Hong Kong star pastry chef Jeffery Koo chose to move to Manchester, England a year and a half ago and opened his own branded ‘A Little Sweet’ pastry shop, which has become a favorite many residents.
He was also invited by the local council earlier to make a platinum jubilee cake for the Queen of England for the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne. He shared his experience with The Epoch Times.
Jeffrey’s Bakery in Manchester focuses primarily on desserts and chocolate cakes, but it also sells many Hong Kongers’ favorite sweets, including egg tarts, pineapple buns and checkered waffles, among others. In addition to the locals, many Hong Kong immigrants also make a special trip to come and buy in his shop.
Platinum Jubilee Cake for the Queen
Jeffery said he had already received an order from the local city council to bake a cake for the Queen’s 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne. The bakery has created three cake designs, including a mango-flavored layer cake. “Some people may ask why the word ‘Hong Kong’ is added, and that’s because the cake contains Hong Kong elements and is also produced by a Hong Kong company. Combined with the British style of the crown, this design combining east and west is perfect.
The second cake is a hazelnut cake. The important element of this cake is the image of the queen. “This design is more traditional, with red representing England and ER representing the Queen’s initials.”
The third cake is a chocolate cake about 30 cm high. The production and transportation process is the most difficult part. “As the cake is relatively high, safety measures must be taken before transport to avoid any accidents. In addition, temperature preservation is also a difficult task. We must maintain the temperature of the cake to prevent it from melting. Upon arrival at the scene, you also have to assemble all the pieces quickly to keep the texture of the cake.
Jeffrey said he had mixed feelings while producing these cakes to celebrate the Queen’s accession to the throne. As a native born in Hong Kong under British rule, he felt very honored to be able to contribute to the country that was once the overlord of the city.
He said that as a leader of Hong Kong, being able to contribute to this once-in-a-century celebration is a rare opportunity. At the same time, this opportunity also allows Hong Kongers to integrate into local communities.
The UK’s biggest baking competition
As well as baking cakes, Jeffery’s bakery also received an invitation from the local TV station, Channel 4, shortly after it opened. He was invited to participate in “The Great British Bake Off”, which is the biggest baking competition in the country, to compete against different chefs across the country.
He said that as filming for the competition program is still ongoing, he cannot reveal too much information at this time due to confidentiality conditions. However, he says, because the UK is so big (compared to Hong Kong), it takes him half a day to travel for each video shoot, which makes him very tired.
“The entire competition is made up of many mini-tasks, as well as phone interviews and film screenings to showcase his works. In the end, twelve teams will be selected and divided into two groups of six. After that, three teams from each group will be selected to compete for the champion.
He said that because his wife is busy with baking, his assistant in this contest is his sister-in-law Venus who has no baking experience. Compared to other teams who are all experienced professional chefs, one can imagine their difficulties: “But it doesn’t matter, the fact of having been shortlisted in the final phase alone shows the world that the Hong Kongers are also capable of taking foot.
Hong Kong residents in the UK can follow the battle by watching weekly episodes on TV, while Hong Kong residents in other regions can only watch the program via the Internet after the filming of the program is completed. .
Jeffrey Koo began his career at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong. He is a protege of famous French chef Yves Matthay, and he also studied with fellow French chef Pierre Gagnaire. In the past, he has participated in many contests and demonstration performances all over the world, and he is the best in the art of chocolate dessert modeling.