Chef Seah Yang Chiak On His Passion For French Pastries and His Love For Butter


Chef Chiak currently shares his knowledge and passion to participants in Palate Sensations' pastry class in Singapore.

Chiak graduated from Ferrandi Paris, an acclaimed French School of Culinary Arts, where he was trained in French pastry to be a professional pâtissier. He did his internship in the world-renowned Ritz Paris, a luxurious Parisian hotel holding the status of a ‘Palace’ because of its exceptional reputation that exceeds the five-star hotel rating in France.

He was also selected to be involved in major events such as ‘Salon de la Pâtisserie’ and ‘Taste of Paris’. There, he worked together with professionals of the industry, such as the chefs of the famous Ladurée Paris, in creating luxurious pastries.

Since the tender age of 8, Chiak aspired to be a chef. As a child, he would spend his time observing his grandmother intently as she cooked and prepared various cakes and pastries. At age 19, he graduated as top student from Shatec Institutes with a Diploma in Culinary Skills.

He was trained as an apprentice in French fine dining restaurant Au Petit Salut, where he refined his basic techniques and knowledge of French cuisine and pastry. He subsequently moved to work at Le Bistrot du Sommelier, a bistrot offering authentic French fare.

Shortly after, Chiak developed the urge to delve deeper into the fundamentals of patisserie. This sparked in him a heightened passion for French pastries and he took more interest in creating modern French cakes, pastries, chocolates and confections. Following his passion, Chiak decided to further improve himself and made his move to learn from the esteemed professionals in Paris.

Heavily inspired by the exceptional standards of both the French chefs and pastries alike, Chiak has made it his absolute ambition to bring a part of Paris back to Singapore. He is excited to let people around him experience the wonders of French desserts without having to travel around half the world. Chiak looks forward to sharing his skills and knowledge with anyone – be it a professional chef, a home cook, or just about anybody who is eager to learn.

What do you love about cooking/baking?

Watching raw ingredients transform into works of art (it makes me feel like an alchemist). And also tasting them after.

What are you most excited about right now?

Bringing in what I have learned and experienced about French Haute-Pâtisserie from Paris to Singapore

What is your favorite part about being a Chef?

Being able to satisfy my own cravings without having to spend extra money or time travelling.

What is your funniest kitchen incident?

I tend to accidentally break kitchen equipment through the over-exertion of force. Once, I snapped a wooden spoon in half trying to scoop out of a 25kg mount of butter.

Favorite way to cook an egg?

Scrambled, the French way. I’m not a fan of overcooked food. I love a good creamy scrambled egg made with cultured butter from Normandy, topped with fresh chives or shaved black truffles if my wallet permits.

Favorite ingredient to work with?

Butter. It is essential to both French cuisine and pastry. My chef trainer from Ferrandi always said: “No fat, no fun”. Butter brings about a certain richness and flavour that nothing else can imitate. It has emulsifying properties and it promotes Maillard browning. Almost every fundamental pastry has butter in it. Also, there’s never too much butter in a recipe. Don’t believe me? Ask the French.

What inspires you?

Nature. If one would observe deeply enough, one could find an infinite number of inspirations from virtually anything on Earth, and that includes aromas, flavours, textures, forms & designs.

What is the best meal you ever had?

When living in Paris, I had an impromptu invitation to world-famous Michelin Star Chef Alain Passard’s private garden party. It was a lovely setting in the quiet French countryside with a beautiful rustic kitchen. The chefs were preparing all sorts of vegetables and herbs – all freshly harvested from the gardens in the premises. Right from the start of the meal, every course had me blown away. Each component of every dish was perfectly cooked and prepared. There were flavours I’ve never tasted before, and combinations of said flavours in ways I could never have imagined. And the best part? All but one of his dishes were vegetarian.

See Chef Chiak’s upcoming classes

“Some people call pastry chefs scientists, while some know them to be artists. The exceptional ones, however, have been regarded by many as magicians. Highly grateful that my stint in Paris has granted me invaluable insights and inspirations for French pastry, I am now absolutely thrilled to bring a part of the Parisian life to you. From the evening breeze along the River Seine to the buttery aromas of freshly baked croissants in Boulangeries, French pastry immerses people in astounding experiences. Indulge yourselves in the magnificence of French desserts and get inspired – one bite at a time.” - Chef Seah Yang Chiak

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