We Celebrate People
At Plentyfull, we celebrate people and we love to champion them.
One of the ways we do so is to allow our staff to come up with their own creations with the guidance of Chef Victor. If everyone on the team approves, it goes on the menu as a permanent fixture or as a special.
The Dish and Its Inspiration
One such example is the Kaffir Lime Curd dessert, which consists of ginger syrup, infused sponge, candied puffed rice and house toasted rice ice cream. It was inspired by Penny, our then intern who is now a full time doctor.
Tasty Conversations with Penny
We caught up with Penny and spoke to her more about her journey.
Q: Who is Penny?
A: A typical food-obsessed Singaporean. Favorite things are cake, cats and Christ.
Q: How did your love for pastry start?
A: It started with a lot of instant mixes but then I watched a Japanese anime
about baking school around the same time I bought my first recipe book, and a pastry monster was born. I love experimenting with ingredients and feeding people.
Q: Tell us about your journey at Plentyfull and how it came about.
A: I was waiting to start a new job and in my boredom I churned out mountains of baked goods at home. Also part of me secretly toyed with the idea of opening my own bakery/cafe. So when the opportunity of working in a professional kitchen came along, I decided to challenge myself by working in a real life kitchen scenario.
Q: What were some of the challenges and lessons learnt during your internship?
A: Customers value consistency. If they like an item on your menu they are going to come back and expect the same thing every time. Your customers aren’t going to praise you for your excellent attempt at a perfect cake. They want it perfect and that’s what you’re going to have to give them.
I used to think that working in a restaurant would mean never running out of ingredients but the opposite is true instead. Managing your inventory is a fine balance between wastage/spoilage and having what you need to carry on with your work. Preparing your mise-en-place is crucially important so that the process runs smoothly from start to finish. Knowing your ingredients is also important.
Q: What was your inspiration behind the kaffir lime dessert?
A: As the newest and most inexperienced kitchen hand I was oddly pleased
to be included in the “chef’s special” round robin. I was assigned the task of creating a “citrus” dish. My favourite soup is tom yum soup, eaten with jasmine rice.
So once I decided on kaffir lime my thoughts naturally flowed to a kaffir lime curd with elements of ginger, chili complemented by jasmine rice ice cream. Finalizing the dish to taste balanced and also practical in terms of preparation took a while and I couldn’t have accomplished this without a lot of assistance and advice from all my chefs.
Q: What are you doing post Plentyfull? Any similarities between being a
pastry intern and a doctor?
A: My paperwork finally went through and now I am back to being a doctor. The great thing about baking and doctoring is that they both afford me the chance to use my hands, although one is being covered in sweet delicious stuff whilst the other – I shan’t go there haha.
There’s a lot less room for creativity in medicine. Both jobs are mentally and physically demanding. The best part of any job is enjoying what you do and for me a large part of that comes from being surrounded by wonderful and inspiring people both in the kitchen and hospital so on most days going to work is something I look forward to.
Thank you Penny! We miss having you around in our pastry kitchen!