Five Minutes with: Grace Lee
A bequeath from John Patrick Conway in 2003 to the William Angliss Institute is what formed the William Angliss Award – a prize of $6000 to the winning student each year. To be in the running for the award, students are required to write an essay and perform a practical demonstration and presentation. An external panel of industry professionals judged the entries in July, with the students’ work reviewed against strict criteria. This year’s judges consisted of Craig Bruty from Bakers Delight in Melbourne,
Sarah Pyman from Swan Street Bakery & Patisserie and Jezza Cools from Pantry in Brighton. Baking business speaks with Grace Lee, winner of this year’s william angliss award.
How did you prepare for the competition?
I had six weeks to prepare for the competition. I started by gathering different inspirational ideas and recipes. I then trialled in four weeks to come up with my final menu and recipes. I also dedicated the last week before the competition to practice two full runs and polish up my workflow plan. Without the exceptional support from William Angliss Institute instructors, I could not have a valuable opportunity to practice my skills and improve my products in preparation for this competition.
How many participants were you up against?
There were five of us competing on the day, and it was a pleasure for me to participate in this invitation-only competition and meet other excellent students.
What creations did you make for the competition?
I chose my overall theme as ‘caramelised’, because I think the caramel flavour will add distinctive sweet and interesting slight burnt notes to my products, and lift up the flavours of other ingredients. This theme went through all of my products, as in the caramel creme patissiere filling I used for danishes and choux pastries, the brulee sugar on top of the tarts, and the burnt honey fruit filling for gateau. Five Minutes with: Grace Lee.
Here is my menu for the day:
Danish pastries – Filled with poached pear, banana, fresh apple and caramel creme patissiere
Short pastries – Passionfruit brulee tarts with fresh berries
Choux pastries – Caramel chocolate eclairs with salted caramel crispearl garnish for additional savoury crunch
Gateau – Burnt honey orange apricot, buttermilk mousse and pistachio crumble.
What are your plans now you have graduated?
Before the competition and also my course at WAI, I worked in a different career and I had not had experience in a commercial kitchen. My biggest career aspiration is opening my own little pastry shop. After my graduation, I would like to start working and gaining experience in the pastry industry for the upcoming years.