Understanding that in the pastry world, how your dessert looks, is as important as how it tastes, we talk to head pastry chef of YTL Hotels Malaysia, Tony Hoyle on his past and future thoughts on being a pastry chef.
I've been in Malaysia for 2 years. I did computer programming for a year. But that got boring, so I turned to cooking. I've been doing it for 19 years now, and my father was a chef as well. With cooking, I worked all around – the Middle East, Europe, and Australia, so I thought I should try Asia. I’ve always wanted to experience Asia, and now I've been living in Malaysia for the past two years.
One of the nice things about Malaysia are the ingredients available. The ingredients in Asia are obviously a lot different from Europe, and the Middle East. To use those kinds of ingredients like pandan are nice and different. I personally like to use mango and coconut.
Chocolate is my favourite ingredient to work with. We use Valhorna chocolate which is most probably the best chocolate you can buy. My favourite recipe is a six texture chocolate dish made from five different types of chocolate. We create different textures and flavours with the chocolate. We mix it up quite a lot (with different condiments), but if the chocolate is good enough, we just use it as it is.
I don’t really have a sweet tooth, not anymore. I taste what I cook but if I keep eating, I'll end up really big. I guess in moderation. I love ice-cream though. My favourite flavour is matcha green tea.
In five years time, I would like to open a shop back in Europe. But you never know. Like a chocolate shop. Selling everything; desserts, ice-cream, pralines and cakes but all use chocolate.