Interview with Mark Tagulao

Mark Tagulao | Vancouver

Vancouver is home to some of the best pastry chefs in the world, many have worked for the top chefs and restaurants around the world as well as around the city. Star Pastry Chefs is a series of Interviews with some of the top chefs in and around Vancouver, within the interview each chef is to prepare or finish off three of his/her signature desserts.

As early as age 4, Mark was cooking alongside his mom, experimenting with food, and quickly developing his passion for creative cooking. After graduating from university, and going into banking,  Mark then left the world of finance to follow his passion and apprenticed with a local cake decorator before heading overseas. He then trained in the art of Pastry at the Macaron Pastry Training Center in Thailand where he was taught by famous French pastry chef, Eric Perez.   Mark returned to Vancouver and began to develop his career, mastering his pastry skills, cake decorating, sculpting, and eventually, recipe development and teaching.

Most recently, Mark showcased his sculpted custom cakes at Cake Love 2011, and appeared on the Food Network’s Recipe to Riches reality show, has been teaching at the Hungry Oven, a cooking school for kids and launched his own company Marked Edible Designs.

Did you always want to be a pastry chef?

No I wanted to become a lawyer at first, then a dentist. I was in HR then banking, then went into this industry professionally about 2 years ago.

Do you follow or apply a specific food design?

I like to take the traditional and remising combinations and I see everything and how it works, taking inspiration from everywhere.

Where do you get inspiration?

Cookbooks, tv, photography, paintings, sculptures, how things are put together (shapes and colours). Travelling and trying different dishes.

Tell me about your involvement with Cake Love

A group of 5 cake makers decided to create a cake decorating conference in Vancouver which took place in 2011. We are now planning the 2nd annual conference, bringing instructors from all over North America to Vancouver in October 2012.

Mark Tagulao and his Coca Cola Macarons

Is there a pastry chef or two that inspire you?

  • Adriano Zumbo (Australia)
  • Eric Perez (Thailand)

How would you describe your style of desserts/cakes at Marked Edible Designs?

A twist on old favourites.

What is your favourite Pastry Shop in Vancouver?

Sweet Revenge

What are your favourite cities in the world for pastries?

Sydney, Australia and Manilla, Philippines

The 1st Dessert:

Berry Macaron & Green Tea Macaron

Berry Macaron & Green Tea Macaron

What is in the dessert?

  • Using a mixed berry tea for the filling in the berry macaron.
  • Using a matcha tea for the filling in the green tea macaron.

What was your inspiration behind this dessert?

I love tea, think of a recipe, create the filling, then create the macarons. Adapating recipes.

If you weren’t a pastry chef what do you think you’d be doing?

I think I would be teaching and working with people.

The 2nd Dessert:

Teapolitan Ice Cream Cake

Teapolitan Ice Cream Cake

What is in the dessert?

The ice cream layers were green tea, vanilla/cardamom and earl grey with an almond sponge base.

What was your inspiration behind this dessert?

My love for tea, my friend bought me an ice cream machine for my birthday, I played around.

I understand you recently created the recipes for Cartems Donuterie, tell us how that came about?

Through a mutual friend of Jordan (co-owner of Cartems Donuterie) and I, connected us talking about ideas and then I created the base recipes for chocolate and vanilla and also some specialty flavours – Earl Grey, Bee Stings, and Gluten-free.

What types of dessert oriented products have you been designing/creating?

Cakes, macarons, cookies, ice creams, sugar sculpting, and chocolate making.

The 3rd Dessert:

Genoise Ube

Ube Genoise

What is in the dessert?

Ube essence infused sponge and buttercream.

What was your inspiration behind this dessert?

One of my childhood favourites and its Filipino.

What kinds of classes do you teach?

Sugar pulling, chocolates, cake decorating, macarons.

What are the most unique flavours of Macarons you have made?

Coca Cola, and hopefully a S’mores will be next.

Check out Mark’s Gallery of Cakes

Stay tuned for the next chef in the Star Pastry Chef series.

By: Richard Wolak