The Claire Clark Academy will operate from the college’s Bletchley campus, and offer courses for professionals, full-time pastry students, and home bakers.
Currently, Milton Keynes College offers a range of courses and diplomas in hospitality and catering, including Professional Cookery, and bakery and Patisserie.
Clark MBE ‒ who officially confirmed the new academy on her Twitter account today – is a pastry chef, consultant, and author. She is also director of high-end patisserie catering service Pretty Sweet, which she runs with pastry chef Sarah Crouchman.
(Photo: @Claire_Clark on Twitter)
She was a judge on the first series of the BBC’s professional pastry spin-off show Bake Off: Crème de la Crème (the second series, with Clark’s former co-judges Cherish Finden and Benoit Blin, has just begun on BBC Two).
Clark received her MBE in 2011, and is the only woman to receive the Meilleur Ouvrier de Grande-Bretagne (MOGB).
Her pastry career includes time at The Ritz, Claridge’s, the Westbury Hotel, and the InterContinental Hotels Group, plus London’s Bluebird restaurant, and The French Laundry in California with Thomas Keller. She was apprenticed to pastry chefs Professor John Huber, and Ernst Bachmann.
She also set up a pastry kitchen at the House of Commons, was senior pastry lecturer at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute, and was named Best Pastry chef in 1999 and 2005 by Restaurant Magazine.