Feed me with a piece of contemporary art – Meet Tim Schilling

Young and ambitious patisserie cake creator Tim founded his beautiful brand Schillicious during the pandemic, unlike many celebration cake makers creating kiddie and cartoon styles to attract the general market, Tim created something that is not in the market that instantly made his brand stand out. With strong sense of art direction, Tim’s cakes are pieces of art, from the style to colours and the combination of the taste, made his business very unique.

With Tim’s education background, I can see how he combined his academic with creativities that really defines the storytelling part of the brand, something I really enjoyed learning.

Today I am so excited that I got to speak to Tim and share his journey of launching Schillicious. See our conversation below.

KF: Did you always want to be a patisserie chef? Is your profession related to your education? 

TS: I didn’t always want to be a pastry chef, no! In fact, I spent most of my formative years training as a classical musician. Coming from a family of artists, a creative career seemed like a natural choice. I went on to study Musicology at King’s College London with the intent to go on and become a music psychologist, but the thrill of London meant I stumbled rather unexpectedly upon a different industry — speciality coffee.

Having grown up with a real appreciation and love of food (my grandparents and parents had always grown their own produce), speciality coffee excited me for the numerous fascinating taste experiences that it provided. But I was mostly drawn to the social aspect, the human connection that is at the heart of coffee culture (much like with music, too). I think this is what I’ve always pursued, really — conduits for human connection.

KF: How did you start your cake journey? What was your journey like at the Savoy?

TS: It was whilst teaching at a coffee roastery in Norway that my journey into pastry began, and after a near-appearance on The Great British Bake Off and coming runner-up in Le Cordon Bleu’s Patisserie Scholarship Competition, I started training as a pastry chef at The Savoy Hotel in London in 2017.

Picture taken when Tim was working at the Savoy, via Schillicious Instagram

My time at The Savoy was truly influential. I learnt an incredible amount over my two and a half years there, as well as gaining my certificate in Professional Pâtisserie and Confectionery through a scholarship course at Westminster Kingsway College. The Savoy wasn’t always easy, but the pastry knowledge and experience I gathered whilst there were outstanding, and it is this unique experience that I bring to Schillicious and which sets me apart from the many other cake designers out there.

After relocating to Edinburgh at the end of 2019, I decided to step out on my own and create something that allowed me to marry together my artistic flair and pâtisserie skills — and so Schillicious was born!

KF: What gave you the courage launching your own cake artisan business?

TS: I’ve long wanted to have my own business and be my own boss. I’m very headstrong and like to do things my own way which can be both a blessing and a curse, so I’m not sure it was courage as much as it was a real want and need to have something that I could call my own to channel that energy into. The first lockdown back in March gave me the time to really sit down and put Schillicious together. I’m very considered in my approach and I spent a lot of time with my partner Coco fine-tuning all the details on both a macro and micro level, but a lot of the time I was actually rather scared and anxious by the prospect (the current pandemic really added to these feelings), I think because the reality of putting myself out there – my face, my style, my work – felt quite daunting. Nevertheless, since launching the response I’ve had has been overwhelmingly positive and that always spurs me on and keeps me going.

KF: How do you define your style for Schillicious? What’s the key difference from your design to other cake makers?

TS: Schillicious is all about contemporary abstract design. My style is heavily influenced by abstract art and its related movements and styles such as abstract expressionism, action painting, and de stijl. Major inspirations for me are artists such as Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, and Wassily Kandinsky. Present-day contemporary artists that I also take inspiration from include Frank Auerbach, Mary Weatherford, and Elizabeth Neel. 
I aim to include my four fundamental values of cake design in each of my cakes: Texture, Expression, Movement, and Imperfection. I love applying bold, chunky textures on my cakes (like with my ACRYLIC designs), and applying them in ways that makes them appear as if they’re moving across the cake – it’s like a dance of colours. These textures are expressive in the sense that they are an expression of the moment. I try to be as free as possible in my movements so that the design appears somewhat organically, and I embrace any imperfections that arise from this process (lines from my scraper or palette knife, for example). I think this gives my work a human touch that I really enjoy.
All of this combined results in my distinctive artistic voice, one that stands out from the busy crowd. But it’s not just what’s on the outside that sets me apart from other cake makers. Because of my pastry chef training, I can make a mean ganache and have many wonderful recipes, so I fill all of my cakes with ganache as opposed to buttercream. It’s much more versatile (the flavour possibilities are endless) and also, let’s face it, it’s so much tastier!

KF: What is your silver lining during this pandemic, could you share?

TS: This one is quite difficult to answer, if I’m honest. I’ve actually really struggled during this pandemic and find social isolation really difficult. I’m a very gregarious person so I really thrive on social contact with others; having that taken away has been very hard. Of course, living with my partner Coco and having our beautiful dog Kumo always by our side has made things a lot easier, but I’d be lying if I said this hasn’t been an extremely stressful and anxiety-inducing past year. I know that’s not necessarily a hopeful answer but I don’t think that life is always about nice, neat, happy answers. A lot of the time it’s tough. 

KF: As a patisserie chef, what is your favourite dessert and if you can share an easy recipe with us?

TS: It has to be lemon meringue pie. My nan used to make it all the time so it reminds me of her. In terms of an easy recipe, it’d have to be Scottish Shortbread. It’s so easy to make but the return you get for so little work is so great! I always have a batch in the freezer ready to defrost and bake off if I’m in need of something sweet! 

200g butter, salted
100g icing sugar
200g plain flour
100g cornflour
The recipe is so versatile that at this point you can add flavour variations such as vanilla bean paste (1 1/2 tsps) or orange/lemon/lime zest (of 2). You could even substitute out some of the flour for cocoa powder (sub 50g) or even matcha powder (sub 25g). Be creative! 
The method is foolproof. Cream the butter and the icing sugar for 5 minutes on a medium-high speed, scrape down the bowl, then add the sifted flours slowly and mix until the dough comes together. I like to roll my dough into long cylinder shapes about 4cm thick, then cut them into circles about 1.5cm thick. Bake them in a 160ºC oven for 12-15 minutes or until just starting to turn golden brown, and then dredge with caster sugar. 

Follow Schillicious via instagram @schillicious and visit their beautiful website here.

I hope you enjoyed this interview, follow me via instagram @kfyangoconnor for more updates.




KF: 您一直想當糕點師嗎?您的專業與您的學歷有關係嗎?

TS: 我並沒想成為糕點師傅,從來沒有!實際上,我在成年後的大部分時間裡都是以古典音樂家的身份接受培訓的。來自藝術家的家庭,創造性的職業似乎是一種自然的選擇。為了繼續成為音樂心理學家,我繼續在倫敦國王學院學習音樂學,但是倫敦的激動使我意外地偶然發現了另一個行業-特色咖啡。


KF: 您是如何開始蛋糕之旅的?您在薩伏依(Savoy)的旅途如何?

TS: 在挪威的一家咖啡烘焙店裡教書的過程開始了,我的糕點之旅開始了,在英國烤麵包大賽(Brown Bake Off)和勒·哥頓·布魯(Le Cordon Bleu)的法式蛋糕獎學金比賽之後,我開始在2017年在倫敦的薩沃伊飯店。

我在The Savoy的時間具有真正的影響力。在那兩年半的時間裡,我學到了驚人的數量,並且通過威斯敏斯特·金斯韋學院的獎學金課程獲得了專業糕點和糖果業的證書。開胃菜並不總是那麼容易,但是我在那裡收集的糕點知識和經驗非常出色,正是這種獨特的經驗帶給了Schillicious,這使我與眾多蛋糕設計師脫穎而出。


KF: 是什麼讓您勇於開展自己的蛋糕工匠業務?

TS: 我一直想擁有自己的事業並成為自己的老闆。我非常任性,喜歡以自己的方式做事,既可以是福也是禍,所以我不確定這是一種勇氣還是一種真正的需求,需要有一些我可以稱之為我的東西。自己將能量引導到。三月份的第一次鎖定使我有時間真正坐下來將Schillicious召集在一起。我的方法非常認真,我和我的合作夥伴Coco花了很多時間在宏觀和微觀兩個層面上對所有細節進行微調,但實際上,很多時候我對前景感到非常恐懼和焦慮(當前的大疫情流行確實增加了這些感覺),我認為是因為把自己擺在外面的現實-我的臉,我的風格,我的工作-感到十分艱鉅。但是,自從發布響應以來,我一直非常積極,這總是激勵著我,並讓我繼續前進。

KF: 您如何定義Schillicious的風格?從您的設計到其他蛋糕製造商的主要區別是什麼?

TS: Schillicious就是關於當代抽象設計的一切。我的風格在很大程度上受到抽象藝術及其相關運動和風格的影響,例如抽象表現主義,行為繪畫和de stijl。對我來說,主要的靈感來自馬克·羅斯科(Mark Rothko),威廉·德·庫寧(Willem de Kooning)和瓦西里·康定斯基(Wassily Kandinsky)等藝術家。我也從中受到啟發的當今當代藝術家包括弗蘭克·奧爾巴赫,瑪麗·韋瑟福德和伊麗莎白·尼爾。



KF: 您能分享一下這種大疫情流行期間的一線希望嗎?

TS: 老實說,這是一個很難回答的問題。在這疫情流行期間,我實際上真的很掙扎,發現社交隔離真的很困難。我是一個非常善於交際的人,所以我在與他人的社交接觸方面非常活躍;把它拿走很難。當然,與我的伴侶Coco在一起生活並一直陪伴著我們可愛的狗Kumo可以使事情變得容易得多,但是如果我說過去的一年並沒有帶來極大的壓力和焦慮,我會撒謊。我知道這不一定是一個有希望的答案,但我不認為生活總是與美好,整潔,快樂的答案有關。很多時候很難。

KF: 作為法式蛋糕廚師,您最喜歡的甜點是什麼?是否可以與我們分享簡單的食譜?

TS: 它必須是檸檬酥皮派。我的男朋友過去一直都這樣做,這讓我想起了她。就簡單的食譜而言,它必須是蘇格蘭脆餅。製作起來很容易,但是您只需很少的工作就能獲得豐厚的回報!如果我需要一些甜的東西,我總是在冰箱裡準備一批除霜並烘烤!





食譜用途廣泛,此時您可以添加各種口味,例如香草豆醬(1 1/2茶匙)或橙/檸檬/石灰皮(共2個)。您甚至可以用一些麵粉代替可可粉(低於50克)甚至抹茶粉(低於25克)。有創造力!


Follow Schillicious via instagram @schillicious and visit their beautiful website here.

I hope you enjoyed this interview, follow me via instagram @kfyangoconnor for more updates.


    1. kuofi o'connor

      ☺️ thanks, Tim is super talented, do follow Schillicious to see more of his design and follow me via Instagram for creative biz updates❤️

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