For many chefs, culinary
competitions are a great way to express creative talent without the daily
constraints of a commercial kitchen. However, after all the theatrics involved
when seeking accolades and after all the medals have been dusted and hung on the
mantle, a chef still has to show that he can handle the day-in, day-out
bread-and-butter stuff without a hitch.
Anthony Qin, the pastry chef at St Regis Hotel Shanghai, has built up a solid
collection of awards over the years. The duke of desserts has taken top honors
at a number of prestigious events, including the Pastry World Cup in Singapore
and the World Pastry Cup in Lyon, as well as a respectable finish representing
China in the Bakery World Cup in Paris.
Last month, the 29-year-old picked up the Outstanding Chef Award as well as a
gold medal in the Sugar Showpiece at the Eighth FHC International Culinary Arts
Competition in Pudong.
"The standard of the (FHC) competition was as high as anywhere," said Qin.
"I'm really proud to win this as well."
The local boy was previously based in Macau, but Shanghai gourmands had
already picked up a faint murmuring of his talent. When he joined the St Regis
in September, the question on many lips was if he could continue to demonstrate
his famed sugar-pulling abilities while also handling the demands of such daily
concerns as cookies, croissants and cakes.
Any doubt was put to rest on Wednesday when the hotel invited a few media to
sample his basic sweets. His work for Danieli's included a lovely, creamy
tiramisu which was as authentic as they come in this city, as was his
freshly-baked pear and frangipane (almond sponge) tart with cinnamon cream.
At the lobby level in Sainti's all-day diner, Qin prepares a very special
warm, sweet dumpling filled with chocolate caramel in an orange soup. The dish
is similar to the local tang yuan, although the flavors and textures are more
"The local palate for desserts is different," the young chef said. "Unlike
the Japanese or Singaporeans, locals won't have sweets for breakfast."
Qin, who is currently single, explained that he is more focused on his career
than his personal life at present. According to him, the art of pastry making
lies not in the recipe but in individual skills, such as the way eggs are
His passion, however, remains in sugar. "It's very hard to do; it is almost
like blowing glass."
Address: 889 Dongfang Road, Pudong
Tel: 021-5050-4567 ext.