OUR INTERNATIONALLY AWARDED LOCAL TALENT- XUAN
Updated: Jun 28, 2020
When I was younger I wanted to be a graphic designer, I watched a lot of cartoons and wanted to use my creativity to create something for others.
A Brief introduction on your career
I started my pastry journey at the Grand Hyatt in Singapore. After that I went to the Antoinette Restaurant and then finally to the Raffles Hotel. While working in Singapore I entered many competitions and won some medals including a Bronze for California Raisins Challenge, a Gold for Petit Fours, Silver for Dress the Cake, another Bronze for Chocolate Showpiece and represented Singapore in the National Young Chef Team and won. After all this I decided to move home to start my own business: Naux Pastry
Who has been the greatest inspiration in your baking?
I have many inspirations in my life but for my work it’s Cedric Grolet. I went to one of his classes a few years ago and loved how he reinterprets traditional French pastries.
Was there anything that you thought you wanted to do before you started cooking?
When I was younger I wanted to be a graphic designer, I watched a lot of cartoons and wanted to use my creativity to create something for others. Luckily I am able to apply that skill to my desserts.
Draw your favourite breakfast
A traditional English Breakfast: bacon, sunny side up eggs with sourdough bread and some vegetables.
What new things are you working on at the moment, and what’s new for the future?
At the moment I am researching new foods, techniques and designs I can apply to my work. I am currently working on desserts that look like food. In the future I would like to expand my business beyond the Cameron Highlands to share my desserts with others.
Can you share with us on secret Weapon/spice/ingredient/technique?
I believe that one of the best techniques is to have a strong base method while baking my cakes but adding a bit of Asian fusion to add a bit extra to my work.
What trends are you seeing in pastry today, and which are you most excited by?
One of the biggest trends I am seeing today is healthier desserts with low sugar and using pure ingredients. This excites me as I want everyone to be able to enjoy deserts and not worrying about how they could affect their health or diet. I modify classic pastries and desserts so everyone can enjoy them.
What are your favourite local ingredients to work with and why?
I try to use as many local ingredients I can so I know where everything comes from. A favourite of mine is purple sweet potatoes. They add a natural, interesting colour to the desserts, as well as having many health benefits. They are also not seen by many travellers who come to my shop so it is lovely to see their reaction when I tell them what ingredients I have used.
Of all the French pastries, which is your favourite to make and why?
My favourite to make is definitely Mille-Feuille as it is a challenge to create. While layering the pastry you need to consider the weather, is it too humid or dry. You have to be very precise in making every layer the same size and having each one as flaky and melt in the mouth as the next.
What is your favourite food in the Cameron Highlands?
I am a huge lover of food and am willing to try anything. But, I would have to say that my favourite food definitely has to be home cooked foods, a lot of which are fusion.
What inspires your pastry creations?
My pastry creations as inspired by my work ethic to challenge myself to create new foods and desserts, while using local ingredients and making them as accessible to as many people as possible..