International Bakery speaks to Darren Holmes, Test Bakery Manager at Sonneveld UK about his love of music and the bakery industry
If you weren’t working in this industry, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t full time in the baking industry, I think I would have been involved in music in some way either performing, supporting someone who does, working in venues or recording studios. I’ve always loved music and used to listen to a big variety of genres from my dad’s record collection.
What about working in the industry excites you?
Currently the exciting part of the industry is the innovation, new ways of producing products and new ingredients e.g. very low dose enzyme-based additives.
Which five people would be at your dream dinner table, alive or dead?
George Michael, Freddie Mercury, my dad who passed away 20 years ago, my grandad and I better include my wife.
What’s your favourite cookie?
Oat and raisin, simple but tasty.
What’s the most exciting place you’ve visited?
Years ago, I won a position for student baker of the year with a large retailer that I worked for and got the chance to visit Greece to see where all the fruit was grown that was used for the hot cross buns we produced. It was a very exciting but also humbling experience to see the hardship people endured to give us their beautiful produce.
What do you do in your free time?
Most of my Saturday evenings and free time you can find me performing and singing in venues with my band 8Tees doing 80s music or performing my own music for which I am very proud. If you’d like to have a listen I’d be more than happy for you to check it out my current album ‘Old Dog New Tricks’.
What message do you live your life by?
Treat everyone with the same respect as you’d like to get, life is a journey full of twists and turns, some days the sun will be shining and some days only rain but enjoy the ride.
Who had the biggest impact on your life?
The biggest impact came from Malcom Pittman and Paul Connelly who were both my bakery lecturers at Newcastle college and without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Name a fond memory.
My fond memory would have to be the birth of my twin daughters who are now 18 years old, both at university at different ends of the country and for whom I’m also very proud.
What’s your meal of choice?
I’d have to say a beef Sunday dinner with Yorkshire pudding and plenty of tasty gravy, I could eat it every day not just Sundays and probably a lovely cinnamon apple crumble for a cheeky little dessert.
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