Pastry Chef TAOZI majored in Art design, is the founder and Chinese partner of T Dessert.
She was a director of the first-class magazine, and Art product design. She is a designer and trainer of dessert decoration in T Dessert now. Dessert decoration course is the first course in China which combines desserts with design.
How did you get interested in cooking and baking? How long did it take to realize you were going to get in the world of pastries?
As many people might know, I majored in art and design in University, and chose to move to Beijing in the year of graduation, it has been 19 years since then. There‘re always two minds inhabit in my body, besides the one stays on conventional path, the other wild half and my restless heart always trying to take over, driven by this instinct, I start T dessert. I’ve been media industry for more than 10 years, according to my experience, it’s important to be the spreader, my goal is to build a bridge of communication across China and other countries, and willing to be the pioneer in this industry. Hence I make up my mind, to build a school in China and achieve global wise recolonization.
Taozi hopes with her baking training institution, to establish an international and professional platform where aspiring pastry chefs can learn knowledge about the international baking industry.
What’s one of your earliest memories in the kitchen? What ware your favorite flavors?v
My earliest memories in the kitchen are home-cooked the food: faint aroma from the boiling rice, the appetizing smell from stir-fried dishes, and the fresh taste of the vegetables… The sound of the tickling noise from the kitchen is a sound of happiness. My favorite among all of this is still fresh in memory is the aroma of my grandma’s special pancake made from fresh cream, and it is the smell of our kitchen now.
How and where did you learn the art of pastry making? What the most challenging part of pastry and dessert making?
We invite all the top master chefs to teach in Tdessert, also studied the latest technique with them, sometimes also take pastry courses abroad. The most challenging part to me is gain experience and take it to your knowledge, and also find design a cake is difficult, to make it beautiful, at the same time, appetizing.
What the main differences in Traditional Chinese pastries and Western pastries?
Western pastries is a foreign product in China, however, the western pastries here is a bit different compared to its original version, it’s been adapted to local taste, however still not be accepted completely. Whereas Chinese pastry has its unique role in Chinese people’s minds, it’s a heritage of our culture.
T DESSERT INTERNATIONAL PASTRY ACADEMY (TIPA)
International pastry institution that focuses on teaching boutique dessert with professional skills and artistic design. It defines itself as a platform for all dessert enthusiasts and for people in China to be in touch with the latest global skills and creative ideas. It is located in the 798 Art District and surrounded by art studios and galleries.
Taozi is Chef-owner of TDessert International Pastry Academy (TIPA) in Beijing and Shanghai
Is there an ingredient you think is overused in pastry? Are there some Chinese ingredients do you think can add a special touch of flavor to pastry?
In general traditional pastry-making use a lot of dairy, sugar, fat, and flour. Lately, the trend is using healthier ingredients, less fat, and sugar, more light. We also use this philosophy to upgrade our program. About the local ingredients, traditionally we use quite a lot of bean paste such as red bean, soybean to make the pastry. Sometimes we combine these ingredients with western pastry recipes to create something tasty and healthy.
“I was a designer, an art director, and a media editor, But ther is something less in my life in past 10 years. Life is short, It’s time to change.” – Pastry Chef Taozi
Chinese interest in the pastry world has grown a lot in the past years. How would you describe this change and how do you explain it?
In China, all the industry is booming this past few years, not only in pastry. I start school at the beginning of this trend and experience all the changes through the last few years, there’s one thing confirmed that everything grows quickly, so it saves a lot of time. But in my opinion after reaching a certain level, people would choose more cautiously and rationally, everything will be back to normal.
When and what inspired you to open your business? What is your favorite thing about it?
In the beginning, I want to learn to make pastry but couldn’t find any school in China to satisfy my expectations, in this case, I told myself why not start a school by myself. At that point I have already set few basic rules for my school, 99% professional chef from abroad, with decades of experience in pastry making, with a strong team like this, give me a good foundation to start. My job is to help the chefs confirm the final appearance of the products, and I also guide them to make academic syllabus according to students’ needs.
What’s your pastry philosophy? Where do you find inspiration?
To find our unique strength, and enlarge it until it’s limit. Our school motto is “never follow blindly never forget your initial goal, moving towards your dream”. I don’t like to compare myself to others, I believe everyone has his highlight, you’ll be successful if you keep it in mind.
What are some of the skills that help pastry chefs succeed?
Stay humble is very crucial, keep your mind open to the latest skill, keep improve yourself.
“I just want to do something meaningful for the Chinese baking industry with my experience.” Pastry Chef Taozi
What advice can you give to students thinking about an education and career in the culinary art of pastry?
To have a good start, which means take lessons from the most professional and authentic teacher.
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself, your career, or profession, that would be interesting or helpful to others aspiring to enter and succeed as a pastry chef?
I have been in the media industry for more than ten years, experience tells me that I should be a communicator, for China and the international community to build a bridge between each other, I am willing to be a pioneer.
So I decided to do a professional baking institute in China that could keep pace with the international community. T Dessert is what it is today, and I think it’s about vision and firmness. Being an individual-oriented school is not my original intention, and I want T Dessert to be a broad platform open to everyone. People don’t need to remember who I am, remember T Dessert. I often hear after the students said: “TD always do more than say, give more than promised” Yes, T Dessert just want to do a good job of professional baking re-education. One of the most important reasons I’ve become friends and partners with many of the world’s top master chef is that we all want to be the same.
I often think: If one day I am old, look back all the way, I will be happy because I know them at their most glorious time.
Photo courtesy of Taozi, Special thanks to QiQi