2 minutes with Christy Tania
Occupation: pastry chef/owner
When was the lightbulb moment that you knew you were going to be a pastry chef?
There was not a lightbulb, I fell in love gradually with it. I was actually HUMBLED by it. I left for France to do some 'soul-searching' or whatever people call a quarter-life crisis, ended up in pastry school, ended up working for Ritz Hotel, and just never looked back.
Who were your mentors in the kitchen?
Everyone, from my ex-head chefs, CDPs, the dishwasher, my apprentice, literally everyone. I was thrown into this place which had many challenges: don't speak the language, don't understand the rules, don't understand the role, don't understand the way. They all helped me to shape who I am today. This is a fact.
What was the last cookbook you bought?
Patisserie: Master The Art of French pastry by Melanie Dupuis. It's a going-away gift for one of the students who is going back to his home country to start his own venture :)
Tell us about GLACÉ and how did the shop come to be a yellow submarine?
GLACÉ is a product of picking up my own pieces and a tribute to everyone around me. I was recruited by some very prominent businessmen in the industry to open an ice cream shop in their suburb. I pulled my resources and opened it in 13 days. Working all the way through Christmas period and New Years’; only to be kicked out (together with my whole team) at the end of our first-week opening. I was told that I have no idea how to make dessert. I was told that for someone who is so expensive, I am hard to work with (bear in mind I was paid the same amount of money the head chef of the breakfast café next door was getting). And I never really understood the caveat that if I got paid I have to shut my mouth and keep my opinion to myself). Anyway, I called my family and friends and all of them asked me what am I going to do now. I told them - for my sake - I have to open my own business then; to which they all replied "ABOUT TIME!".
So GLACÉ is about standing up again. Yellow Submarine because my father and my best friend Paula Pezo are such massive Beatles fans. Yellow Submarine also means that whoever works within it, lives inside it, we are all friends here and sky is blue, sea is green as we live in Yellow Submarine. Sounds crazy but we are cool with each other.
What's your favourite ice cream flavour?
Changes every day! But we all eat ice cream every day. True story. Today is hot, so I'm eating my second helping of mandarin sorbet.
Tips for young women wanting to work as a pastry chef?
What we're lack of in one area, we have to work at it more at the other. Like I said, I worked at places where I didn't understand the language. Simply means that I have to work twice as hard. I worked at places where I was the only woman and probably can't lift those 25kg bags of flour that easy, simply means I have to work twice as fast. I worked at places where I didn't know what to say or how to act as the new leader, simply means I have to listen and observe. We start because of passion, we stay because we're stubborn.
You can follow Christy and her ice cream adventures on Instagram @christytania and @glacefrozen