My inspiration to bake comes from my family. Before moving to Dubai, I grew up in Shangrao, a small city in China. Life in our family always revolved around food. Being an excellent cook, my mom taught me the importance of flavors. She also taught me that there is immeasurable joy in seeing loved ones enjoy and relish the food we prepare and serve. But most importantly, what I learnt from her was that every single day can be a celebration if we believe it to be.
From an early age, I was obsessed with baking and knew that I wanted to be a pastry chef. Instead of pursuing a degree in Finance, I decided to enter culinary school. It was a move that people questioned at the time. But I had the full support of my parents.
After graduating from culinary school, I worked my way up from being a Trainee to Senior Pastry Chef and then Head Pastry Chef at restaurants and bakeries in Dubai. Recently, I was asked to develop the dessert menu at a Japanese restaurant, which has been one of my most memorable experiences.
My philosophy in baking is – simplicity and respect for good ingredients. My core belief has been to first build a solid foundation by learning the process and art of baking. This provides a platform to refine one’s and gives the confidence to experiment, without worrying about making mistakes.
I love speaking to customers, my peers and my seniors about the craft. I tell people new to the industry, that you must be ready to take on this challenge, as there will be many long and hard days. But if you are passionate about your craft and dedicated to learning, then you will know that every day will be better than the one before.
At Pekoe I look forward to creating and executing a menu that leverages my roots, builds on my core beliefs of simplicity and great ingredients and pushes me to take my craft to a higher level of expertise.
Besides, it’s comforting to know that the passion I have for baking will be married with a beverage that my birth city and province are renowned for, for centuries.
I hope to meet you on your next visit to Pekoe.
My favorite tea at Pekoe: Lapsang Souchong Cold Brew tea
My favorite bakery item: Olive Oil Durum Loaf