EVERY SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS is built upon a solid foundation paved by its people who have toiled day in, day out. At the core of Cedele, we believe in feeding people well. As we turn 20 this July, we want to share the limelight with our daily heroes who have made the business of feeding people a dream come true. Discover the different pairs of hands who have contributed to this reality and join us in celebrating their hard work to mark this milestone.
(L to R: Ko Khan Yeng and Lim Tian Seng, Junior Sous Chefs in the cake department)
[On how a typical day in the cake department is like]: "We create many, many cakes a day. It’s a team effort, because everyone plays a part in every step of production.”
Ko Khan Yeng
How long have you worked here and what attracted you to this job?
I have been here for 6 years. Cedele’s ethos for healthier food options was one reason why I joined the company.
What have you gained from your time in Cedele?
A second family! It’s like a family environment here. I’ve also learnt skills like how to manage a team, and have also grown personally, character-wise. And of course, I’ve learnt a healthier way of baking.
Which cakes are you most proud of?
The Christmas log cakes. It’s a time for me to brainstorm with Ms Cheng and be innovative when making decisions with regards to the flavours for the year.
Share something that people don’t know about you.
Before baking, I did some farming back in Malaysia. I was in charge of digging up sweet potatoes.
Lim Tian Seng
What good memories do you savour of your time in Cedele?
I’ve only been here 2 years but I will always remember my colleagues, how we worked and fought battles together.
What’s your favourite Cedele cake?
I really like our Chocolate Banana Espresso cake. [Click here to watch Ah Lim put finishing touches on this cake!]
Is there a busy period in the year?
Yes! Christmas season is the most challenging period because we get lots of orders and the cakes are usually more complex to make.
How have you grown into your role as a Junior Sous Chef in the cake department?
I’ve become more effective in managing the department and handling the more administrative stuff like scheduling.
How long have you been working here?
I have been here for 12 years, but I’ve been a baker for over 20 years.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Honestly, I like the challenge. I also like when I work with Ms Cheng to come up with the new breads.
How is a typical day in the bread department like and when is the busiest period in the year?
Because of the amount of bread we produce daily, the team makes them in two shifts. Easter is our busiest period of the year because we are constantly producing hot cross buns to meet the demand.
What have you learnt from your time at Cedele?
It’s important to stay humble. If you’re managing a team, you need to set an example for them to follow.
How was your first day of work at Cedele?
I actually started as a baker in Cedele, 14 years ago. I spent 3 months working in the bread department before moving on to the hot kitchen.
How have you changed since you started working here?
I came in as a blank slate, not knowing any skills. I’ve learnt a lot in my time here. I still remember the first soup I learnt to cook was our Mushroom soup. [Click here to watch Connie prepare some mushroom soup!]
Which product are you especially proud of?
Actually I’m proud of how far our Chinese New Year Pineapple Pockets have come. The demand for it has multiplied since when we first started. It’s so satisfying!
Share some good memories you’ve had of your time here.
It’s been exciting to work with Ms Cheng over the years. When I started out, there were less outlets and she would be the one teaching me recipes in the kitchen. She also knows when to have fun, and how to appreciate her workers after a particularly tough period of work.
How would you describe Ms Cheng?
She is accommodating and encourages growth. She even attended when I graduated with a diploma in Baking years ago.
“It’s quite amazing to think that all that Ms Cheng dreamed of for Cedele years ago has come true!”
Mizan Abd. Jalil
How was your first day at Cedele?
I started as a kitchen helper 17 years ago, making salads for 3 outlets. Then there was less than 10 staff members in the company.
What’s the best thing about working at Cedele?
The flexible working hours and a good boss who is considerate. Ms Cheng even visited my husband when he was in the hospital.
Share a good memory of working in Cedele.
Back when there was much less staff in Cedele, I would cook lunch (Mee Rebus, Mee Siam, Rendang etc.) every day for everyone.
Share something people don’t know about you.
Before working at Cedele, I worked as a machinist at Singapore Aerospace Manufacturing for 7 years.
"I am also proud of this sandwich [Rosemary Chicken] because when it was first introduced in 1999 in the CBD area, many of the sandwiches available then were mostly processed. But ours was and continues to be made from scratch, using a rather long process. I’m thankful and proud of our team for having the patience and integrity to continue making it this way."
This month marks the 20th year since our founder, Ms Yeap Cheng Guat started The Bakery Depot along Upper East Coast road. What began as a simple desire to make honest food has turned into a fulfilling journey of creating nourishing eats for your wellbeing.
To celebrate this exciting journey, we're zooming in on the people who make Cedele what it is today. We're taking a look at the hands that feed you. First, we sit down with our founder, affectionately know to most as Ms Cheng, to understand what inspired Cedele and what she envisions for the future.
Before you started The Bakery Depot [Cedele’s first outlet], you were working in MNCs. What inspired you to start working in the food industry and eventually set up Cedele?
Since my college days in the US, I was always cooking or baking for my friends. I’d make shortbread and eggrolls to sell on the side for some extra money. Or we’d have warm steamboat in the cold winter nights. Even when I started working, I’d bake brownies or cookies for my colleagues and they would comment that I should start a bakery.
One colleague in particular stuck a post-it note on my desk when he was going away for a short holiday. It said "The best ideas are in the graveyard, so don’t keep yours there." That gave me a much needed push to be brave and follow my dreams to open a bakery.
What has been the greatest challenge in starting and running Cedele?
Honestly, I find the greatest challenge over the years has been to collect a group of people who can work together and run the business coherently. The team we currently have is very special to me. Many of them have been with Cedele for many years. I hope that working with us through the years would give them positive attitudes to life.
If you could pick one Cedele dish you are most proud of, what would it be?
[Laughs] This is such a difficult question! I think it will be our Rosemary Chicken Sandwich. I came up with the recipe around Christmas and was inspired by the flavours common to Thanksgiving in the States. I am also proud of this sandwich because when it was first introduced in 1999 in the CBD area, many of the sandwiches available then were mostly processed. But ours was and continues to be made from scratch, using a rather long process. I’m thankful and proud of our team for having the patience and integrity to continue making it this way. The sandwich is single-minded in flavour and exemplifies what real food is all about.
What is one lesson you’ve learnt from running Cedele?
In the many years of running Cedele, one of the greatest lessons I've learnt has been to listen. Through the years I have met many amazing people, many of whom have indirectly become my life coaches. Some have taught me about business, about managing my emotions and even encouraged me to go against the grain and pursue my dream. I am extremely grateful to each one of them. They have taught me about life and have inspired me to live by these words: "be kind and help others".
Where do you draw inspiration for new products/food? Any culinary inspirations?
Inspiration is infinite, it’s really everywhere. Since the early years of Cedele, I have been drawing inspiration from my interaction with customers. But specifically, I find myself drawn to personal stories about food that people prepare from the heart. It can be a home baker’s blog or a cookbook that explains the coming together of different cultures and flavours. I believe food is meant to communicate oneness.
[What about chefs who inspire you?] Oh, I really admire Nigel Slater. I think I have all his books. I would really love to cook for him one day.
What are your future dreams for Cedele?
I hope that Cedele will become synonymous with eating healthier and taking care of oneself. For 20 years I have promised myself that what we serve must be as good as how I would feed my own family and friends. We want to continue upholding that in the future, to be cooking and respecting food as it should be enjoyed and eaten.
Want to go behind the scenes? We find out some kitchen secrets chatting with the people behind all that moreish goodness at Cedele.
IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW, next month is pretty special because we're celebrating our birthday! To commemorate, we're looking back at some milestones in our history to honour and celebrate the past 20 years. Join us!
As we look back on our history, we are overwhelmed with gratitude, knowing that we couldn't have done it without your support! Stay tuned, we have exciting new products and promotions planned in the coming month. Follow along on Facebook or Instagram as we countdown to 20th birthday in July. (Spot our hashtag #20dayscountdown)
THIS FATHER'S DAY, we're celebrating dads - not just the ones who bring home the bacon, but the ones who'd flip it and make the family breakfast. We celebrate dads who cook up storms in kitchens and are proud to feed their families oh so well.
Known to most given their celebrity status as famous chefs on TV, Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver are fine examples of fathers who never fail to show their love in the kitchen with their Brady bunches.
While Ramsay is known for his fiery temper on his reality TV shows, a peek into his family life reveals a softer side to the chef. The father of four teenagers playfully embarrasses his kids in 'Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch', a TV show hosted by Ramsay's youngest, 16-year-old Matilda. See his fatherly side as he whips up moreish easy-to-cook meals with his kids in 'Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Home Cooking'.
On the other hand, Jamie Oliver is known for his well-intentioned "Food Revolution", with a mission to give every child the food they deserve. Likewise, he is generous with his 5 kids, often including them in his shows and letting them help with the cooking.
Moving closer to home, dads who take on the role as the cook at home are often seen as inspirational role models, feeding their families to the envy of many.
Local Mediacorp actor Ben Yeo actively shares about the meals he prepares for his sons. Having published a cookbook, the SHATEC (Singapore Hotel and Tourism Education Centre) graduate takes the lead as a young father, taking the initiative to share his love for food with his two sons while running his food enterprises.
In spite of his busy schedule as a Mediacorp artiste, Yeo still finds the time to cook with his elder son, Javier. He believes this helps "build a bond between parent and child" and we couldn't agree more. If you're hoping to start cooking for the young ones at your home, check out Yeo's debut cookbook, 'Cooking For Kids' for a tip or two.
Cedele celebrates dads
Whether your dad is a Masterchef or a weekend home cook, give him a well-deserved break and treat him to a wholesome feast at Cedele. We've got a special cake that will add a sweet touch to your celebration this Father's Day. Our Espresso Hazelnut Praline cake is dark and rich, with a strong coffee cake base, topped with crunchy hazelnut praline and chocolate shards; pretty much how our fathers are like, robust but a sweetheart in unexpected ways.
Check out Cedele Market online to pre-order this cake and collect with ease from any of our outlets.
Here's to the world's greatest dads out there.
THE BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION of Singapore (BCF) turns 20 this year! We join their celebrations being in the pink of health with a cake collaboration. Earlier in the week, we unveiled the Pink Ribbon cake at BCF's 20th Anniversary Exhibition launch event at VivoCity.
Pink Ribbon Cake
With a light vanilla chia seed cake as its core, the Pink Ribbon cake is studded with pistachio and finished with raspberry frosting. In line with our Eat Well, Be Well ethos, we have mindfully crafted the cake using extra virgin olive oil and organic unrefined sugar. The cake also bears the Breast Cancer Foundation's signature double pink ribbons.
Set up in 1997, BCF is a non-profit organization with a mission to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. BCF is committed to raising awareness through talks, events and publications that advocate early detection through regular screening. They also support survivors and their families through counselling and training activities.
This year they celebrate 20 years of good work and we're glad to be a part of their milestone occasion with the Pink Ribbon cake, personally designed by our founder, Ms Yeap Cheng Guat.
Keep your eyes peeled as the cake goes on sale at Cedele outlets later this year, in October! 20% of proceeds from the sales will go towards supporting the foundation in their cause and efforts. In the same month, BCF will also be hosting a Pink Ribbon Walk. Follow BCF on Facebook for more details about upcoming events.
(BCF's 20th Anniversary Exhibition launch, photo from BCF Facebook)
"A mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take."
If we're being honest, most of us would agree that we take our mothers for granted. We definitely need more than just one day to celebrate our mothers. So with Mother's day round the corner on 14 May, what are you going to do?
While some celebrate their mothers by making them front page news, here at Cedele, we're sticking to what we do best. Introducing our Lychee Rose cake, exclusively crafted for Mother's day! Read on below to find out what is in this delectable cake.
It's not too late to treat your mum to a slice of our Lychee Rose cake. At its core, it is a soft, tender vanilla cake layered generously with lychee compote. It is then topped with rose water scented frosting for a delicious, perfumed finish. A cake fit for the most important woman in your life, wouldn't you say?
WE KNOW HOW MUCH you love our classic cakes, especially our Carrot Walnut and our Gula Melaka Pandan cakes. But we're eager for you to try our new cakes, we're pretty sure they will be your favourites too.
Apple Cinnamon Olive Oil cake
We know how well apple and cinnamon taste together. Hence, we've created a moist, tender apple cake, frosted with sea salt and cinnamon cream cheese. The most unique part is that we've used extra virgin olive oil in this cake. We love how it produces a lighter, textured crumb. Moreover, using olive oil cuts back on the cholesterol and saturated fat content of our cake. This moist cake is also topped with crunchy oat-nut granola.
Yuzu Raspberry Cheesecake
If you're more of a cheesecake fan, our newest Yuzu Raspberry cheesecake will be your best bet. We pair the sweetness of raspberry with the citrus hints of yuzu to create a cheesecake that is light and refreshing. This cake is also one of textures. Enjoy bits of ground pistachio that line the edge of the cake, and the smooth, generous raspberry mirror glaze that tops it.
Pro tip: take advantage of our tea time special
Pop by one of outlets for a leisurely afternoon or a break from work. We suggest getting the cake set. It includes a slice of cake and a cup of organic coffee or wellness tea for less than $10. After all, research shows that tea breaks can boost your mood, even increase your productivity and creativity. Obviously, we hope you'll try our two new cakes as well.
DESPITE BEING USED in cooking for hundreds of years, researchers are still surprised by turmeric. With its wide-ranging health benefits, some call it "the most powerful herb on the planet". Over six thousand peer-reviewed articles have been published on its healing properties. And it was even pinpointed by Google's Food Trends reports as a "breakout star" ingredient last year. Over the last five years, Google searches for turmeric have grown 300%. Why is there so much hype surrounding this spice? We did some research to find out.
What is turmeric?
We probably know it as one of the spices in curry, but more specifically, turmeric is a rhizome of the ginger family. Have you tasted it? The bright orange powder is slightly peppery in flavour. Unfortunately, it also stains everything - home cooks you'd know this - from your hands, down to the table and dinnerware. But don't worry, Food52 has a helpful guide on how to get rid of these tough stains.
What are the health benefits?
When discussing its health benefits, you'll hear about curcumin. This bright yellow compound is the reason why turmeric is commonly used as a natural dye. But more than that, according to Diane Morgan in Roots, scientists study curcumin for its anti-inflammatory, anticancer potential. Turmeric is also known to better regulate blood sugar levels and treat depression. Evidence suggests that it also wards off dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
But is all the attention really warranted? A new review published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry suggests otherwise. But rather than changing our minds completely, this article has us rethinking about the hype surrounding the spice. Besides, there's no harm having it in moderation, isn't it?
Tips for consumption
A short note on dosage:
As previously mentioned, the main benefits of turmeric come from its curcuminoids. However, curcuminoids only comprise a tiny part of the rhizome. According to Parsley Health founder, Robin Berzin, MD, about 500 to 1,000 milligrams of curcuminoids per day will help you feel its anti-inflammatory effects. A common rule of thumb is that there are 200 milligrams of curcumin in one teaspoon of fresh or ground turmeric.
Power pairing: black pepper
Despite its healing properties, curcumin is poorly absorbed on its own. You could be taking the recommended dosage, but it might not be making its way into your gut. And you're not getting the whole scale of benefits. However, if you look closely at the ingredients in turmeric or curcumin capsules, you'll notice that they always include a spice found in your kitchen: black pepper. Consuming both spices together is found to increase your body's ability to absorb the inflammation-fighting spice. So if you're cooking with turmeric, remember to add some black pepper to your recipe!
Besides curries, there are so many ways to incorporate the spice into your diet. Cook up some turmeric broth soup, which can be used as a base to add greens, noodles, or even leftover chicken. Drink your fill in an Ayurvedic detox tea or a milkshake. Or use it in your cooking oil!
At Cedele, we're celebrating the inflammation-fighting effects of the spice in our Turmeric Honey latte. At the same time, we're introducing our Matcha latte, available hot or iced. Swap your afternoon coffee/tea for a much-needed spicy kick. Try both drinks at our all-day dining outlets today!
DID YOU NOTICE the recent popularity of grain bowls this past year? It’s being touted online as the go-to weeknight meal that makes dinner a “no-brainer”. It’s so simple that Food52 isn’t even providing a recipe for it! But here in Singapore, grain bowls bear a striking resemblance to our local everyday hawker fare: economy rice (菜饭). Grubstreet even published an article titled “Congee is the original grain bowl”. For our newest outlet at GSH Plaza, we’re offering a wider range of grains, grills and greens for you to design a grain bowl you would enjoy. And you can do it in just four simple steps. Think of it as a tasty upgrade from your usual 菜饭 lunch. Let's begin.
Step 1: The base - Grains or greens
[Pictured: our Garlic Black Rice, Char Siew and a sous vide egg]
First things first, build your bowl by focusing on the grains (or greens) as a foundation. For a hearty bowl, we recommend choosing one of our 4 warm bases. They're made of - surprise, surprise - grains: quinoa & dhal, goji brown rice, soba and garlic black rice. For something a little lighter, we suggest selecting our greens: romaine lettuce or baby spinach.
What we love: we've got our eye on the Garlic Black Rice. On top of its garlicky flavour, we love that it offers a bit of bite.
Step 2: The Protein Deli
[pictured: our belly pork char siew with sous vide egg on top of soba]
If you were building a sandwich, now's the time to think about the juicy, meaty filling. And just as we revamped our all-day dining menu to focus on proteins, we're highlighting them here in our Protein Deli options. Our selection of warm proteins include our lemon salmon (glazed with lemon butter), honey garlic thyme chicken, our delicious char siew (with hoisin sauce) and our spiced falafel patties.
What we love: it's hard to deny our yummy belly pork char siew, but for a vegetarian option, we'd pick our spiced falafel anytime.
Step 3: 4 picks of veggies/crunchies
Now it's time to build up your bowl. At this stage, feel free to pile on your favourite veggies, from blanched broccoli and sweet cherry tomatoes to crunchy Japanese cucumber or the ever-popular avocado. If you'd like a little crunch, pick from our heart-healthy chia seeds or sunflower seeds.
What we love: for obvious reasons, we find ourselves choosing a 63° sous vide egg. It has the perfect texture: medium-set whites and a runny yolk. When in doubt, put an egg on it!
Step 4: Dressing
Finally, top off your grain bowl with our selection of homemade dressing. We make ours fresh daily, without preservatives and we use 50% less fat compared to regular dressings. To match your grain bowl, choose from Yuzu Mustard and Orange Wholegrain Mustard to the simpler Olive Oil or Balsamic Vinaigrette. More options are available in-store!
We've opened our newest store at GSH Plaza, formerly Equity Plaza, opposite Prudential, along Cecil Street. Visit us at #01-05 where we're offering our current meal of choice (Grain Bowls!) and specialty coffee from Workspace Espresso Bar. Find out about opening specials by following us (@cedelesingapore) on Facebook or Instagram. See you there!
IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS, Easter will be upon us. We've already talked about the curious history of hot cross buns, now we're hopping into the season with a bunch of Easter sweets. Chocolate lovers, get ready - this will definitely interest you.
In the US, next to Halloween, Easter is the biggest candy-consuming holiday of the year? Statistics reveal that over 90 million chocolate bunnies and 91 billion eggs are produced each year for Easter. Workers in Birmingham, UK, who make the highly sought after Cadbury Creme Egg, produce more than 1.5 million egg delights a year.
Our selection of Easter sweets
This Easter season, satisfy your sweet tooth with our selection of sweet treats.
Since it is Easter, we're offering cupcakes topped with chocolate shavings and candied eggs. Take your pick from our two yummy options. First up, our Chocolate Nest cupcakes are made with moist dark chocolate cake and ganache. On the other hand, our lighter Peanut Butter Banana cupcakes perfectly pair tender banana cake with creamy peanut butter frosting. Both make for a sweet boost during tea time.
Who doesn't love chocolate? Our aptly-named Chocolate Velvet cake is made with soft, smooth chocolate cake layered with luscious fudge. With decadent frosting made with 70% couverture chocolate, a slice is definitely enough to satisfy your chocolate cravings.
So head over to any of our outlets to sweeten the season with these exclusive Easter delights. These treats are only available till 17 April, so head on down to grab yours today or shop online at Cedele Market.