I formed ties with the baking industry after I stepped into the working world. After leaving baking school, I went to work while learning to accumulate money and opened my own bakery.
In my own shop, I have more time and thus have the opportunity to research and create different flavours, styles of bread and pastries. At the same time, I also went abroad to study different recipes, enriched my knowledge in the food industry, and improve the quality requirements for food products.
In 1984, I decided to set up “Jia Lei Confectionery & Training Centre” with emphasis on education, which mainly includes: bread making, wedding candy, cakes, Hong Kong dim sum, Western food, healthy meals, commercial hawker food and so on. We have individual classes, family courses, business courses, etc. I taught students personally and let them experience hands-on learning.
Over the past 30 years, the number of local students has increased. I have many students from South-East Asian countries, China, Italy, Britain, France and the Czech Republic and most of them have made great achievements. Locally, I have students across different ethnicity which are Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian. I’ve made lots of friends and my life has been very colourful.
3 years ago, I am honoured to be invited to organise cooking class in schools and colleges, to have been appeared in MediaCorp’s Chinese afternoon TV programme “午后闲情” and magazine’s gourmet columns to share my secret recipes and cooking experiences.
Last year, the training centre was forced to relocate under the government’s land acquisition plan and I did think of early retirement. By chance, “Jia Lei” had a chance to rebirth. My student Sharon, whom was not only interested in cooking but also has business experience with a good business mind, decided to use a new way to operate the centre by rebranding, repackaging and through innovative promotions. With her guidance, “Jia Lei Confectionery & Training Centre” will soar to new heights. I hope my cooking and baking knowledge can continue to be passed down for future generations.