Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

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Some thoughts / 一些想法

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I haven’t written about this on Sugared & Spiced yet, but it’s been 6 months since I got back to working full time in a professional pastry kitchen.

還未在Sugared & Spiced上寫過這件事情,不過我回到專業甜點廚房全職工作,已經六個月了。

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A lot of people were surprised about this decision. It certainly seemed like I was living the ideal life – teaching pastry classes and writing on Sugared & Spiced was the perfect combination, and I also had the flexibility to travel whenever I wanted. Why would I quit this to go back to the professional kitchen, where it’s nothing but intense physical work, and getting paid only a fraction of what I was earning working for myself?

Because that, for me at the time, was too comfortable.

很多人對我再次回到廚房工作感到驚訝。之前教教課、寫寫文章,每天做著自己喜歡的事情,隨時都能來場說走就走的旅行。這樣隨心所欲的狀態如此理想,爲何要重回廚房做一份體力活、而且薪水只有之前幾分之一的工作?

因爲這個狀態對當時的我來說,太舒適安逸了。

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I was working in Paris for about three years, which is very short as far as a patissier career goes. Sure, what I had in my pocket was adequate for teaching classes and perhaps even for opening a shop, but it didn’t feel “enough”. For the past two years in Shanghai, I was making pastries mostly for classes, which were too simple compared to the ideas I had in my mind. So I started to look for opportunities that can allow me to, simply put, level up.

我在巴黎學習工作幾年時間,以一位甜點師來說,其實還非常資淺。雖然所擁有的技巧和知識足以開課甚至開店,但自己覺得還不夠。離開巴黎,回到上海的這兩年雖然做著甜點,但以教課爲主,內容有很多限制,無法做出心裏所有想做的東西。如果有一個平台可以讓我再多學習、多精進、多探索,那我會抓住這個挑戰自己的機會。

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So when such an opportunity presented itself, I pushed myself to grab it.

所以當這個機會出現時,我決定把自己再推出去一次。

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January 7th, 2018 at 2:15 pm

[Kyushu] Garden Terrace Miyazaki

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Garden Terrace Miyazaki

Add: 247-18 Shimoharacho, Miyazaki, Miyazaki Prefecture
Tel: 0985-73-8888
Website: www.gt-miyazaki.co.jp
Price: 37,000~57,000 yen/night
Visited: Oct 2016

Please note that this was a complimentary stay arranged by the hotel.

Our last stop in Kyushu was Miyazaki, where we stayed at a most beautiful and serene hotel designed by famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Located on the site of a former factory, Garden Terrace Miyazaki is sheltered by a timber canopy, and entering its bamboo premises automatically imbues one with a sense of tranquility. How did I find out about this low profile hotel, you ask? Well, a friend had stayed at Garden Terrace Nagasaki (also designed by Kengo Kuma) on a recent trip and really loved it, and after doing some research I found out that it has a sister hotel in Miyazaki, and decided to give it a try…

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Upon entering the hotel, we were first left upstairs to the second floor lounge for check-in. This space also functions as a club lounge for hotel guests, with complimentary snacks, drinks, and a small library.

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December 12th, 2016 at 12:09 pm

I want strawberries and I want champagne

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I just finished a fun little project with Perrier-Jouët designing a Valentine’s dessert for their Blason Rosé. This is a gorgeous rose champagne with lovely notes of red fruits, so I decided to make a light strawberry cheesecake for the pairing. It’s a rare cheesecake that doesn’t need to be baked, the flavor and texture both heavenly light, combined with fresh strawberries and a hint of rose, it’s just perfect.

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So, what do we need to make this strawberry cheesecake?

For the bottom:

  • Cookie crumbs…100g
  • Melted butter…10g

Procedure:

1. Mix cookie crumbs with melted butter and press the mixture at the bottom of the cake mold. I used house-baked cookies to make the crumbs, but you can simply buy graham crackers for this purpose.

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2. Slice strawberries in half and arrange them neatly along the inside of the cake mold. Don’t forget to line the cake mold with clear plastic for easier unmolding later on.

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February 3rd, 2016 at 12:11 pm

[Shanghai] Outmoded+ 極置家居

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Outmoded+ 極置家居

Add: 141 Fuxing Xi Lu, near Yongfu Lu / 复兴西路141号, 近永福路
Tel: 6054 2338 / 13816823632
Hours: 1:30-8pm
Website: www.weibo.com/outmodedplus
Visited: Feb 2015

I have been following Outmoded+ on weibo for a while and have always loved the tasteful interior design and decoration photos he shares. The style is very consistent – a short description followed by nine photos, always beautiful in composition. Only this time in Shanghai did I find out that the weibo writer, an interior designer himself, actually has a charming boutique on Fuxing Xi Lu displaying furniture, light fixtures, and random knickknacks, collected mostly from Europe. Whether you are looking to decorate your apartment or just want to look at some pretty things, this would be a lovely place to drop by.

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February 4th, 2015 at 1:24 pm

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[Shanghai] Ataraxia Studio

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Ataraxia Studio

Add: Alley 351 Huashan Lu, No 19, 1F / 华山路 351弄19号1楼
Tel: 6271 6901
Hours: [Fri] 2-5pm [Sat-Sun] 1-5pm (closed Mon-Thu)
Price: 50RMB/coffee
Visited: Jan 2015

I haven’t visited Shanghai since moving to Paris in 2012, and upon returning two and a half years later, I’m delighted to find the city blossoming with not just hip new restaurants, but also small shops with their own attitudes. Ataraxia Studio, opened about 6 months ago in August 2014, is one such charming spot. Tucked all the way in the innermost corner of 351 Huashan Lu, this space houses a collection of tableware and furniture, many of which hand-carried back from Japan. The owner is a Shanghainese man who calls himself 管家 (the housekeeper), an interior/space designer who travels to Japan 6-7 times a year because he is so enamored with the culture and lifestyle there. His day job keeps him busy and brings in enough money so he can afford to open Ataraxia Studio only 3 days a week (Fri-Sun). It’s not really advertised, but he will also brew you a lovely cup of coffee from his next door kitchen if you’d like.

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January 17th, 2015 at 11:07 pm

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On another note…

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On another note, I like flowers.

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December 8th, 2013 at 7:07 pm

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Sugared & Spiced is moving…to Paris?!

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That’s right. But what for? Time for a little Q&A session…

Woa, why are you moving to Paris?
To learn baking and pastry arts. You know, tarts, cakes, breads, chocolates, ice-creams, all that sweet stuff.

That’s kind of random. How did this decision come about?
Random? Not really. I’ve always loved eating and making desserts, and going to Paris for this has been on my mind for a while – it just took a leap of faith.

What school are you going to?
École Supérieure de Cuisine Française – Ferrandi, Intensive Professional Program in French Pastry.

What?! Not at Le Cordon Bleu?!
Nope. Explanations to come in a subsequent post.

How long will you be in Paris for?
5 months class training + 6 months internship + breaks in between ≈ 1 year in total

What’s your plan after that?
…:D

Do you have any professional baking experience?
Nope, but to prepare myself for the upcoming year, I recently started interning at the pastry kitchen of Jean Georges at Three on the Bund.

And what were you doing before this?
Climbing the corporate ladder. Completely unrelated to food.

When do you leave Shanghai?
End of August.

Will you keep blogging?
But of course. The focus of Sugared & Spiced will shift quite a bit, from being a restaurant recommendation blog in Shanghai to a chronicle of my pastry studies at Ferrandi + eats in Paris + travels around Europe.

Will you come back?
Yup, see you in a year!

Questions or comments? Please leave them below :)

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August 3rd, 2012 at 6:53 pm

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[Shanghai] Mr. V

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Mr. V

Add: 93-C Xiangyang Bei Lu, near Xinle Lu / 襄阳北路93-C号,近新乐路
Tel: 6417 9928
Hours: [Mon-Fri] 9:30am-8pm [Sat-Sun] 10am-8pm
Website: www.mrvbanh-mi.com
Price: [banh mi] 25~37RMB [drinks] 10~32RMB [sets] 40~52RMB
Visited: May 2012

Please note that this is an arranged tasting.

Mr. V is not much more than a tiny stall with a tiny patio, but from its kitchen out pours some authentic Vietnamese sandwiches (a.k.a. banh mi) with traditional Vietnamese drinks to match. Could this be your new favorite lunch delivery?

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May 15th, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Sugared & Spiced 中文版

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Sugared & Spiced 中文版上線嘍!點擊這裡查看。

新上路,請多多關照 :)

S&S

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March 23rd, 2012 at 9:00 pm

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Shanghai Daily Secret

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Sugared & Spiced, as featured on Shanghai Daily Secret:

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March 6th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

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