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Pastry chefs master the art of innovation

By LI YINGXUE | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-01-30 09:26
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Pastry shaped like plum blossom created by Wu Yang. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A decade ago, he developed a passion for dough sculptures. This work requires many skills, such as kneading, rolling, cutting, carving, and shaping with a small bamboo knife, all of which take long hours of practice. Wu studied these skills by self-learning.

Lacking a basic training in art, he initially found it difficult to accurately gauge a dough sculpture's proportions and features.

His solution was to observe people, and he still frequently looks hard at those around him, observing their body proportions. Over time, the pastry items Wu makes have become increasingly lifelike and evocative.

Ten years ago, he opened a studio to teach the art of making puff pastry. In addition to teaching, he found time to create new products. "Like a singer releasing a new song each year, I plan to launch a new puff pastry product each year," he said.

After creating abalone and flower puff pastry, he came up with the lion's head in 2021, which quickly became a hit on social media.

Pastry lovers nationwide have learned to make such pieces from Wu, who has taught more than 1,000 students. He likes to share his techniques and thoughts about puff pastry, and is happy to see students presenting his creations in competitions and at gala dinners.

"I used to focus on the techniques, but now I think more about ways to combine traditional Chinese culture with puff pastry," Wu said, adding that it is good to see more young people becoming interested in Chinese pastry.

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