in April to get his eyes on some fresh ideas.
The biggest rewards for Martin has to be seeing his customers faces when they collect their cakes, or call to thank him for making their event or party so special. “It means more to me than money or anything else,” he says.
The shop in Emmarentia serves breakfast daily, and makes artisanal breads, pastry shells, as well as cakes and pastries for its local customers. The factory in Wynberg, which boasts a staff compliment of 40 cater for just about any occasion, from birthdays and weddings to anniversaries and corporate functions – you name it, they can create it in any size and colour you need.