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Meet Ottawa Alumni and Butter Avenue’s Co-Owner and Pastry Chef, Tina Su

Butter Avenue Toronto

Tina Su is the co-owner and pastry chef behind Butter Avenue, Toronto’s trendy pâtisserie and café on Queen Street West. We recently caught up with Tina, the pastry chef behind the perfect French macarons that are trending across Toronto, to find out more about her experience working in the industry and life after Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa.

Tina was born in Taiwan but raised in Toronto, she originally was an editor at a fashion magazine, before deciding to quit her day job and pursue her culinary dreams as a pastry chef. Taking a rather different approach, Tina traveled to France and stayed at a monastery where she learned a bit of home cooking and baking from nuns. This experience truly inspired her to begin her culinary journey as a pastry chef and further pursue her education at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa.

Butter Avenue grew from a simple Facebook page and online shop selling macarons, into a brother/sister joint operation and storefront with pop-up shops in partnership with Jimmy Choo, L'Occitane en Provence as well as unique events with Lululemon and Miele Canada among many others. Butter Avenue has also been selected as one of the best bakeries in Toronto by Toronto Life’s “The Best of everything 2015” and “The Best of everything 2016”.

What prompted you to decide to study the culinary arts and become a Pastry Chef?
It was after I left my job as a magazine editor, I realized how incredible it is to turn beautiful ideas (cravings, to be precise, haha!) into reality (then eat it!).

What made you decide to study at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa?
It is one of the best culinary school in Canada!

What was one of the most important things you learned while studying and how has this made a difference to you as a Chef?
Being organized and tidy! I remember one of the chefs from school once said, “A great chef should never have dirty apron and sleeves while working in kitchen.” Which I believe that’s what fine French pastry is all about, details, details, details!

Never forget your passion and your dream!
Are there any chefs or influencers that have inspired you along the way?
I was so fascinated by Marie-Antoine Carême, can you imagine cooking/baking for hundreds of royalties with no AC nor electric oven!?

Where do you get your inspiration from to create all your beautiful pastries?
It really can be anything! My signature “Terre & Neige” cake was inspired by natures scenery, each layer represents earth, grass and snow; “Wishing Well” was created through the scene where Snow White sings by the well. And my macaron collection changes colour and flavour as the change of seasons, such as pastel colours in spring and fruity flavours in summer.


What is your favorite pastry to make at the moment?
Anything with torched meringue ontop, yum!

What does 2018 look like for you? Any exciting projects in the works?
We just moved into a headquarters/Central kitchen and are opening a new sister brand “Butter Baker” in downtown Toronto, summer 2017 (watch this space), which features locally sourced ingredients such as fresh herbs and free-run eggs. As for “Butter Avenue”, we have new product lines and concept stores coming very soon!

Any pieces of advice that you would like to pass on to someone following in your footsteps?
Never forget your passion and your dream!

Programmes in Ottawa

Diplôme de Cuisine
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Diplôme de Pâtisserie
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Boulangerie Certificate
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