Banker to baker
Article from the Sun daily by Jessica Chua (posted on 14 January 2016)
MARCUS Low may be a familiar face to those who have been religiously following the Asian rendition of the internationally acclaimed MasterChef competition.
Sporting his signature fedora, which he started wearing to avoid bad hair days, Low brought pride to Malaysia last month when he won second place in the competition with his mouth-watering dishes.
Low’s adventure in the kitchen began when his family’s maid ran away, leaving them with no one to cook proper meals for him and his sister.
“My mother was busy at the time, so I was forced to cook on my own after getting tired of eating frozen food,” recalled the 24-year-old.
Low made his first proper dish, bruschetta, for his family after tasting it at an Italian restaurant. Soon, he discovered the fun in cooking, and has recently quit his job at the bank to solely focus in culinary arts. The young baker plans to open a dessert shop one day, but in the meantime, he said, “I will be selling cakes online, and setting up a few pop-up restaurants for people to try my cooking.”
How do you resonate with the Dessert King title?
I did not have a sweet tooth growing up, but during my time spent studying in Melbourne I was exposed to many mouth-watering desserts. It changed my mind about desserts and from then on, I felt that it was my duty to create desserts that will capture the same emotions I had when I was first introduced to the amazing desserts.
What is your favourite dessert?
I love all desserts as long as they are made with thought and care. I love desserts that tell a story of the chef, where he’s from, and the ingredients he chooses to highlight.
Which confection do you whip up best?
My best dish would be the chocolate and calamansi cake that I make very often for people who buy cakes from me. I first tried a similar dish in Australia that had a sour passion fruit curd, which I then improvised with calamansi, a local ingredient.
What keeps cooking and baking exciting for you?
I gather inspirations from my childhood as well as local cuisine and produce. I always try to celebrate a local ingredient or cuisine. It is about utilising what you have around you, and what you can make out of it to stand out from the others.
Tell us about your experience on reality TV.
The experience was amazing and something I will treasure for life. It really makes you appreciate what goes on behind the scenes, and what makes a TV show. Cooking on a competitive reality show may seem easy from an audience’s point of view, but it is so much more difficult when you’re really in it!
What is your recipe for success?
Learn from your failures. I have not got to where I am without experiencing countless failures. It is really about what you do after your failures; whether you pick yourself up, learn what went wrong and try another way around it, or sit and lament your failures.
Pet: A Pomeranian named Twinkle.
All-time favourite dish: Chilli pan mee.
Education: Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Finance, University of Melbourne.
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