Global baker and pâtissier Dean Brettschneider speaks to us about what made him launch Baker & Cook some years back as well as the inspiration behind his newly opened culinary school
Who was the biggest influence in your decision to become a professional baker? There wasn’t really any major influence, but I did take home economics in high school as I realised I had a passion for food from a young age.
At what age did you start baking, and who first taught you how to bake? I first learned how to bake at a very young age – about five years old, and I picked up baking from my Mother, who was a great ‘biscuit and cake tin baker’. That said, it was my Grandmother who really instilled the science of baking in me.
How would you describe your baking style? New World Baking – which means I take old world baking (products from France, England, Germany, Italy etc.) and then refresh it before bringing them together in a multicultural environment. This, combined with modern design, new ingredients and hungry customers, is what I call New World Baking.
Could you share with us a few qualities that a good baker should possess? Focus, dedication and passion combined with a fun personality. On top of that, they must be willing to work hard, and have a good understanding of maths and science.
Who were some of your mentors that you looked up to? During my early days, there were no celebrity chefs or bakers; there were only chefs and bakers that worked extremely hard. However, I had high admiration for Rick Stein, Marco Pierre White and Albert Roux.
What made you launch Baker and Cook? I felt the need to bring modern bakery inspired products, as well as great coffee to Singapore. I also wanted to create an artisan bakery cum café that serves excellent breads and food products. The vision from the start was to create a truly international brand.
Where do you get inspiration when you have to come up with new recipes? From my travels, global baking interests, and of course the TV shows I present.
Could you share with us the inspiration behind Brettschneider’s baking and cooking school? The tag line for the school is “keeping the art of baking and cooking alive” – which is exactly why I set out to create, the very best school in South East Asia that is centred around baking, cooking, design and lifestyle. Many of our customers have a love for food, so opening the school was the next obvious step – to share our passion and knowledge.
Do you have plans to launch new F&B concepts in Singapore? Yes, most definitely. We have successfully launched Baker & Cook, Plank Sourdough Pizza, and now we have SBJ in the pipeline. We’ll share more about SBJ soon, so stay tuned! Which other countries are you looking at launching B&C? Baker & Cook will be opening in Manila, Indonesia and Abu Dhabi within 2016.
How would you like to see the F&B scene progress in the next 5 to 10 years? Hopefully commercial rentals in Singapore will go down to allow for amazing food places to survive. Also, I hope that bakers can charge more for their products – this will allow them to use the best ingredients. Many bakers don’t seem to understand the cost required for creating exceptional products.
Which other countries are you looking at launching B&C? Baker & Cook will be opening in Manila, Indonesia and Abu Dhabi within 2016.
Check out Brettschneider’s Baking & Cook School Nestled in the quaint leafy Hillcrest suburb at Bukit Timah, students can look forward to a full line-up of exciting courses taught by Brettschneider and several other renowned chefs including chef Eric Neo from Intercontinental Hotel Singapore; chef Joe Leong, son of chef Sam Leong; and many others. Brettschneider himself will teach Basic Bread Baking, based on his successful book BREAD, in which he will show how to produce a variety of breads and rolls from one basic dough. Other Brettschneider-led bakery selections include Italian Flatbreads & Pizza Making, Classic Cakes, Sweet Delicate Breads, Proper Pies & Tarts, Patisserie & Pastry Perfection and a Croissants & Danish Pastry Masterclass amongst the many classes offered.
1 Greendale Avenue. Tel: 65/6463-5508 Visit www.bakingandcookingschool. com for more information.