Interview with Andrew Han

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Andrew Han | 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.

Andrew attended culinary and pastry school in 2011 at the Northwest Culinary Academy. His first job after graduation was as Pastry Chef and bread baker at La Quercia and La Ghianda in Kitsilano. After that he worked as a Sous Chef at Cadeaux Bakery in Gastown. He then joined Chau Veggie Express as the Pastry Chef and has been there ever since.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter @sugardaddyinc

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Did you always want to be a pastry chef?

It never even crossed my mind, though as a teenager I did some baking just for fun.

Do you follow or apply a specific food design?

There seems to be a common thread in what I do. I like the classics, and I am trying to reinvent the classics currently. Slightly twisting the desserts people are familiar with.

Where do you get inspiration?

A lot of it comes from memories, many flavours and ingredients are from my mother who cooked Vietnamese while I was growing up. I try to bring them back in a modern form.

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Is there a pastry chef or two that inspire you?

  • Chef Elizabeth Faulkner
  • Christina Tosi

How would you describe your style of desserts/cakes at Chau Veggie Express?

Classics in a modern way with Asian flavours. I am currently using SE Asian Flavours as well as Japanese.

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What is your favourite Pastry Shop in Vancouver outside of where you work?

Cadeaux Bakery

What are your favourite cities in the world for pastries?

City Cakes in New York

The 1st Dessert:

Caramelized Banana Cheesecake

Caramelized Banana Cheesecake

Caramelized Banana Cheesecake with brown butter and walnut crust and coconut crème sauce (Gluten free)

What is in the dessert?

Cream cheese, bananas, rum, caramel, walnuts, brown butter and coconut.

What was your inspiration behind this dessert?

I imagined this when I was going to culinary school. I love cheesecake and the coconut crème was an ingredient to use.

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

An entertainer

The 2nd Dessert:

Coconut Vanilla Bean Tapioca

Coconut Vanilla Bean Tapioca

Coconut Vanilla Bean Tapioca with pineapple vanilla bean compote, and with roasted almond and black sesame crumble (Vegan)

What is in the dessert?

Coconut Vanilla Bean Tapioca with pineapple vanilla bean compote, and with roasted almond and black sesame crumble

What was your inspiration behind this dessert?

As I was growing up, reminded me of things that I ate (Vietnamese), using almonds instead of peanuts, and I love tapioca.

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

Vegan Ice Cream

The 3rd Dessert:

Pandan Leaf and Kale Vegan Ice Cream

Pandan Leaf and Kale Vegan Ice Cream

Pandan Leaf and Kale Vegan Ice Cream

What is in the dessert?

Coconut milk, rice flour, salt, pandan leaf and kale

What was your inspiration behind this dessert?

I grew up eating Pandan, and I always loved the flavour of it. This Pandan flavour is one of my favourites and adding the kale adds a modern twist.

What are the most unique flavours of Vegan Ice cream you have ever made?

  • Coconut Pandan and Kale
  • Lemongrass and basil

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

By: Richard Wolak