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Eat Your Heart Out 2012: Queen Mary to host anatomy-themed baking festival

Talented bakers and medical experts are joining forces for a disease and anatomy-themed cake festival this autumn at Queen Mary, University of London’s Pathology Museum.

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Skin Cake by Gillian Bell
Skin Cake by Gillian Bell

Eat Your Heart Out 2012 runs from 26-28 October at St Bartholomews Pathology Museum – based at QM's West Smithfield campus - and aims to educate the public on anatomy and disease through the unusual medium of anatomically correct cakes, cookies and cocktails.

A series of pathology based lectures will also examine the real-life conditions behind the edible treats on sale, which include an astonishingly realistic Trio of Toenail Fungus Cookies, Polycystic Kidney Cakes and Anatomical Macaroons. Artists come from across the UK and include Tattoo Cakes, Nevie-Pie Cakes and The Conjurer’s Kitchen.

Displays will be split into the five main sections of the Medical School curriculum at Queen Mary: Cardiorespiratory, Metabolism, Brain and Behaviour, Human Development and Locomotive. Within each section there will be information leaflets and photographs corresponding to the products on sale.

The Pathology Museum's technician and assistant curator Carla Connolly says: “We hope to create an interest in the topics of anatomy and pathology, for example - raise awareness of the need for blood donations, educate visitors about transplants and ensure people understand the dangers of alcohol abuse and smoking. Most importantly, we’ll be showing that serious, or often taboo, subjects can still be communicated through an accessible medium. In this way we aspire to engage those who would never normally research these topics, and continue the work of pioneers before us who have helped to further the study of disease despite unorthodox or unusual techniques.

"The museum has played host to some exciting events over the last year, from taxidermy lessons to wine tasting nights and evening lectures. It's the perfect location for an event as unique as Eat Your Heart Out - a project that aims to make people aware of how important the study of disease is, in a way that's fun, popular – thanks to television shows like The Great British Bake Off - and completely unforgettable.”

“Within each section of the show there will be information leaflets corresponding to the products, and lectures will occur throughout the venture. For example, the ‘mole cupcakes’ will be sold and displayed with information about melanoma, detailing  the dangers of sunbeds, melanoma statistics and how to check moles for malignancy. Gill Nuttall from the melanoma charity Factor50 will also be lecturing on the subject.”

A further confirmed guest speaker is Dr Lesley Hall, senior archivist at The Wellcome Library, who will give a lecture titled ‘Sex and the City’ on venereal disease in London from, the 17th Century to present day.

The event has been created by freelance creative director Emma Thomas, as her alter-ego Miss Cakehead, on the back of the hugely successful Halloween-themed Eat Your Heart Out 2010.

While bakers will be reimbursed for the cost of their ingredients, the cake shop is not-for-profit and all staff will be volunteering their time.

Entry to Eat Your Heart Out 2012 is free 

Event: Eat Your Heart Out 2012

Date: 26-28 October

Time: 11am - 6pm

Location: St Bartholomews Pathology Museum, Robin Brook Centre, West Smithfield, London, EC1A 7BE (020 7882 8766)


EYHO Lecture Programme

Friday 26 October – ‘Sex and the City’

1pm – NHS Blood and Transplant talk on organ donation

2pm – Dr Anne Szarewski (Queen Mary) - HPV vaccines

3pm – Dr Lesley Hall (Wellcome Library) – Sexually transmitted diseases in London, from 17th century to present day

4pm – Professor Peter Vanezis (Queen Mary) – Forensics of sex crimes


Saturday 27 October - ‘Pathology: Not a Dead End Job’

1pm – Zoe Rutherford - Anatomical Pathology Technician at Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

2pm – Maria New - Embalmer / Advanced reconstruction expert

3pm – Emily Evans – Anatomy Teacher at Cambridge and Medical Illustrator

4pm – Kirsty Wadsley (Queen Mary) – Pathways to studying medicine


Sunday 28 October – ‘Check yourself before you wreck yourself’ – Minimising the risks and spotting the symptoms of cancer

12pm – Lecture from Prostate Cancer UK

1pm – Sue Airey from Bowel Cancer UK

2pm – Wendy Gough (The Wendy Gough Cancer Awareness Trust) - Testicular cancer

3pm – Gill Nuttall (Factor50) – Melanomas

4pm – Kris Hallenga (Coppafeel) – Breast cancer

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