Taystful owner Shona Sutherland has been in the catering trade for 30 years. She achieved an HND in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management at Duncan of Jordanstone College, Dundee, but gravitated towards kitchen work which took her to kitchens of the Marine Hotel in North Berwick, the Crown Hotel in Scarborough and The Old England Hotel in Windermere. She then progressed to Head Chef at Nanny Brow Country House Hotel near Ambleside, and Le Lac Restaurant in Grasmere, both in the Lake District.
Following that, she spent 5 years in the Almería region of Spain, supplying desserts to two restaurants and pursuing an already established interest in cake decoration.
Once back in Scotland, she started to work from home (while also catering for 100 school pupils a day as a Cook-in-Charge in a primary school), and set up ‘Taystful’ in 2011 making beautiful special occasion cakes and handmade chocolates.
Wanting to improve on her knowledge of chocolate, she attended several courses at the Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Banbury, and Cocoa Black in Peebles, gaining as much experience as she could under the expert guidance of Master Chocolatier Keith Hurdman, Chocolate Academy Head of School Beverley Dunkley, Head Pastry Chef at the Pennyhill Park Hotel Sarah Frankland, Ruth Hinks UK World Chocolate Master and Martin Chiffers, president of the UK Pastry Team.
Shona's cake and chocolate work are award winning: in September 2014 she won the Chocolate Category at the Scottish Baking Awards and attended the prizegiving ceremony at Mar Hall near Glasgow. In November 2014 she won the National Chocolate Award for her Christmas Chocolate Wreath at the Perth Chocolate Festival and in March 2015 she got a gold medal and Best in Class for her Chocolate Showpiece at the Scottish Culinary Championships at ScotHot at the SECC in Glasgow. More recently she added Gold and Silver medals to her collection at the 2017 Scottish Culinary Championships for her filled chocolates, and a bronze in the photography class for her images of patisserie items she had made during the year.
Shona has been awarded membership of the Federation of Chefs Scotland and the Association of Pastry Chefs.
She continues to provide many wedding cakes and chocolates in and around Tayside, and with the addition of sweet treats, courses in chocolate making and patisserie. Things are looking very busy for the future with lots of exciting things in the pipeline!