My name is Kate Nelson. This is a potted history of how The Floral Apron came to be....

My career as primary school teacher ended when blessed with motherhood in 2005. I baked my way through a steep parental learning curve. In a moment of sheer madness I decided to bake 800 cupcakes for a local market- it was a mix of euphoria and delirium when they sold out in 4 hours.  So I started supplying cafes, called myself the Floral Apron and became an advocate for that food combined, whimsy, tradition and practicality.

Bewildered that my mates could not bake I was keen to spread the culinary love. The plan became to take things back to basics and diversify from cupcakes. I started thinking about food in the context of successive generations.   

It seemed logical to start running cooking classes, the success of these made my heart sing. Buoyed, I entered an eclectic array of baked goods in the 2008 Royal Show. To my delight I picked up a swag of firsts and claimed the big prize “Best in Show”.  The sash is kept neatly folded amongst the family tea towels.

On a winning high; I gave a phone interview sharing my secrets to a perfect scone. Switch board lit up-the ABC local radio listeners were keen on some baking advice. I dispensed this freely, whilst wearing a dressing gown and keeping kids quiet by letting them eat way too much ice cream. The next week I was invited into the ABC Perth studios. It is a funny thing to be given your own theme music.  

2 years of weekly radio segment whizzed by. I worked damn hard and swotted content relentlessly.  It was fun rubbing shoulders with Australia’s fooderati; I got to interview them all. The highlight was being nominated for 2010 World Food Media Awards. I wore a sequined dress to the awards ceremony, why not shine when on a world stage? I was giddy with the prospect that I was living my dream. I didn’t win, I didn’t care, it was a huge honour to be there.

I love doing my ongoing monthly column for the local paper The Post. I am also a contacted contributor and recipe developer for The West Australian newspaper.  I am no longer doing weekly radio but still crop up occasionally. People still refer to me as “the cooking lady from the radio”. My diary is packed with cooking classes , corporate gigs and food styling projects.

 I am never exactly sure what to put on documents that ask for my occupation, but I feel immensely fulfilled; perhaps I should just write that?

I am so lucky to have various platforms from which I get to share my knowledge.  It gives me a thrill when a stranger emails me to say their family liked a recipe. Being “The Floral Apron” is a pleasure and a privilege.  I am proud of how far my dream has come, but plucky enough to dream a little bigger. I can’t wait to see how the next chapters unfold.


Kate Nelson