Pamela Clark

The ultimate cake boss

Photo: Courtesy Bauer Books.

Pamela Clark knows her cakes. From the age of 11 she knew she wanted to work in food, and at 17 she got her first taste, working as a cooking demonstrator. In 1969 she began work under food editor Ellen Sinclair as chief home economist in The Leila Howard Test Kitchen – an institution that would become known as The Australian Women’s Weekly Test Kitchen. Pamela worked on the original Australian Women's Weekly Cookbook published in 1970 and was the catalyst for the development of the landmark Children's Birthday Cake Book, which was published in 1980.

Pamela became the food editor in 1984 when Ellen Sinclair retired. She made two major changes: all recipes had to be food-styled before being photographed in colour; before this only some of the published recipes were photographed for each book because photography for whole publications was deemed too expensive.

Credited as food editor through to the 1990s, and then variously as food director and editorial and food director, Pamela contributed to around 500 Australian Women’s Weekly-branded cookbooks and remains editorial director at large of their publisher, Bauer Books.

In 2018, Bauer Media Group published the title Pamela Clark: Memories & Recipes from the Test Kitchen, a scrap book of her life including 50 years at The Weekly. Pamela was featured in 2018 on the ABC's Throwback series, with the interview focused on her all-time favourite, The Children's Birthday Cake Book. The clip of the segment posted on Facebook has since received 29,000 likes and 35,000 comments from fans around Australia and the wider world.


Appearing at:

Take the Cake, 18-25 March, The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

ShedX Talks, Queen Victoria Market