We are pleased to introduce to you Peter Dunn who has recently been appointed Head Bakery Chef at the relaxing new Café/Bakery “Doppio”, Renaissance Phuket Resort and Spa.
Yes sure, I’m Peter Dunn, I’m originally from Australia and I’m 31 years old. I trained to be a chef in Sydney from the age of 16 after leaving school. I trained in restaurants, café’s, bakeries and Patisseries. My main trade is a pastry chef that is what I really trained to be.
2. What made you interested in the baking side of the business?
I cooked an egg basically; I have a really sweet tooth and what better way to fill that craving than to bake some of the sweetest things possible, cakes!
3. Where and for how long did you train?
I worked in various restaurants in Sydney, Australia including the Rockwell, which is probably the top end of restaurants in Australia. I did a Tate apprenticeship which took 4 years, after that I was a qualified chef. I have now been cooking professionally for 13 years.
4. For how long have you been doing the baking side of cooking?
Actually I have done baking all the time, even when you’re working in a restaurant you do some form of baking, whether it is pastries or breads. So I can say that for my whole career I have baked in one way or another. Here at “Doppio”we bake some bread for sandwiches but we mainly bake bread for the buffet restaurant. But every cake we make is made for “Doppio”.
5. Do you use traditional baking methods!
I wouldn’t say that we make traditional breads; we try to make everything a little different. But we do like to use a grandmother style of cooking giving old style flavours which I feel is more traditional then anything. We would never use any pre-mixes we always make everything from scratch.
6. Is there one aspect of baking that you prefer?
It has to be the cakes that are my favourite things, definitely, just to fill the craving for the sweet tooth that I have. However, I get great satisfaction for just getting a taste right in any aspect of my cooking.
7. Is there one thing you which you bake which nobody else does?
I would say that it is the White Chocolate and Passion fruit Rocky Road. A few years ago I thought that mixing the taste of passion fruit and white chocolate would give a good flavor so I tried this and mixed it with pecan nuts and coconut and everybody loves it. I only hear positive comments about the things that I make so this is great for me. Here at “Doppio” we also serve “Tappanyaki” Ice Cream, which is quite unique. You choose a flavour of ice cream, choose a filing, either broken Mars Bar, Kit Kat or biscuit and also a sauce and we mix that together and serve it in either a cone or dish.
8. Do you use any unusual ingredients for your baking?
Being here in Thailand, there are many Thai ingredients I can use to infuse flavours, such as kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass. They are not really unusual to Thailand but they are ingredients which have not been easily available to me anywhere else I have worked previously. I really try to work with ingredients which are local and in season so ingredients change quite regularly.
9. How did it come about that you are here in Phuket to work?
I have previously worked with Renaissance’s Executive Chef; Nathan Chilcott. He contacted me and told me of the position available here and asked if I would be interested. Of course, I was very interested and jumped at the chance to join the team here at this wonderful Resort.
10. Do you have any personal goals whilst working here at renaissance?
My main goal before coming here was to train the team of Thai nationals I have available to me to produce to the high standard I expect and also to “Cook from the heart”. After being here for only 2 months I feel that my goal has already been reached!
11. There are some fruits unique to Thailand, are you looking forward to using some of them in your work?
As I have previously mentioned I love to work with local ingredients when they are in season, so yes I’m looking forward to using local fruits such as Rambutan, Mangosteen and Dragon Fruit in my work. Unfortunately, due to the smell, throughout the Resort there is a no Durian or Jack fruit policy so I will be unable to use this in any of my work.
12. Do you have a personal favourite from your menu?
That’s really difficult for me to answer. Our menu is changing so frequently, so my personal favourite from the menu also changes nearly on a daily basis.
13. We at Phuketindex have a sweet tooth, would you be able to make something special for the team there?
Unfortunately, I do not have the time to create something just for your team today. However, we already have a variety of cakes ready here for you today. They are all very special and you are more than welcome to try whatever you wish to from what you can see here on display.
We were lucky enough to enjoy a cappuccino and taste some of the cakes and pastries that were on offer at “Doppio” and would advise anyone with a sweet tooth to visit. There is also an extensive menu featuring Soups, a large variety of Salads, Panini’s and Baguette’s with a selection of fillings, along with a full soft drinks menu with a top choice of coffees, teas, fruit juices and smoothies. Why not treat yourselves to a tasty lunch within the relaxing luxury surroundings of the Renaissance Phuket Resort.
* “Doppio” is the Italian word used for a double shot espresso.
Renaissance® Phuket Resort & Spa
555, Moo 3, Mai Khao, Talang Phuket, 83110 Thailand
Phone: 66 76 363999