Cover Executive Pastry Chef of Mandarin Oriental, Daniel Texter

Set to deliver excellence for The Mandarin Cake Shop, Daniel Texter shares his biggest culinary influences and his favourite foodie travel destinations

“I love working with and learning from different people and cultures. Such exposure has allowed me to elevate and evolve, while bringing my own personal style to my craft” says chef Daniel Texter, whose wealth of culinary experience has been garnered across the globe, from Noma in Copenhagen, to Adriano Zumba in Australia, Les Amis Group in Singapore, Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok and, most recently, The Dorchester Hotel in London, where he was Executive Pastry Chef. 

Having spent more than 20 years in professional kitchens and with a penchant for thinking outside the box when it comes to his pastry creations, he will lead the award-winning patisserie and bakery team behind the delicious treats at The Mandarin Cake Shop as well Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong's other dining outlets.

Here, he shares the book he believes every baker should read and the best restaurant he's ever eaten at. Spoiler—it's in Singapore!

What has been the biggest influence on you professionally to date?
 
I would have to say that every kitchen and country has influenced me tremendously in different ways. Having been fortunate enough to travel and work with different cultures and people, I’ve been able to grow professionally by learning new ingredients and techniques. Notable influences, in particular, was my time at Noma in Copenhagen because of the techniques I learned and Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok where I was exposed to so many exotic ingredients.  
 
Name a book that you think every chef should read
 
Because I’m passionate about bread, Modernist Bread by Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya is a book I would highly recommend. It focuses on the history of bread, the various baking techniques, and is a guide to the science behind baking.
 
Who is the chef you’d most like to cook with, dead or alive?
 
I’m one of few lucky ones to have already achieved this when I worked with Rene Redzepi at Noma whom I admire. If there was another opportunity, I would say Amaury Guichon, who in my opinion is one of the best pastry chefs in the world.
 
What is the best restaurant you’ve ever eaten at?
 
Burnt Ends in Singapore was an all-time favourite. I had a fantastic experience, and the food was exceptional.
 
What is your favourite food city or foodie travel destination?
 
The street food in Bangkok is incredibly delicious and flavourful, filled with so much spice. I love getting lost in the city and trying lots of different things.
 
Singaporean chilli crab is one of the best dishes. Every time I go back to Singapore, I have to fix my chilli crab craving in one of the local restaurants.
 
Melbourne has an amazing food truck scene and never disappoints. It caters to so many palates with a versatile range of dishes where you can try a bit of everything.
 
What ingredient can’t you live without?
 
That would be cocoa nibs. The smell is so flavourful and you can practically taste the different notes like fruits, berries and chocolate.
 
It’s your last meal—what’s on the menu?
 
If my last meal was breakfast, it would be scrambled eggs, avocado, sourdough and vegemite. If dinner was my last meal, I would go Mediterranean by having a dry aged rib-eye and a simple tomato and burrata salad with home baked ciabatta or focaccia bread, along with a good glass of shiraz.

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