About Us

Hey there! It’s great to “meet” you! We’re Darren and Cath, and we absolutely adore all things food.

Eating, traveling, and cooking are some of our biggest passions in life. We love nothing more than exploring new flavours and ingredients, and sharing all our culinary adventures with others.

We’re so excited to connect with like-minded foodies who appreciate and share our love for all things delicious. So don’t be shy, reach out and let’s chat about all the amazing food out there to discover.

How it Began

Meet Darren Purchese, the incredibly talented and successful pastry chef who has made a name for himself in both the UK and Australia.

Darren began his career as a pastry chef in the renowned Savoy Hotel in London before moving on to work in other high end establishments throughout the UK. In 2004, he ventured to Australia where he showcased his skills as a guest chef at the Brisbane Food and Wine Festival. It was here that he met his future wife, Melbourne based, chef and restaurateur, Cath Claringbold.

Darren then made the move to Melbourne where he took on the role of overseeing the pastry department at Shannon Bennett’s restaurant, Vue de Monde. He has also worked as a Head pastry chef at Gary Mehigan’s Fenix restaurant and at Bennelong Restaurant in the Sydney Opera House. Darren’s pastry prowess has earned him many accolades, including a prestigious UK Acorn Award, guest chef appearances on television and at numerous Australian food and sporting events. 

Cath Claringbold’s career in food is extensive and impressive. She first made her mark on the culinary scene with her two hatted restaurant, mecca, in the late 90’s before opening her popular mecca bah’s in Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, making her one of the country’s most in demand chefs.

Other ventures included seafood restaurant, Livebait, and The Wine & Cheese Providore which had a stunning cheese maturation room, an enviable wine collection and some of the countries best produce. Cath then founded B&P Sweet Studio with her husband, pastry chef Darren Purchese and has spent the last 12 years immersed in the sweet world of baking. An award-winning food writer Cath, has contributed to many national food publications most notably the Good Weekend column in the Age. 

B&P Sweet Studio April 2011 – April 2023 

The inception of Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio can be traced back to 2009 when Darren initiated a blog site. The culinary landscape was undergoing a transformation, influenced by renowned chefs like Ferran Adria, and Darren would passionately blog about desserts, pastry techniques, and the intriguing realm of food science that fuelled his inspiration. His mantra, “I fuse science and sweetness to create an exciting array of delicious tastes and textures,” became the guiding philosophy.

At that time, we were managing a consulting business from our home, immersing ourselves in the brave new world of social media, and nurturing a dream of establishing a cake shop. The demand for bespoke cakes was overwhelming, prompting us to transition from our apartment to our beautiful retail store by April 2011. With the rise of Instagram and its appetite for visually stunning content, the synergy was undeniable, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Our first official press release offered a glimpse into the unique experience awaiting visitors at Sweet Studio. A visit promised surprises such as edible bubbles, a chocolate flower garden, dual-toned chocolate and jam spreads, exaggerated raspberries, and rich smoked chocolate. The array extended to seasonal individual desserts and grand cakes, all crafted to elevate special moments at home. The highlight was our bespoke celebration cakes, featuring a dedicated consultation area adorned with a distinctive and interactive flavour wall showcasing over 300 ingredients for designing personalised cake creations.

Sweet Studio became our canvas, adorned with edible artwork and flourishing edible gardens. We curated a daily display of Darren’s breathtaking desserts and cakes, catering to major events over the subsequent 12 years, where we poured our hearts into pushing culinary boundaries.

“Now, we’re embarking on our next adventure, Studio Kitchen. We invite you to join us on this evolving journey as we share our passion for all things foodie” Darren & Cath xx

B&P Sweet Studio 2011