East Meets West Afternoon Tea by The Baking Jin – Cambridgeshire (UK)

On August 11, 2018 talented baker Jin Yee Chung of The Baking Jin hosted his very first pop up, titled East Meets West. I was delighted to experience Jin’s take on Afternoon Tea, along with a group of guests who were eager to try his bakes or have been long time fans. The pop up took place at Romano’s, the welcoming home of Paola Davies-Romano which is set up for her popular supper clubs and cookery classes. We all gathered around an inviting communal table on a Saturday afternoon.

Jin, who hails from Borneo, is a software engineer by day (that’s Dr Jin – he has a PhD) and a baker by night. After winning the Cambridge Bake Off in 2015 with his stunning DNA cake, Jin continued baking, experimenting and perfecting his cakes. He is known for his light and airy chiffon cakes and has a growing list of customers for private orders. He also supplies a few cafés and has been featured in The Cambridgeshire Cook Book (2015) and The Cambridgeshire Cook Book: Second Helpings (2018).

East Meets West was loosely based on the concept of Afternoon Tea with a sweet and savoury parade of fusion dishes from Jin’s native Malaysia and beyond, paired with two intriguing teas: Jiaogulan and Chrysanthemum.

We were welcomed with a gorgeous mocktail which Jin named Blue Purple, because it changed colour. A carafe of lime-honey liquid was poured into each glass of blue pea flower liquid, which changed the colour of the mocktail from blue to purple. The batch of blue pea flowers, grown in the garden of Jin’s late grandparents in Malaysia, was picked and dried by his aunties. How special is that? On a more local note the honey was from East Hatley, only 15 miles from Cambridge. A pandan leaf was placed into the mocktail for a hit of its sweet, vanilla-like aroma. We nibbled on lobster crackers and keropok (prawn crackers) before we took our seats.

Photo by Ozzy Beck

Continue reading

The Cambridgeshire Cook Book Launch – Cambridge (UK)

The Cambridgeshire Cook Book, published by Meze Publishing, is a celebration of the vibrant food and drink scene on our doorstep. I followed the cook book’s progress and as soon as it was released, I snapped up a copy! So I was thrilled when I was invited to attend the official launch. It was held at The Shack, which is a rather snazzy covered outdoor space at Gog Magog Hills, perfect for an event like this.

Cook Book Launch

Gerla de Boer

The launch was organised by Gerla de Boer of Cambridge Food Tour, who wrote the cook book’s welcome message. In attendance were many of the people and independent businesses featured in The Cambridgeshire Cook Book, as well as Paul Cocker and Lisa Pullen of Meze Publishing.

Collage Cambridgeshire Cook Book

The Cambridgeshire Cook Book features over 40 recipes by the region’s chefs, restaurants, cafés, pubs, shops, producers and suppliers. It includes a Recommended Wine List, compiled by Cambridge Wine Merchants, to pair with some of the recipes in the book. Great idea!

Continue reading