7 things in her bag: Magdalene See

7 things in her bag: Magdalene See
Fly Entertainment artist and host Magdalene See.

Fly Entertainment artist Magdalene See has loved baking since she was a child.

So it is apt that she is hosting the finals of this year's SCS Star Baker Challenge. The inaugural contest, organised by local dairy brand SCS, has been going on for three months and culminates in the finals on Sunday at the APS Lifestyle Gallery.

See, 33, recalls: "As a kid, baking cookies at my grandmother's house was such a thrill. It was so pleasant, touching and tasting the dough, and forming it into cookies."

As a teenager, she would bake brownies as she loved eating them. When she lived in Vancouver from 2009 to 2012 while her husband was doing his master's degree there, she completed a six-month diploma in bread and pastry with the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver, and graduated top of her class.

In her last year in Vancouver, she worked in pastry chef Thierry Busset's patisserie, Thierry. The Frenchman has worked as a pastry chef at three Michelin starred restaurants in London, namely Le Gavroche and Marco Pierre White.

At the end of her stint, he gave her chef and restaurateur Michel Roux's book, Pastry, which she has been referring to for baking tips ever since.

"It was a joy working at Thierry as the staff were very willing to guide me," See says.

She considered setting up a baking business upon returning to Singapore, but put it on hold after speaking to friends in the food and beverage industry.

She says: "They shared that factory rents are high and it's tough to hire people. I still want to have a business but only if I can find the right partners, investors and location."

Now, she bakes the bread and desserts when she and her husband, a 36-year-old pastor, host dinner parties. She says her custom-made cakes - which look like Minions from the movie Despicable Me and buses, for instance - are her signature creations.

Last year, while on a trip with her church, she taught the women in the Lorega slum community in Cebu in the Philippines to make pastries such as steamed banana cakes.

Asked if she has any role models in baking, See, who has a recipe blog, www.faitmaisonblog.com, names Israeli pastry chef Ron-Ben Israel, known for his edible showpieces, and French pastry chef Pierre Herme.

The host, who has been in show business for 10 years, will appear next month on My Food Story, a series by local food channel Food For Life TV, where she speaks to celebrities about their favourite dishes.

Eventually, See hopes to combine her love for hosting and baking by having her own baking show. She wants to become "a local Giada", referring to Italian celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis, who hosts Giada At Home on the Food Network Channel.

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