The global pandemic and the subsequent lockdown in Malaysia to curb the spread of Covid-19 since March 18 2020 have changed our lives forever. While many found it challenging and almost impossible to adapt to the new normal, there are those among us who have adapted to the change and have reinvented ourselves to go with the flow.
In this special feature, we turn our attention to flight attendants or cabin crews who had spent their careers in the air and have now transformed themselves on the ground to become professional home-based chefs and bakers. We spoke to several cabin crews who live in Subang Jaya and popped them a few questions which they graciously answered while baking and cooking to fulfill the orders that have rolled in.
Grace Loh has turned her kitchen at home into a bakery; fulfilling orders for cookies, cakes and breads. She is taking it in her stride to adapt to the new normal after having “retired” from the airlines and subsequently as a private jet flight attendant.
“I’ve always loved baking and the opportunity came when I too was affected by the pandemic. I decided to turn my passion into something that could earn me some money while at the same time keeping me busy.”
“I focus more on baking as that’s something I enjoy doing. My family’s favourites include the Soft & Chewy M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies, Soft Milk Bread, Almond Cookies, Light & Fluffy Butter Cake, Red Velvet Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting, Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting,” she said, adding that premium ingredients are used in her baking.
Grace says all cookies, bread or cakes are made when an order is received. She provides delivery (delivery charges apply) for orders.
“I am planning to add more varieties to my bakes. Perhaps one day I will also consider catering for bigger events or parties should the need arise,” she adds.
Minny Lim is offering 3D Flower Jelly Dessert Cakes in her free time during the Recovery Movement Control Order. With less flight time on her hands, she has now taken up the challenge to plan, design and create her cakes to cater to her customers’ needs.
“Orders are received in advance and I will work with the customer on their needs before I make them the 3D Flower Jelly Dessert cake. I also take on bigger orders for parties and gatherings.”
“Getting advance notice and orders are important for me to have time to create a masterpiece for my customers. It is important that my creation will not only look pretty but taste good too,” she said.
According to Minny, her foray into the jelly dessert business is to supplement her living expenses and also to share her creations with others.
“I believe that we should love what we do and do what we love. I am planning to expand the variety of jelly designs to meet the needs of my customers while at the same time offer jelly art classes too,” she said.
After spending more than two decades in the airline industry, former cabin crew Irena Oung has answered her calling in the kitchen, cooking up a variety of mainly Penang Nyonya dishes and other varieties to meet the ever eager customers she has built up over the last year.
“I’ve always enjoyed cooking for family and friends but never had the time when I was still flying. I have dabbled in a variety of dishes but in the last few months, I focused in on cooking up family favourites – Penang Peranakan cuisine.”
“My customers love it. They keep coming back for more of what I have to offer from my home kitchen for now – Yam Cake, Acar Hu (Pickled Turmeric Fish), Penang Nasi Ulam and Otak-Otak,” she said.
According to Irena the new normal provided an opportunity for people like her to make their debut into the food and beverage market.
“People want variety and the convenience of picking up their orders or have it delivered to their homes or offices. We are filling that gap by providing good quality and delicious food.”
“Being home-based is not a bed of roses though. We spend hours planning our dishes, we experiment and carry out food tasting and finally we sweat it out in the kitchen to cook up our specialties,” she said, adding that the self-satisfaction is when customers give a good review and keep coming back for more.
Grace, Minny and Irena are just a few examples of people who have adapted to the new normal. Their skills and experience over the years serving as cabin crew has helped prepare them for a life after their flying days.
Find out more and shop for more home-based delights at Even Cabin Crew Can Cook Group on Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/groups/598053961085390/