FOCUS chats with Port Macquarie’s Dessert Queen, Frea Lewis from “Sugar Mummah”…
Hi Frea. Most folks would recognise you from yours and co-chef husband Lindsey’s recently retired venture Fusion 7. How is life after laying down the knives?
I can’t lie … it’s amazing! The decision to move on from Fusion 7 was so we could have our little family together and experience all the things we have missed out on for years. I remember being excited to even have a night together to watch a movie! We had a life-changing holiday that made our path forward very clear.
You have, however, started your own little project “Sugar Mummah”… How did this all come about? Have you always been a sweet tooth?
When we had the restaurant, I made these carefully thought out desserts with six-eight components and I loved it, but I started drooling over my gourmet traveller magazines and tearing out pages and squirrelling them away to make ONE day … I had these cravings almost of just BAKING! So, that’s where the dream of Sugar Mummah began.
I LOVE everything sweet! When I was little, I even used to put raw sugar on my green apples!! But it’s actually more about flavour for me. I want people to eat my strawberry melting moments and say that ACTUALLY tastes like strawberry!
What’s your earliest memory of baking?
It’s actually 12 years ago! At 29, I decided to become a chef. I had been in hospitality for years but something never felt right; I remember saying to Lindsey after two weeks of starting in the kitchen, that I felt like I was home.
How would you describe your take on baking – modern or traditional? WHY?
Ahhh, that’s a hard one! When I trained as a chef, I learnt all the traditional techniques and I truly believe it made me the chef I am today. Through making something by hand you get to learn and fail, and through that failure, you discover new flavours, new combos and even new ways of making things. But there are some amazing new techniques and products that I use, like freeze-dried fruits that I couldn’t live without! So, I say both!
What do you specialise in?
I love biscuits and tarts! Doing tea parties is my favourite thing in the world, but honestly, I want people to be reminded of when they were a kid and eating a biscuit was sometimes the best part of your day.
Tell us how you decided on the name Sugar Mummah?
Lindsey and I were joking one day about how I never do raw sweets, and he commented that I was more like a sugar mumma! My five year old piped up and said you mean mummah! He has always called me mummah, so I guess it was meant to be.
What’s the secret to the perfect cake?
Time. I think if you put time and energy into whatever you are baking, it will reflect that. Enjoy the process; it is a magic thing making something from scratch. I still get excited after every bake and have been known to do many a happy dance around the kitchen.
Where would you like to see Sugar Mummah in 12 months’ time; what are your plans?
These first four months I have been slowly stocking up my favourite cafés around Port with my sweets. I am loving working with amazing café owners who are passionate and so commited to their businesses. Four Espresso, Drury Lane and Breakwall HQ have supported me from the beginning, and Social Grounds is on board as well as Rivermark and Agostinas.
Over the rest of the year, I want to continue to turn their visions and my dreams into reality. For me personally, I want to learn to let go even more and listen to my heart and stomach! They seem to know the right way to go so far.