Thursday, May 01, 2014

Chef Rosalind Chan's Sweet Success

Although Chef Rosalind Chan had a regular office job, her passion for baking proved irresistible. It was thus that she quickly gained recognition and soon she was using all her vacation time to teach aspiring bakers. “There was no time between working full time in an office in the daytime and teaching cake decorating in the evenings. I was travelling more than my boss. So I had to choose one and I chose my passion,” Chan told frigglive.

Ever the astute entrepreneur, she noticed the demand for this niche market and opened the first of her three schools in Malaysia at Section 14 Petaling Jaya in 2006. Competition was stiff when cake decorating first caught on and it was difficult to manage her schools as she was not based in Malaysia.

Chan then consolidated all three schools into one at her now headquarters and teaching academy in Kota Damansara called International Centre of Cake Artistry (ICCA), apart from Sugar Tiers, that is located in Toronto, Canada.

Interestingly, Chan’s cake-baking career started in England, where she worked full-time with a legal firm so focused on business in the office during the day while taking cake decorating classes at night.

“When I was living in Britain, I took up various courses in cake decorating and I joined competitions. I only started professionally in the cake decorating business after migrating to Canada”. It goes without saying that she continued to bake in Canada. 

Now a celebrity chef in her own right, Chan lives by the motto “If you want to do something, be the best in doing that thing. Otherwise, forget about doing it”, she says. Her ambition to be recognised in the baking industry in Canada came true when she became the first Chinese to be a certified Wilton Trainer by Wilton USA, a leading food crafting company based in the United States. She later joined Wiltons team of international trainers.

Chan’s story is inspirational as she dared to dream big and achieved what she aspired to. When she first left Malaysia, it was not to pursue her cake-baking dreams but to study business administration and law.

She stayed on in England for 11 years before migrating to Canada in 1991, but did not continue pursuing law when she got married and had her first child because she found it too tough being a working mother and a housewife at the same time. She eventually completed her BA from the American University of Sarasota through an affiliated British night school.

What separates Chan from her peers is her attention to detail when it comes to cake decorating. While speed is essential, it is intricacy and accuracy that trump everything else. Her emphasis on the details has her doing stuff like painstakingly dissecting a flower petal by petal so that she can duplicate the flower exactly in her designs.

“If you want to create a rose, make sure you create the rose with the same amount of petals that the real one has. I would never accept a look-alike flower, it has to be exactly the same. For certain sugar flowers we make, we charge by the number of flowers. Therefore it is important to deliver the best to our customers,” she says. And therein lies the secret of her phenomenal success.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home