Alumna Fang-Yu Lin
Diplôme de Pâtisserie
After several years working in hotels, restaurants and dessert shops in London and Taipei, Fang founded Sugarcane Studio in 2018. Initially trading at markets, including the Bath Farmers Market, they opened their first shop in the centre of Bath in 2020. In 2022 they were honoured to be named Best Cafe in Bath at the Bath Life Awards.
We caught up with Fang to find out more about her culinary journey.
What made you decide to train in the culinary arts?
"I have had a passion for baking since I was very young, looking at all the beautiful pastries and cakes in the stores and from overseas. I had worked in a bakery in Taiwan in my school holidays and constantly felt the urge to try new things. After I finished studying a Master’s in business management at Bristol University, I took the opportunity to further my understanding and skills in patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu London while I was in the UK."
Why did you choose to come to Le Cordon Bleu London?
"I chose to study at Le Cordon Bleu, firstly because of its reputation for high-end cuisine, and patisserie in particular! I’ve also always loved London, and the chance to stay there could not be missed! London has some amazing food and there is always something to do while you aren’t studying!"
How did your culinary training studying at Le Cordon Bleu London help you to start your career?
"Studying at Le Cordon Bleu opened my eyes to all sorts of different types of pastry. I was able to learn and understand how to bring the delicious and delicate creations to life, and also find my way to work efficiently and with creativity. Many of the products that I sell in my shop are descended from the classics that I learned to make at Le Cordon Bleu."
What advice would you give to someone looking to follow in your footsteps?
"I would firstly encourage anyone hoping to start their own patisserie business to try and find a place to get experience in a working kitchen after they graduate. It not only helps keep your newly learned knowledge fresh in your brain, but you will also learn plenty about how to work efficiently, which is very important, and learn directly from someone with a lot of experience. After I graduated, I took internships at several hotels, and then found a job at the wonderful cake shop, Lanka, near Finchley Road. All of my working experience was vital to help me achieve my own business."
What does Le Cordon Bleu represent for you in a few words?
"To me, Le Cordon Bleu represents both tradition and innovation, maintaining the highest quality for teaching the world’s chefs of the future."
How would you describe your current role?
"My current role is head chef and co-owner of Sugarcane Studio, a patisserie shop in Bath. The opportunity to take over the lease on a café in the city centre came up, so I decided to start my own company."
What does your day-to-day look like?
"During the weekdays I work with my team preparing elements for the daily production. We manage the weekly customer orders and make the products for the shop. I also make sure we have all ingredients and other consumables in stock, and take care of our social media."
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
"The trickiest part of the job is juggling the administrative duties with my responsibilities as head of production. My time is stretched a lot of the time, so efficiency is very important."
What is your inspiration?
"I am inspired by my culture and how I can combine its flavours with the patisserie that I love. I also love to try local desserts when I travel, and maybe can bring back some new ideas with me."
What part of the role are you most passionate about?
"I am most passionate about, when the occasion arises, collaborating with other businesses, when I can create a one off product, custom made for the event. The opportunity to use my creativity, working with other people to make something unique always gives me a great sense of satisfaction."
Do you have anything exciting coming up in the future?
"We are currently looking to expand our business to another place in the Bristol/Bath area which is exciting for us. Also, in September this year, I will be demonstrating at the Great Bath Feast food festival, which is a wonderful event showcasing the best local and national producers and chefs."
Inspired by Fang's journey? Find out how you can follow in her footsteps by finding out more about our Diplôme de Pâtisserie, or by visiting our programmes page to view the full list of courses available and start your culinary journey today.