PEDESTRIAN.TV has partnered with Pepsi Max Vanilla to show y’all vanilla is anything but basic. 

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Need proof of his talent? Check the below layered ‘Rita‘ cake – ft. caramelised pineapple, salted bourbon caramel, passionfruit bavarois, toasted coconut cream, coconut chew, brown sugar pecans, ginger cake, ginger crumb, and his signature flourish, torched meringue. 

A post shared by Andrew Bowden (@andybowdy) on

As you can see, Bowdy seriously knows what’s good. 

This is why Pepsi Max Vanilla requested Bowdy’s expert input in sculpting the dessert portion of The Vanilla Kitchen‘s menu. This sell out pop-up assembled a first class team of foodies – including Mitch Orr (ACME), Jimmy Hurlston (Guilty, Easey’s) + Andres Walters on the cocktail front (The Lobo Plantation, Kittyhawk) – to demonstrate that vanilla is anything but basic. The result of their collective creativity? A three-course meal + three bespoke cocktails so incredible we needed a cold shower post-consumption.

Bowdy told PEDESTRIAN.TV that the experience was great as it allowed him to have “a fiddle with flavours”


“It was a fresh change. I’ve been doing cakes for nearly two years and it was good to be able to do a plated dessert again,” he said. 


On the vanilla front specifically, Bowdy believes the ingredient shines as a compliment to whatever other ingredients you’re cooking with or to bring out the flavours of whatever you’re eating. 


“Vanilla definitely enhances things,” he says. “I enjoy vanilla. It tastes fantastic.”


Given that Bowdy’s cake creations are game-changing in their own right, we asked him for tips so that y’all can take your own baking efforts to new realms of impressive. Surprisingly, he’s not actually a huge fan of cake in general – and while this might seem counterintuitive, it’s his dislike of generic cakes that makes his so special.


“You go to birthday parties and there’s a cake, and it would’ve been sitting out for three days before you actually get it.” 


“I don’t particularly enjoy eating just cake, which is why I add heaps of mousse and other things.”


Additionally, he reckons it’s about adding various tastes throughout your creation to really give it that summin-summin. 


“I try and pack in as much flavour as I can. I approach it in the same way I would a dessert – just making sure that it’s got some crunch in there, that it’s a little bit salty. Aim to have every mouthful be different, which is why I splatter different flavours into the mousse.”


Simple advice, but extremely effective. 


For those of you wanting to max out your food game (as in, actually crack into the business), Bowdy has some sound advice for you.

“Be prepared to work. Give it time. Always take in advice people are offering, even if you agree with it or not, because, in the end, they’re probably going to be right.” 

“Chefs these days expect everything to happen right now. I’ve been a chef for 11 years and for 8 of those years no one knew who I was.”

Yes, be patient, young padawans.

Best of luck getting your pro-chef on next time you’re baking your lil’ heart out, crew. We know you’re capable of taking your dessert game to the max, even if your skills are currently at the level of a potato’s. 

Photo: @andybowdy / Instagram.