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Accidental Bakers – Divine Coincidences!

Cousins Paul and Fong started a home-based baking company 18 years ago when home baking was not the norm. In fact, they stumbled onto baking quite by accident.

Fong was working in accounts, while Paul is a trained musician and a musical theatre enthusiast and actor when 18 years ago both stumbled onto baking. Paul was taking a break from music and church ministry and decided to start baking from home to support himself. Fong had left her job and was looking for something else to do. They decided to team up and take the ladle by its handle and give baking a go! And the rest as they say, …”is history!”

They started a successful home-based cake supply business during the “Ipoh cafe boom” period during the 1999-2001 and were supplying to six different cafes in Ipoh. Specialising then in classic cakes like Chocolate Moist, Carrot Walnut, Banoffee and eight different cheesecake flavours. Their cakes became really popular with the cake and dessert loving population of Ipoh. Then in 2001, Paul moved to Singapore to take up a music director position with a church while Fong moved the cake business to Kuala Lumpur. There Fong continued to grow, master and perfect the art of sugar paste novelty cakes while tasting and sampling cakes and more cakes in her travels. Paul, on the other hand, had his hands full with music and the arts but in his private time continued to indulge his passion for cakes by tasting and collecting and amassing a huge collection of about 700-over cake recipes from Singapore and also his travels around the world.

Fast forward 18 years to the present, Paul and Fong return to Ipoh, the town that they love and has a special place in their hearts, to care for their aging parents. Having travelled and lived overseas gave Paul and Fong the opportunity to savour new and exciting cake flavours. Coming back to Ipoh they realised that it was not easy to find the rich decadent European and the creatively exciting Australian inspired style cakes that they both love so much.

So by a “divine coincidence” the cousins decided to renew their partnership and collaborate again to offer to Ipoh their creations culled from their travels and their love for experimenting with flavours. They continue to offer their well loved favourite classic flavours, while introducing new and innovative flavours like chocolate peanut butter and banana cake called – “The Elvis”, Ondeh Ondeh Cupcakes – imitating the flavours of the classic Asian dessert, chocolate cream cheese with salted Caramel, Dynasty-Espresso and rum-soaked cake sandwiching a cheese mousse, speckled with chocolate shavings…and encrusted in a bejewelled Almond Praline coating.

The duo hosted an introductory and launch party recently featuring their classic cake flavours and a wide array of the new flavours attended by friends, socialites and industry partners. Held in their pristine white baking house, the guests had a tummy-filling time of the cake and dessert buffet.

The cousins have exciting ideas for this facility as they plan to offer baking and cake decorating classes and workshops for different skill levels. They also have in the pipeline a food arm (Divine Fine Foods) that offers private dining and supper club concept dining, for friends to come together to savour food and celebrate friendship at their premises. While Ipoh has great hawker fare, this concept of supper clubs, that is so popular in Hong Kong, is hardly available here, prompting the cousins to bring a slice and sampling of their travels and food experience back to their beloved hometown  Ipoh.

Divine Fine Foods have prepared a range of Christmas offerings ranging from Butter Herb Roasted Turkey to rich fruitcakes and mini Christmas Puddings for the coming Christmas season. They will supply to private parties or to restaurants. Do check out their FB page at divinecakez2017 for more details. Enquiries: Fong 012 227 2187 or Paul 010 240 8879.

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See Foon

SeeFoon Chan-Koppen has been writing a food column called Musings on Food in the Ipoh Echo since 2009. It is widely read both in print as well as online which receives more than 1 million hits a month. Her forte is in communications, having honed her skills after graduating from the University of Singapore where she worked for the Straits Times Group and was a food critic for the New Nation. Her knowledge of food and cooking come from more than 30 years in the hotel industry based in Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and subsequently Kuala Lumpur. During this time, she has travelled all over the world and eaten at the best and worst restaurants. She is totally intimate with the subtleties and nuances of most cuisines of the world having been involved in opening over 50 hotels throughout the Asia/Pacific region and China where she helped to conceptualize Food and Beverage themes and critiqued on food quality. SeeFoon calls herself a global citizen and now chooses the serenity and friendliness of Ipoh to the bright lights of the many cities she has lived in. She also loves the food in Ipoh and is passionate about telling the world about it.

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