Meet Chef Jenna White as she tells us about her role as Resident Chef and her love of food and teaching in one of Singapore's top cooking schools, Brettschneider's Baking and Cooking School
I first met Jenna at Brettschneider's Baking and Cooking School in Singapore in 2016 when a friend and I attended a pasta making class being taught by Jenna. I have always been an avid home cook with a love of Italian food and was looking to improve some of my skills, as well as learn new ones. From that first class Jenna reignited my passion and love of cooking. I instantly knew I would have to attend more classes with Jenna as I loved her passion for food and teaching, as well as her teaching style. Jenna was always so happy to share her many skills, knowledge and tips. She is an incredibly talented chef, amazing mum who juggles a very busy career with home life, and to top all of that an inspiring women and friend. Read all about the amazing person behind many of the cooking and baking classes at the Baking and Cooking School.
Tell us a little about yourself:
I'm Jenna, the Resident Chef and Development Chef for Brettschneider's Baking and Cooking School, part of the Baker and Cook Group. I've been working in this position for 3.5 years and been in Singapore for 8 years. I was previously working in London for Kiwi Chef, Peter Gordon.
I studied Culinary Arts at Eastern Institute of Technology in my hometown of Hawke's Bay New Zealand in 2003. I received a scholarship there to do further study at their Patisserie School.
I was inspired about cooking from my Nana who was a fantastic baker. I made up my mind early and started in kitchens at 15 years old.
What is your first childhood memory in the kitchen? Who was it with?
I remember cooking with my mum, sitting on the bench licking the wooden spoon after she whipped up her famous batch of chocolate chip cookies. I was 2 or 3 years old
How did you come to be working as the Resident Chef and Development Chef at Brettschneider's Baking and Cooking School?
Dean Brettschneider, founder of Baker and Cook approached me via Social Media about being a guest Chef at his brand new cooking school. A few chats later my first guest Chef class was the week after I signed my contract to become full time
Jennas first class at Brettschneider's Baking and Cooking School was Macarons
Tell us about your typical day at the Baking School
I start by organising for a class, preparing the ingredients and briefing the assistant on the flow of the day. Then I am sharing my knowledge for 3, 4 or 6 hours (depending on the type of class) with lots of wonderful students.
Who do you feel the classes at Brettschneider's Baking and Cooking School would appeal to most?
I believe anyone. From beginner to advanced there is an exciting mix for everyone
Are your classes only suitable for people living in Singapore, or do you think they would appeal to tourists as well?
Same as above, however from a tourist point we have some great local classes taught by a very talented local Chef.
My favourite class I have taken with you has to be the Entremet Class. You gave me so much confidence in some skills I already had, but also shared so many new skills and tips that has enabled me to successfully experiment and create a number of different entremets. Do you have a favourite class to teach? What makes it so special?
My favourite class is Pies, Quiche and Sausage Rolls. Simple bakes and tasty filling mixes both my strengths of baking and cooking. Followed by a close second is Pasta. I have a special place in my heart for Italian food.
What is your favourite thing to bake, or cook?
Hard to pick one! I have many favourites.
What is the thing you like most about teaching people how to bake and cook?
It's surprising how much I can share with people. Things that may seem simple to me, really aren't to everyone. There is nothing better than seeing people leave the school with fresh bakes and big smiles!
Jenna and I with other class participants from a Chocolate Hazelnut Crepe Class
Who has inspired you, or influenced you the most in your training and career as a Chef?
Paolo Pancotti was one of my first and still is mentors. An Italian Chef based in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. He oozes passion and his food is to die for
Jenna With Mentor Paolo Pancotti
My current boss, Dean, has taught me a generous amount of technical knowledge to which I will be forever grateful for.
Jenna with Dean and co-worker Helen
I know you have a gorgeous toddler. How do you balance being a mum and working full time? I know it must be very hard with the long hours you work.
Not easily. However we are very lucky we have a fantastic helper. She's a second mum to my daughter and without her our house would be very lost
When you're not at work, what do you like to do most?
Family time, study about what's happening in the in the world of restaurants and catch up with friends
What's coming up next for you and Brettschneider's Baking and Cooking School? Anything we should be excited about?
Christmas! A fun part of the year. Along with that some new and exciting guest chefs.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I have many places. However Mexico is somewhere I must get to. To eat mainly and I want to learn and discover more about Mole
What are your top three favourite books and why?
That's too hard, I have more than 100 books to which I enjoy immensely. However the author I have the most of is Yottam Ottelenghi. His effortless food is something I'll never get tired of
What is a skill you'd like to learn and why?
How to surf. I come from a beach town in New Zealand and always envied people who could surf
Do you have any advice for anyone wishing to start a creative career as a chef?
Be passionate and be sure. If you're not willing to tackle physical and mentally hard work this career is not for you
Where can we find you and Brettschneider's Baking and Cooking School?
Address: 1 Greendale Avenue Bukit Timah Singapore 289495
Social Media: @brettschneiders
Thank you so much Jenna for sharing a little about yourself and your life as Resident Chef. You have an amazing passion for food and it shows in everything you create and share.
If you would like to attend one of the many amazing classes at Brettschneider's Baking and Cooking School I can highly recommend them. I have been to numerous classes and can truly say that being fully hands on classes, each class teaches me something new, inspires me to become a better cook and keep learning, and sends me home with an amazing bundle of the goodies I created during class. Oh and the toasts and jams, lunches with beautiful NZ wine, and morning and afternoon teas are all bonuses that create a total cooking, learning and creating experience. Classes can also be tailor made and personalised for corporate or team building sessions, children's parties and much more. Contact the amazing Jay (see below) for more information or to discuss your requirements
Jay Soh: +65 64635508
Oh, and if you were wondering what the recipe was for the family favourite choc chip biscuits here it is. They sound delicious. I'll definitely be giving them a try!
Congratulations to Jenna and her partner, Justin on their recent engagement. Such wonderful news and exciting times ahead for them.
Dean Brettschneider has just released a new cookbook with Jenna and Helen Burge titled COOK food to share! Jenna is now officially an author. I can't wait to see what comes next for this amazing woman. I'm also waiting for my copy of the book to arrive home with my husband on Saturday. I know what I'll be doing this weekend.