Wimbledon tennis pastry chef embarks on 24-hour fundraising 'bakeathon' for NHS workers

Naomi Ackerman
Evening Standard
Rebecca Marshman-Rondeau
Rebecca Marshman-Rondeau

Wimbledon was scheduled to begin today, serving up two weeks of world-class tennis for fans around the world.

For Rebecca Marshman-Rondeau, the All England Lawn and Tennis Club’s Head Pastry Chef, the Championshops are normally the highlight of her year.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

After the Covid-19 pandemic scuppered this year's tournament, the 27-year-old decided to mark the occasion by embarking on a 24-hour "bakeathon", creating treats for frontline NHS workers in London.

She began the attempt at her home at 8am on Monday, and plans to finish —without taking a break — at 8am on Tuesday.


Some of the stunning tennis-themed treats created by the chef (Rebecca Marshman-Rondeau)
Some of the stunning tennis-themed treats created by the chef (Rebecca Marshman-Rondeau)

The cakes, tray bakes, cookies and biscuits she creates will be boxed up and delivered by volunteers to NHS flagship hospitals including Great Ormond Street and St George’s.

The chef has also launched a fundraising page for the attempt with all proceeds going towards her other passion — marine life.

Any money raised will go to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, which has been unable to open during lockdown.

It can cost up to £10,000 a day just to keep the NMA - the UK’s largest aquarium - operating and safe for its inhabitants. As an ocean conservation charity, it usually relies on visitor income to fund “vital habitat restoration and behaviour change programmes”.

The 27-year-old has held the role at the All England Club for four years (Rebecca Marshman-Rondeau)
The 27-year-old has held the role at the All England Club for four years (Rebecca Marshman-Rondeau)

In her career Ms Marshman-Rondeau, who won Apprentice of the Year from Craft Guild Of Chefs aged 16, has prepared elaborate cakes, pastries and scones for both royalty and celebrities including her idol — Great British Bake Off legend, Mary Berry.

The chef said: “This would have been my fourth championships.

“Four years ago I went for a two-day trial, and landed the incredible role of Head Pastry Chef. I've met some incredible people through my role at Wimbledon and had some fantastic opportunities.

“Although the championships sadly isn’t going ahead this year, it is so nice to be able to use my time, energy and passion outside of work to help such a fantastic cause.

“I am very excited to be able to help others by doing what I love.”

She added: “Sure, 24 hours of non-stop baking seems crazy, but I wanted to go big for the National Marine Aquarium. I love it there and have some wonderful memories of visiting with my partner and our godson.

“The things they do for conservation is outstanding and just makes me so grateful and honoured that I’ve been invited to help them continue to do what they do”.

To donate visit here.

What to read next