Dean Brettschnei­der

Food and Travel (Singapore) - - Kitchen Confidential -

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.

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