Student blog: Baking the best of Brisbane - a sweet tooth's journey
Aurora is from Taiwan and she is pursuing an Advanced Diploma of Management in Patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu. You can find her healthy dessert recipes on Instagram and Facebook.
Dàjiā hǎo (大家好) - Hello everyone,
My name is Hsu Shu-Han (許舒涵), but you can call me Aurora, like the Disney princess.
I grew up in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, where sweets and desserts are king - with the likes of shaved ice, tofu pudding, grass jelly, Aiyu (愛玉) jelly, mochi, bubble milk tea, and more. I realised in my hometown that life had a simple formula: desserts = happiness. While the joy may only be fleeting, it’s those moments that help you escape from all your troubles and worries. It was this discovery that made me dream of becoming a pastry chef, bringing happiness to people all over the world. To make my dream come true, I had to move somewhere with a better education system that encouraged careers outside of typical office jobs.
My family and I moved to the Gold Coast where I completed my final years of high school, before moving up to Brisbane . I started studying at Le Cordon Bleu's School of Culinary Arts because I believe this is where my sweet dream of becoming a pastry chef will come true. It is my first year alone in Brisbane and it’s a journey that is both exciting and scary, with the occasional helping of stress, but I can’t say I regret this decision to move. I left people behind in Taiwan, and I had to leave people behind again on the Gold Coast, but Brisbane is where I believe I am supposed to be.
Brisbane has been amazing to me. Walking among the cities buildings I feel so small and insignificant among crowds of people from different walks of life. Words can’t describe how beautiful Brisbane can be - have you seen the Victoria Bridge at night?
The year is only half done, and I have already learnt so much and am craving the possibility of learning even more. The quality of education here just amazed me, as for the first time, I feel like I can work and learn for myself and not just for social and academic ranking. The teachers here at Le Cordon Bleu are professionals in their work, and their passion is reflected in their teaching.
I have learnt how to make a variety of desserts such as croissants, profiterole, mirror cakes, fruit tarts and danishes, which of course I post to Instagram, and I have even gotten messages from followers and friends saying they’ll pay me to make a cake for them. The best part about making cakes is the reaction from people when they taste one of my creations. Seeing their eyes roll back in enjoyment or lighting up with pleasure makes me happy and reassures me of my passion. I dream of opening my first cake shop after my placements and eventually launching pastry and bakery stores all over the world. I believe moving to Brisbane has lit the fuse for this sweet dream of mine.
Brisbane has lots of great food on offer. It kept me going through my first year. The continuing influence from Asia creates new restaurants and cafés that a foodie like me loves to visit on my days off, or during breaks with friends. I enjoy taking my Gold Coast friends out and about or introducing overseas students to restaurants and seeing them enjoy the same food that I love. From Malatang to Korean BBQ, to Hotpot to Korean Fried-Chicken, all the classics are here in Brisbane, and don’t forget bubble tea!
I even have a list of cafes that are simply a must-try, including the likes of Sonder Desserts and B+C Lab, Cowch, Icingchill Café and more, which will be posted about on my social media shortly so stay tuned! Sunnybank and Garden City are also my all-time favourite suburbs to head to when I want to grab some food with friends. Brisbane is just so big - I am continually finding new places to eat at, and I love it.
I was chosen as one of Brisbane International Student Ambassadors this year, and I honestly love the idea of this program. Not only did it help me find more friends, but it creates a network and friendships that last a lifetime and will serve me well into the future. To anyone outside of Australia who is contemplating chasing a new chapter of their life somewhere new, I highly recommend looking at Brisbane. We may even cross paths in the future.