21-year-old Bruneian baker wins gold in Malaysian culinary competition

Bake Culture’s Yong Yi Yunn wins cake category in the Anchor Food Professionals’ Pastry and Culinary Challenge’s bakery division in first attempt

Bake Culture’s 21-year-old Bruneian baker Yong Yi Yunn emerged the champion of cake category in the Anchor Food Professionals’ Pastry and Culinary Challenge’s bakery division last week, taking away a prestigious gold medal and RM5,000 by serving up mango cheesecake and strawberry mousse cake.

Yong, who also goes by Claudia, was one of eight shortlisted candidates and was the only Bruneian who made a submission – which included a signature recipe and picture of their chosen item.

Contestants were given a five-hour window to recreate their submissions with Anchor products, and according to the themes given: Claudia competed with mango and strawberry themed.

The contest held from March 13 to 16 at KDU University College in Shah Alam has four divisions – bakery division, cake – bakery division, cake – hotel division and culinary – hotel division, and is primarily contested by Malaysians.

Claudia’s final creation where spherical and tube-like cakes with glaze, crumbly bases and fresh fruit (pictured below).

Her winning creations during the competition the mango cheesecake (R) and strawberry mousse cake (L) were creted while working under Bake Culture’s head baker, Law Hui Eng, or known as Moi.

“I heard about the competition and decided to give it a shot,” said Claudia shyly, stating that her Bake Culture colleagues and upper management were instrumental in encouraging her to pursue it.

Judges including Meilleur Ouvrier de France award (MOF) winner Chef Jean Francois Arnaud, analyzed the themed creations from the contestants based on taste, texture and presentation.

“It was the experience of being able to showcase my skills and receiving recognition from renowned judges that made me feel like an even bigger winner,” said Claudia of her win.

Working in Bake Culture for the past year, Claudia’s passion for baking grew when she attended a trial baking class when she was 18.

“I really enjoyed the class and thought about pursuing baking seriously. I searched for nearby culinary schools to develop my skills further,” said the 21-year-old.

She studied pastry and bakery at the Singapore Hotel and Tourism Education Centre (SHATEC) and was able to spend five months working at the Marriott Hotels in Singapore, gaining experience and learning about the hotel’s cake production.

Claudia’s mango cheesecake and the strawberry mousse cake will be launched in Bake Culture and available to purchase in conjunction of Mother’s Day in May.

For more information, visit @bakeculturebrunei on Instagram and Facebook.