By Louise FitzRoy
From city life to island dreams, Grace Siy is the talented creator behind your favourite decorated Brasserie cookies, cakes and so much more.
What were major influences that introduced you to the culinary world?
It all started when I was a kid. My whole family loves cooking and it gradually grew on me. We always had a get together at our aunt’s house where there would be a feast of home cooked meals and I always loved it; slowly I became curious about cooking. I remember I would stand beside my dad while he cooked and ask him the whys and hows of cooking. My passion solidified when I got a scholarship to one of the best culinary schools in the Philippines.
Where does your love for baking come from?
My mom is very artistic so I was always drawn to the artsy side of things. When pastry was introduced in school, I got curious and dug deeper to understand what it was really about. Soon enough I found out that pastry is not just simply baking, how it can be commonly perceived, but there is a whole system behind it. I love how it is so complex and perplexing. I enjoy learning and understanding the science behind pastry.
Share your career journey – how did you get to The Brasserie?
I can say it was fate to be able to work with The Brasserie team. I initially got a job in New York, but while doing my paperwork I suddenly felt tired of city life. At the same time, a friend of mine was working at The Brasserie told me about island life and how they are doing cool and amazing things at the restaurant. I joined the team in February 2019. The rest is history!
How do you come up with your creative ideas?
I am inspired by the things around me. The colours found in nature and just everyday life in Cayman.
What kitchen utensil could you not work without?
A chef’s knife.
What is your favourite baked item?
A good old chocolate chip cookie has to be my favourite.
What is one of the most important tips for baking bread?
For me, the most essential thing is time. Most people rush the bread. You have to make time for each and every step. From kneading to proofing, some types of bread even have to proof twice! Don’t forget to give yourself time too. It may not be perfect the first time, but as the old saying goes “practice makes perfect”.
What menu item have you had more requests for than any other during lockdown?
We are getting a lot of orders for cakes and decorated cookies.