Inverness native Claire Ptak will make cake for royal wedding


British royalty will soon get a taste of West Marin confection. The upcoming wedding between Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle will feature a lemon elderflower cake baked by Inverness native Claire Ptak. She’s the owner of the London-based boutique bakery Violet Cakes and had previously been the subject of an interview on Ms. Markle’s lifestyle website The Tig. In a statement, Ms. Ptak wrote that she and the couple share the same values about food provenance, sustainability, seasonality and flavor. The couple asked Ms. Ptak to create a cake that incorporates the flavors of spring; it will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers. Ms. Ptak’s mother, Elisabeth, said her daughter grew up scavenging for blackberries and apples throughout West Marin to use in their baking. The influence from her community left a lasting influence---“In every way,” Ms. Ptak, 43, wrote in an email to the Light, “from the foraging to the farming.” Her first baking job was in her teens at the Bovine Bakery, where she worked for Bridget Devlin and Debra Ruff (“They taught me a lot,” she said) and she later became the pastry sous chef in the kitchen of Chez Panisse, in Berkeley. Ms. Ptak relocated to England in 2005 and opened Violet Cakes in 2010 in East London, where she bakes with organic ingredients and creates recipes that change with the seasons. The royal wedding is slated for May 19 at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, but mum’s the word on the number of cakes Ms. Ptak plans to bake. “You know how brides like to keep these details a surprise,” she said.