Alumna Graff Kwok
Diplôme de Pâtisserie
In 2020, Graff returned to Hong Kong and joined two Michelin-starred TATE Dining Room as Head Pastry Chef, leading the production of delicate French pastries with TATE’s signature modern Chinese twist at gourmet & lifestyle shop, DATE by TATE, owned by fellow Le Cordon Bleu alumna, Chef Patron Vicky Lau.
When did you realise you wanted to become a pastry chef?
“I realised I wanted to become a pastry chef while studying product and furniture design at university. I found designing food and product are very similar. There are a lot of interchangeable skills which I’ve learned from my degree that are applicable to my career now.”
Why did you choose to come to Le Cordon Bleu London?
“Le Cordon Bleu is a renowned culinary institute, upon recommendation of my auntie, I decided to stay in London after my degree to pursue my passion for pâtisserie. At the time, the London campus was the newest as it had just been moved to a new location at Holborn. Therefore, I chose Le Cordon Bleu London as my gateway to the pastry world.”
How has the knowledge gained from the Diplôme de Pâtisserie programme helped in your career?
“Everything I have learned at Le Cordon Bleu gave me a solid foundation to work in a pastry kitchen. The friends I have made during my time as a student are valuable connections that helped to push my career forward.”
What is your ultimate goal as a chef?
“My ultimate goal is to have my own business as a pastry chef.”
What would you say the best thing is about being a chef?
“The best thing about being is chef is you can work anywhere in the world. All of the basic ingredients are the same and I find it exciting to be able to incorporate local flavours into French pâtisserie.”
What advice would you give to someone looking to follow in your footsteps?
“While it is not easy to work as a chef due it being physically and mentally demanding, it is also rewarding. If you are passionate about becoming a chef, I would suggest you take an internship in a pastry kitchen then enter Le Cordon Bleu to strengthen the fundamental knowledge.”
What does Le Cordon Bleu represent for you in a few words?
“Classic and tradition.”
How did you come to work at the Tate Dining Room?
“I returned to Hong Kong after working in the hospitality industry for 6 years. As for a lot of people, Covid-19 has changed the way we live. I decided to move back to spend more time with my family. By chance I connected with Chef Vicky via Instagram. She was planning to start a new project focusing on lifestyle and gourmet pastry and she recognised my potential which I’m forever grateful for. This is how I became the development chef for Date by Tate.”
What does your average working day look like?
“I start off my day with completing the orders and prepare daily fresh stock for the shop. Then I would move on to my ongoing project development or work on production with my colleagues. It is very fulfilling and challenging which I love.”
What is the most challenging aspect?
“I think the most challenging aspect is trying to adapt my recipes with Hong Kong’s humidity. A simple recipe like dry caramel reacts completely different here than in London. I have to do multiple tests on new products to ensure they maintain in good tasting condition for as long as possible. Also, the logistic aspect in summer heat is challenging to deal with too. I actually miss London weather!”
What inspires you every day and what are you most passionate about?
“Seeing how well my peers are doing motivates me to work harder. My goal is to share delicious desserts to a broad audience. I hope to create something for everyone.”
Any final thoughts?
“I wish more passionate people would join the industry, don’t be afraid of trying, good things will come eventually for all the effort you’ve put in."
Inspired by Graff'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.