Damien Wager, owner of Edible Art Patisserie

The Staff Canteen

Self-taught pastry chef Damien Wager is the owner of Edible Art Patisserie in Cheltenham.

As a teenager, Damien wanted to become a PE teacher, but discovered a love for pastry.

Rather than follow the conventional route into the industry, Damien taught himself how to temper chocolate and to make macarons by watching YouTube videos. After mastering the techniques, he worked his way up the ranks in the kitchen until he felt comfortable enough to move into the pastry section. Then, given the first chance, Damien decided to go his own way and founded his own business.

Now, Damien has a patisserie in Cheltenham which is undergoing a refurb and expansion, and he and is set to open a second shop in Bath in the near future.


Where did you train to become a pastry chef, where have you worked and what has your professional life entailed so far?

Didn’t train. Taught myself. Easiest way as there is literally nowhere in the UK that I’d like to work that does the style I wish to put out without serving it alongside some form of gimmick be it drip cakes, ‘cronuts’ or something else that has become famous on social media. The easiest way to put out the food you want to do is to put your money where your mouth is and do it. I’d rather work for myself and reap the financial rewards, putting them back into my business than work for someone in a suit who visits their establishment once a month or so.

In the last four years since ‘becoming’ a pastry chef I have released two books - ‘Edible Art’ (2019) and
‘Breaking the Mould’ (2021). The former has since sold in 43 countries in hardcover, and the other last month that has sold in 24 countries to date, as well as being stocked in reputable book shops in New York & Belgium. 

As a pastry chef - i haven’t really worked anywhere with credit and my time as a ‘normal chef’ was the same. Pastry has been something I have taught myself and pushed myself to learn.
My team are all young and my right hand man is only 20. I wish for them to have opportunities within the modern pastry scene in the UK that may not have been there when I was their age - unless you lived in London.


What would you would say exemplifies your style and ethos in terms of your food?

The ethos that sums up my style and the patisseries path is modern. There is no coincidence that the USA is the biggest selling country for my books and also why the UK is only 4th on the list of countries where most of my ‘followers’ on Instagram are - the style here in the UK is not the same nor is it ‘as welcomed’ as it is on the continent or in the States.

We pride ourselves on amazing, punchy fresh flavours whilst putting extra care into the aesthetics of each items we produce. Branding is important for us be it the packaging, items produced or simply the way the staff conduct themselves. We make sure we are the cheapest around but also try to be the best. Affordable luxury patisserie that people can indulge in once a week is better than a patisserie that is seen as a ‘special occasion’ venue.

Smaller profits from many customers is better than large profits from minimal customers.

We also give back. We support local sports clubs within the community and get involved with anything that can enhance the community where we are based.


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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th April 2021

Damien Wager, owner of Edible Art Patisserie