Slovenia—Romel Lapay doesn’t consider himself a pastry chef but rather a hobbyist and a home baker. He still recalls how he was always mesmerized when the host opens a packet of butter although he didn’t have any idea of what it was back then.
Fast forward to today, he has loads of butter in his fridge at home.
Romel did not have formal training and has never attended pastry school. His first exposure to baking was in 2002 working in a school canteen in the capital of Bohol. He learned how to make basic bread and chiffon cake out of curiosity. A few months after he found himself making a wedding cake. When he discovered the internet, he watched YouTube videos to get ideas. He read recipes in books and magazines. He even collected milk and pineapple can labels containing recipes. But he went on a baking hiatus for almost 10 years due to his work abroad and only reconnected with what he loves most in the spring of 2019.
Pastry is precision, but also inventiveness and creativity. After moving to Slovenia, he learned to incorporate the basic way of making well-loved Filipino bread with the European touch, think of brioche making, precise and meticulous, elegant and chic.
Certainly it is important to know the basics of pastry and to study how these have been used differently from country to country, from region to region even in Slovenia. In the kitchen, his greatest passion has always been to create and experiment with something new, especially in the confectionery sector improving his techniques and methods with practice.
Over the years he has developed and continuously improved his signature carrot cake and pan de coco recipes.
Romel has a vision board and sketch of his dream bakery, a tiny but very homey feel with a wide glass window that will showcase his great passion for decorated cakes, sweets, and everything related to the world of baking.
With a pinch of pride and satisfaction, his cakes and bread are the results of a lot of effort, time, tests, and many hours of practice. All this allowed him to obtain good self-taught results.
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