Say hi to Adila – who is a self taught / family taught /food enthusiast / home baker – turned professional (but she says she’d rather be known as a Home Baker).
She learnt her art pretty much between college and baking with her mother. But for a home baker with no professional training , we have just one word – Impressive! You will have to taste and SEE her stuff to agree. She is definitely one of the best in town. Let’s get to know her a little bit more . . .
- Tell us something about yourself . When and why did you start baking?
Well, obviously I’m foodie. I love everything to do with food- starting from fantasizing and experimenting with new recipes to buying the choicest ingredients, the preparation, the presentation and of course eating it!
“I started baking during my first year of college – all thanks to my mom who is an amazing cook. Everything she cooks turns into edible gold! She started out baking for friends and family and word spread around; next thing we know, she had a sizeable customer base. What began as a humble hobby became a very lucrative home-based business.”
So during my summer vacations when I would come back home , I used to help out my mom with the orders as her apprentice. That’s how I got into the whole baking ‘business’ myself 🙂
I’ve never had any formal training, although I’d love to! I just watch a lot of tutorials online, read recipe books, browse through Pinterest to get inspirations and practice, practice, practice.
- Tell us something about your work. What do you like the most/least?
Well, my brand is called ‘Haute Cakes’. I started out with a small oven in our small kitchen, and now we have a bigger oven – but in the same ‘ol ‘small’ kitchen. It’s amazing and humbling to see how this hobby has grown into a cute little business – that keeps me busy most times .
My favorite part of baking would be hands down – dressing the cake. Be it piping or moulding sugar, I love every aspect of it. What I don’t like is – cleaning up my mess (laughs). But having said that, I like being organised. I like my work station to be neat and orderly.
“I’m a perfectionist so I get down to the minutest detail of the cake until I’m satisfied. My mom says I can be a pain sometimes but when I see the joy on my clients’ faces it is worth all the pain, the effort and sleepless nights. “
- Who are your customers – what do they like?
My customers are the best – they have amazing taste! Some of our flavours are inspired by their ideas, and I love how they inspire me to innovate and experiment. There are especially three flavors that are really popular : the angel food cake, chocolate ganache cake and the classic pineapple sponge cake.
- Who are your biggest inspirations ?
Biggest inspiration would definitely be my mother. Like I mentioned earlier, she is the one who got me started with baking. When it comes to the more technical part of cake décor, I must mention ivenoven and kimncake. Their workmanship is simply exquisite!
- Do you have any humbling or humorous anecdotes from your baking career?
I once made a Bible for the pastor of UBC (Union Baptist Church). The cake was meant to be a surprise. I was told that when the cake was brought out everyone was shocked when they realised that it was actually a cake …an edible Bible. I get a good high when I get back positive compliments . At the same time, I do get constructive criticisms. When that happens I think back to what went wrong and how I could have done things differently.
- Is there anything else you can tell us about yourself, your career, or the profession that would be interesting or helpful to others aspiring to enter and succeed as a pastry chef?
I try my best to accommodate every order I get. In doing so, I sacrifice my sleep – I’m up working into the wee hours of the night. It is all about attention to details – it makes a novelty cake stand out. I’m a perfectionist so I get down to the minutest detail of the cake until I’m satisfied. My mom says I can be a pain sometimes but when I see the joy on my clients’ faces it is worth all the pain, the effort and sleepless nights. I’m just so grateful to God for giving me this life – filled with so many beautiful such moments.