Your Name: Florence Compain
Job Title: Pastry Chef at L’école Bangkok Cooking School
What is your nationality and background?
I am French. I grew up in Provence, surrounded by the smells of lavender, olive oil and stone fruits. I have been living in Bangkok for 20 years.
What is your profession?
I am a pastry chef owning a cooking school.
What are the key skills and responsibilities of this role?
You cannot cheat when you teach. You have to be extremely passionate while sharing your knowledge.
How did you get involved in your profession?
After 17 years covering political affairs in South East Asia for the French daily Le Figaro, I realized the kitchen was where I truly belonged. For two years, I studied the fundamentals and advanced techniques to become an expert in pastry, bakery and cuisine at The French culinary school Le Cordon Bleu.
How does your role enhance the wellbeing or experience of children?
Pastry making requires both precision and creativity, which are essential to the palette of a child’s life. While teaching children, I am trying to give them a sense of confidence in the kitchen but also to make them critical thinkers and explain why things work the way they do in the sweet world.
What challenges do your face in this role?
Pastry is a magic world. I am still amazed by what we can achieve while basically just mixing egg, flour, butter and sugar. But it can also go terribly wrong because of a weighing or technical mistake. Making pastry with children is as rewarding as it is demanding; to avoid any disappointment for my little students, I have to watch everyone and every step very carefully.
What do you hope to achieve within your industry?
I am always happy to embrace the new trends towards healthier eating. Before launching a new workshop, I am doing a lot of tests, reducing sugar and fat contents without sacrificing texture or taste.
Who or what inspires you?
Philippe Conticini is one of the most influential and innovative pastry chefs in France. I love his passionate work seeking perfect flavours and textures and rediscovering the great classics of French pastry.
Only a Bangkok local would know…
…that around dusk, the Bangkok sky is filled with gigantic bats!
For more information on L’école Bangkok Cooking School, please click here.