A well-known chef, Farah Quinn is also a loving mother, a passionate baker, a business owner and a traveller, among many other roles. She shares her key to balancing life and work, as well as getting personal with her kids.
by Runi Indrani
E: How do you manage your time between family, work and travelling?
A: The key is to enjoy what I’m doing. When my first child was still young, I was busy working, and now I want to spend more time with both my son and daughter, and I really enjoy that. I also have a good time running my baking business Cookie Love by Farah Quinn, as well as the digital marketing agency Sparta Idea. I think as long as you enjoy everything you do, managing your time is not a problem.
E: You are known more for your sweet treats and baked goods. Do you have a sweet tooth?
A: When I was five years old, I helped my mother make a pudding, and fell in love with all sweet delicacies at that moment. Whenever we travel, we always try to visit a bakery, and I also majored in pastry arts when I was in culinary school. So, even though I’m not as much of a sweet tooth as I was back then, I would say I have a special relationship with the world of baking.
E: What’s your favourite place to get good sweet bites?
A: It’s hard to name just one, as these days we can find many places that offer high-quality afternoon tea, but I’m always impressed by the warm croissants served to the table at The St. Regis Bali Resort. The sweet bites at The Langham, Jakarta are also great.
E: What’s your go-to dessert?
A: Depends on my mood, but if I come to a café and they have soufflé, I will always order that. It’s my all-time favourite.
E: You and your daughter are like best friends. How do you have such a fun and loving relationship with your children?
A: Amaira is a mini-me, whatever I’m doing she likes to join me, from golfing to horse-riding. I always try to listen to everything my kids say – however small it is. I appreciate their opinions, and I try to maintain good, healthy communication with them, while providing guidance and support. I trust them to think for themselves, so that they can learn to make decisions in the future. That’s why I have such close relationships with them.
E: Any advice for anyone who wants to get into the culinary world?
A: You have to have the passion for it, focus on the things you understand, and it doesn’t hurt to study, so don’t be afraid and just go ahead.
- Pineapple filling
- 1kg fresh pineapple, peeled and sliced
- 180g sugar
- 30g butter
- 80g rice malt syrup
- 100g margarine
- 80g butter
- 100g fine granulated sugar
- ¼tsp salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 25g corn starch
- 30g milk powder
- 20g edam cheese
- 250g flour
- Blend the pineapple slices in a blender little by little to make pineapple puree.
- Put the pineapple puree in a pan with a teaspoon of salt. Cook over a medium low heat until it thickens, then add sugar – adjust depending on the sweetness of the pineapple. Add rice malt syrup to add texture. Add butter as the mix thickens, stir. Leave to cool, then store in the fridge. Once cold, shape into 10g (or ½ tablespoon) balls.
- Mix margarine, butter, sugar and salt in a mixer. Add egg yolks, mix. Add vanilla extract, mix. Add corn starch, milk powder, edam cheese, flour, mix well. Continue to mix using hands until the texture gets firm.
- Separate about 100g of dough, add a drop of green food colouring for the pineapple leaves. Portion the green dough into 5g balls, and the regular dough into 30g balls.
- To make the pineapple-shaped tarts, place a pineapple jam ball into a regular dough ball and roll again in your hands to cover all of the jam. Dust the pineapple-shaped mould with a little flour, then place a green dough ball over the leaf part, before gently pushing in a dough-pineapple ball to cover the rest of the mould, flatten. Place on a baking tray and repeat until all the dough has been used.
- Brush the pineapple tarts with one egg yolk mixed with a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Heat oven to 150 degrees Celsius, bake for 15 to 20 minutes.