The Luxury Travel Bible - GOURMET TRAVEL: Cherish Finden

GOURMET TRAVEL: Executive Pastry Chef, Cherish Finden
SHIOK! (pronounced – shook), Pan Pacific London’s new innovative, Singapore influenced pâtisserie from the luxury hotel’s acclaimed pastry chef Cherish Finden, is now open! Located in Devonshire House, the 146-year-old building adjacent to the hotel and in the heart of Pan Pacific London’s estate, SHIOK! will combine the traditional flavours of Finden’s childhood with her signature flare, bringing a taste of Singapore to London in her first standalone retail space.
Ahead of the opening, Cherish said; ’In Singapore the word SHIOK! conveys a feeling of pure pleasure and happiness and this is what I want to capture. The patisserie is going to be somewhere you will want to bring your loved ones, any time throughout the day for an out-of-this-world pastry. I’m so looking forward to Londoners experiencing what we have in store’.
One of the world’s top pastry chefs, Cherish has worked in some of the most prestigious hotel kitchens in the world as well as becoming a household name as a TV Chef.  Cherish first found her passion for pâtisserie in 1991 with her first role at the iconic Pan Pacific Hotel in Singapore. Now, almost 30 years later she has returned to the group to take on the role of Executive Pastry Chef at Pan Pacific London, the first European outpost for the collection.
Ahead of the exciting new opening, The Luxury Travel Bible spoke to the ‘Bake Off: The Professionals’ Judge about her exciting new venture.

 

 

Tell us more about SHIOK!, located at Pan Pacific London, - what can guests expect?
It will be full of surprises and guests will be introduced to Asian patisseries, not found anywhere in the UK.
How excited are you for the opening of SHIOK!?
Super excited, I have always dreamt of opening my own patisserie.

What is your favourite item on the new SHIOK! menu and why?
My tinned apple! When you look at it you don’t think you could eat it but actually you can eat all of it including the label and ‘tin’. Also not forgetting my lovely chicken curry bun.

What best describes Singapore cuisine, especially when it comes to patisseries?
Elevated flavors, unique ingredients e.g. gulamalaka. Also using a lot of charcoal from coconut husk which is very intriguing. We also use a lot of lemongrass which is a different flavor profile, not necessarily used in normal patisserie. We use a lot of natural colour e.g. dragon fruit powder and matcha for a really rich green.

 

What does 'luxury ' (in relation to travel) mean to you?
Luxury is many different things to different people. For me it means stepping out of your comfort zone to meet and exceed guests expectations.

SHIOK! whilst the product I create is perceived as luxury the environment I want to create for my patisserie is very warm, welcoming and encouraging for all. Making people feel very comfortable when they come to visit me. The service is really important in order to achieve this.

What do you consider to be essential to create a special dining experience.
Service is very important to make people feel welcomed and recognize returning guests and identify what the guests really want and to make it really special for them. Quality and consistency of my product is also really important when creating a special dining experience as well as creating something that is unique to the market.

 Quality and consistency of my product is also really important when creating a special dining experience as well as creating something that is unique to the market.
Which country (in your opinion) has the best cuisine?
Singapore because I think they are very ahead with their food trends, they are fast moving and are very creative when it comes to new dishes and ingredient combinations. The culture really makes the cuisine too.

What was your most memorable meal ever or is that an impossible question to answer?
So many, I recently went to the Akira pop-up at Oakley Court, I loved it. It is authentic Japanese, super tasty and fresh and they cook it all in front of you.

Food creates memories. Is there a dish that instantly evokes a favourite travel experience or destination?
Pad Thai, Green Curry and Tom Yam Soup. Reminds me of my holidays in Thailand with friends. Kho Samui.

When travelling, is there a 'comfort food' dish which reminds you of home?
Hainese Chicken Rice always evokes a memory of home for me and my family

Which item(s) of food sum up luxury for you?
For me it has to be traditional truffle.

Which three foods would you take to a desert island?
Jasmine Bubble Tea, Beans on Toast with a Cheese, Bacon Crisps (I could also put this in-between the bread…)

Open from 7am to 6pm Mon-Fri and 10am to 6pm Sat-Sun, the 25 cover patisserie serves breakfast as well as sweet treats throughout the day which guests can either enjoy in SHIOK! or to take away. Key menu highlights will include a selection of Petit Gateaux which will feature Handbag - inspired by Finden’s mother always buying her mini handbags with classic flavours of lemon and raspberry compote; Chocolate TeaPot - influenced by the Chinese tradition of drinking from the smallest teapot which her grandfather always adhered to and Kopi Tarik - which will feature all the flavours of coffee complete with edible spoon and cup. 
The drinks menu features the Singaporean staple, Bubble Tea, with SHIOK! hailed to offer a wide selection of flavours and colours. Also on the drinks menu will be a selection of Champagnes and wines alongside hot and cold beverages. For breakfast customers will also be able to design their own juices.
Luxury Link: www.panpacificlondon.com

Sarah Bryans 17/06/2022

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