CHI WAI - FOUNDER AND PATISSIER
Hong Kong-born Chi Wai has always had a fascination with the art of patisserie. When she was working as an internal auditor, she was already baking and experimenting recipes at home. Her passion has only grown since, which has resulted in her taking a nutrition course and even went as far as London to be trained at the renowned Le Cordon Bleu.
What originally started as a break from work to take on a one-year course, turned out to be a life-changing experience for Wai. The intensive training at the esteemed institute and an internship at Hilton London Metropole had equipped her with the craftsmanship and reaffirmed her desire to pursue her dream and to share the art and her love of patisserie with like-minded aficionados.
Upon her return to Hong Kong, Wai mustered up the courage and gave it a try in opening an online cake shop. Later, she was being invited to supply cakes and pastries for a coffee shop. Seeing that her creations have amassed a passionate following which motivated Wai to open her own J’aime bien Patisserie in 2013. Located at the end of St. Francis Street, it is a hidden gem in the charming Star Street neighborhood. “I envision my patisserie to be located in a place where diners can savor my creations in a relaxed and enjoyable ambiance,” Wai explained.
From the moment the customers enter the shop, the journey of exploration begins. Customers will be welcomed by a series of beautifully-displayed containers featuring hand-made wool felt models of the signature cakes. Wai and her colleagues will then explain to the customers each creation, such that the customers can listen and appreciate, while choosing the most preferred option to enjoy.
True to the classic French pastry-making technique, Wai injects her own personality and experiments with different ingredients, flavors and textures to craft an array of exquisite and palatable collections of classic and innovative desserts. “I love to create delectable surprises for the customers and in order to achieve this, the selection of ingredients is crucial to my creations. Being born and raised in Asia, I have the benefit of knowing the special Asian flavours, so why not incorporate these elements in my creations? Like ginger, tofu and sakura.”
Wai’s philosophy is straightforward. “The presentation of my creations are simple and clean. What truly “wow” the diners would be the inner beauty – the marrying of various flavors and textures, and the story behind each creation.” Wai has a strong sense of mission about sharing her passion and knowledge, she came up with a “Eat Share Fun” concept of hosting FUN Patisserie Club talking about a specific kind of patisserie each time. The classes are designed for customers to learn to better appreciate the different kinds of delicacies, which reflects Wai’s motto – Sharing is Fun. Patisserie is
In June 2019, the shop located at St. Francis Street was closed. Wai is excited to announce the new plan when it's ready!
Outside the pastry kitchen, Wai enjoys and cherishes the time with her family and travelling around the world.