Chef Pang has a bold and ambitious vision to bring the sweet eating culture to a whole new level in the region with his new company, the Sugar Daddy Group. Spearheading this new venture is the flagship brand, Antoinette which 4th store will opened in April 2012 at the prestigious Palais Renaisance that showcases luxurious French Pastries and wholesome classically inspired savouries. Another milestone is the launch of the contemporary diner, Pique Nique which was unveiled in May 2011 at the Takashimaya, which serves up wholesome and hearty American sweets and savouries. The second store is slated to open at Jcube in April 2012.
He became the first Asian Chef to be invited by the prestigious Lecole Vantan in Tokyo, Japan to be a guest chef at the annual Artistic Sweets Collection 2010, an event that was graced by representatives of the Singapore embassy in Tokyo. Only French and Japanese patissiers has been guest chefs on this event in the past, thus this comes as a great recognition to Chef Pangs standings as a leading patissier in the region.
From 2002 to date, Pang has been part of the Singapore National Culinary Team, representing Singapore in several international events in Luxembourg and Kuala Lumpur. In 2005, he was Team Captain for the Coupe du Monde de la Patiserie in Lyon, France. Since 2008, he has been the Team Manager and Coach for the Singapore National Pastry Team, Chef Pang lead the team to winning the Asian Pastry Cup in 2008 and 2010, thus qualifying itself for the World Pastry Cup which will be held in Lyon, France in 2009 and 2011.
Chef Pangs efforts have not gone unrecognised. He was also nominated for the Pastry Chef of the Year Award at the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence in Singapore. In 2006, he was the Pastry Chef for the Singapore Culinary Team that beat 6 other international teams on route to winning the Best Pastry, Best National Team, Best Hot Cooking and Best Cold Display awards.
Chef Pang was named Cacao Barry Pastry Chef of the Year in 2007, PCB Pastry Chef of the Year 2009 and 2010 World Gourmet Summit; the youngest recipient to have won this award three times. He was inducted to the Pastry Chef Hall of Fame in 2011, the youngest to receive such an honour. All this recognition has been a great source of motivation to Chef Pang.
In the 2011 edition of the World Pastry Cup in Lyon, France, Chef Pang led the Singapore National Pastry Team to a 7th place finish. The best result in the history of Singapores participation in this prestigious competition.
Interview with Pang Kok Keong
What does being in the hall of fame mean to you?
This is a very special award and I appreciate the recognition from my peers, I hope that being inducted to the HOF will somehow inspire other professionals in this field to work toward this goal and inevitably, the industry will grow too.
Who / what inspires you?
Patrick Roger for his artistry and interpretation of chocolate, Pierre Herme for his ingenuity. Arts, history, culture inspires me. Gastronomic history is a great source of inspiration for me, learning about what was created in the 18th and 19th century amazes me at how the things we are doing today has been created so long ago can still holds its charms.
Do you have a quote that you live by?
I would rather try and fail than not try at all.
What advice would you give to the younger generation who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Be patient and learn your basics well because creation lacks essence when it does not build on basics. Having integrity as a professional and respect for the profession. Learning to make a product is good, but learning what a good product is, is just as important if not more important, as it gives a cook a good perspective of what a good end product should be.
(For Pastry Chef of the Year) What other pastry techniques would you like to master?
Baking the best bread. I have always been fascinated by bread, the different layers of taste profile a well-made levain bread creates is to me a pure bliss. Bread making dates back more than 30000 years ago, it's of great cultural and historical importance which also requires great science and calculation to achieve an optimum results. This is a form of going back to basic as baking bread only requires the most basic of ingredients and lots of patience, just like being a good cook...