Finding the right pastry school

“Kul IN is in a small town, but that allows you to really concentrate on pastries. Staff are friendly and really supportive, it is fun and you really get that one on one experience. It is not like in many other schools where you have to work in pairs or groups, where you don’t get to do everything nor go through the whole process on your own."

Angeline Ong is a Pastry alumna who came to Kul IN at the age of 26. Her passion and desire for baking brought her straight from her hometown of Perth, Australia. Angeline was one of those students who always wanted to know more, going through books, formulas, trying new flavour combinations…from spending time at the Kul IN spice garden to traveling to Zagreb on the weekends to grab some exotic ingredient, she always had that same spark of curiosity. After finishing the program at Kul IN, Angeline interned in Split in one of the best Croatian pastry shops O'š kolač. The pastry shop is owned by one of the most talented Croatian pastry chefs Tea Mamut, who finished the pastry program in New York at Culinary Institute of America. Angeline’s pastry story has just began, and we are sure her pastries will soon be very popular in Australia!

I always knew I wanted to become a Pastry chef

- I was born and bred Australian, from Perth. I think I always knew I wanted to become a pastry chef. I loved trying new things, and travelling to different countries. Growing up, I actually wanted to be either an accountant or a chef, but then one thing lead to another and I fell in love with the environment and studied in that. However, in the past few years whenever I found it was stressful, I resorted to baking – it kind of made me feel better, happier.  

Growing beside my favorite cook

- Dad is a chef. He was Italian-trained and then he moved to the Singaporean food style, so I guess that is where I got my love for food from. Every time he was cooking, I was standing there watching him, trying the spices. When he would marinate things, we would always both try it. The first cake I made was when I was very young. It is called Pandan Chiffon Cake, an Asian type of specialty cake. I think I was ten when I baked it the first time; my auntie taught me how to do it. Afterwards, my mum used to always ask me to make it for her friends for birthday parties.

Pastries come first

- I love food and cooking as well, but I am a very structured person and with the cooking sometimes you’ve got to go by the feeling or touch and I am not confident with that, whereas with pastries you kind of follow the formula, from there you’ve got the base, and afterwards you can be little bit creative with the flavours.

I just love making cakes/pastries, I love seeing people eat it and really enjoy it.

Environmental science and working for government

- I completed a double bachelor degree in commerce and environmental science. Currently, I am working for the government and deal with regulations. When our State wants to change or implement a new regulation, they need to come through us, and then we asses it for the economic, social, or environmental impact. We look at the impacts and question whether there are alternatives to the proposal or if implementation can be improved. Once we find it compliant, they are then able to go to Parliament.

Finding the right pastry school

- I made 2017 to be the year of me, so I wanted to see if I can make a career out of the Pastry profession. For that reason, I decided to get educated in pastries. First, I wanted to do a short course at night or courses on the weekends, but I didn’t really find anything that suited my needs—it was always a fulltime type of thing. So I thought to myself, “If I want to do that, I might as well go to another city or country as well.” I started to look through schools in Melbourne because my sister is there. I saw Le Cordon Bleu and it was very expensive, so I was like, “If I am going to do Le Cordon Bleu I might as well go to UK.” So I started to think about UK, then the whole Brexit thing started to happen and that put me off a bit. I also wanted to go to France but the whole terrorism situation scared me so I looked at different countries in Europe.

I have looked at schools through Croatia, Germany, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland. Kul IN had the right amount of time, it wasn’t too expensive, it included everything I wanted to learn, and the timing was good for me in terms of availability of enrolments throughout the year. I contacted a few Kul IN pastry alumni, to see what they felt about the school and to give me honest feedback. Kul IN seemed to be the right place for me. I also ‘stalked’ photos on Facebook to see the things I would be learning, the things I would be making, and it looked great -  I think doing this really helped me to decide this was the place. 

Studying at Kul IN

- I absolutely loved it, I just loved baking every day, being in the element. Marko is a great teacher, he really cares about us. There was a moment that really stood out for me – it was a time when Zdravko in management class said ‘I really wish you guys well’. That comment was so genuine and sincere – its moments like this where you know you are truly valued. The support we had before the exams was amazing, the fact that everyone was really behind us, they wanted us to learn and grow. They wanted us to succeed - we weren’t just the number to them we were people following our dreams. That really gave me a lot of confidence in myself and my abilities. 

Kul IN is in a small town, but that allows you to really concentrate on pastries. Staff are friendly and really supportive, it is fun, and you really do get that one-on-one experience. It is not like in many other schools where you have to work in pairs or groups, where you don’t get to do everything nor go through the whole process on your own. Here we had a chance to do it all and we got to make our own mistakes. Our Pastry instructor Marko would give us time to redo things where you actually learn the skills and techniques. You learn what you want to learn, you learn as much as you put in, but they also push you.

Creating my own brand of pastries

- Eventually I would like to set up my own business, and sell online. Like a catering business. The plan then, is to have a client base and develop my own brand, I want to sell to cafés and similar places as well as continue to cater companies. I know it is a long journey ahead, but as long as I am doing what I am passionate in – what else can I ask for? 

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