Avocados on toast, freakshakes, one-pan eggs with chorizo and slow-roast tomatoes… Aside from street style sensations, #foodporn is the one thing that has us double-tapping quicker than you can say ‘would you like sweet potato fries with that’. 2016’s Baking And Food Influencer is...
If you already follow @CupcakeJemma, you’ll know that her cupcake recipes are mouth-watering, original and so Instagrammable – hibiscus and vanilla cupcakes, anyone? Sharing recipe tutorials and decoration ideas on her blog and YouTube channel, Jemma Wilson also pens cupcake recipes for Jamie Oliver’s The Cake Book and runs Crumbs & Doilies, the London cake shop selling chocolate chip cookie cream pies, salted caramel pretzel cakes and piñata cupcakes. We’ll take one… of everything.
We sat down with our Baking And Food Influencer to talk all things sweet and life online...
Tell me how Crumbs & Doilies and Cupcake Jemma came about.
I started Crumbs and Doilies in 2006 just baking at my mum’s house and selling my cakes on a little market stall. Slowly but surely I have grown that from a one-woman operation to a company now which employs 17 people. I’ve got a shop in Soho, a YouTube channel and four Instagram accounts but it happened very organically. When people put me in that entrepreneur bracket I just can’t help but smirk because I’m so far from being a businesswoman it’s hilarious. All I know how to do is bake cakes and sell cakes with a smile on my face. I suppose that’s why I’m good at YouTube. My biggest demographic is mostly girls between 13 and 24 and they like seeing an attractive-ish girl with tattoos baking stuff.
How did you get into YouTube?
We launched Cupcake Jemma three years ago on the suggestion of Jamie Oliver because he was launching FoodTube and he wanted to use that to launch new talent. I met him at an event that he put on where I was selling my cakes and he remembered me.
Do you think that Instagram has changed the food industry?
Yes, beyond question. It’s opened up that barrier between chef and regular person. I love food visually and Instagram’s been the most amazing tool for that, way better than Twitter and Facebook. Food is a sensual thing; it’s not just about eating it, it’s about how it looks. If it looks like a bit of grey dog turd then no-one’s going to be going ‘oh my god I’ve got to go to that restaurant to eat that dog turd dish that that chef’s just done!’ I think it’s really tickled people’s interest generally in food, like people who maybe wouldn’t have cooked normally. Loads of city boys. City boys love food! Some of the best food intagrammers are bankers.
Have you ever bought something just because you knew it would look good on Instagram?
As a business owner and an innovator I do think it’s important that I try as much dessert as possible, because you know, that’s research! But there’s definitely been things - like ice cream with candyfloss around it, it’s ridiculous - that looked amazing in my Instagram feed.
Photos: LUKE + NIK
To see all the Project 13 winners, click here