Making waves with her exquisite offerings at Hilton Singapore Orchard, we speak to the young Executive Pastry Chef about her journey, inspiration, favourite desserts and more

Regardless of our tastes and preferences, beautiful treats have always fascinated us. Bringing joy to the table, fine pastries and desserts are often delicate, refined, aesthetic, and delightfully delicious all at the same time. Naturally, it’d also be hard to portray the amount of knowledge and experience needed to produce such goodies in a single statement. Yet, there’re always the talented few who never fail to surprise us.

Breaking stereotypes left and right is Hilton Singapore Orchard’s Executive Pastry Chef Cindy Khoo, one of the youngest individuals in Singapore to achieve her position.



How does it feel being one of the youngest Executive Pastry Chefs in Singapore?

It’s not so much about the age for me, but more about the fact that I’ve been so blessed to discover my life’s passion at a considerably younger age, and am able to do what I love every day.


Could you share with us the more unconventional aspects of your journey so far?

I come from an engineering background, I’ve worked as a part-time barista, and I’ve studied music. This mix of life experiences, as different as they may be from one another, has helped me to realise what I truly enjoy in life and ultimately lead me to where I am now.



How have pastries shaped the way you view the world?

Pastry making has helped open my eyes to see and appreciate the diversity and beauty of the world around me. It has also made me more detail-oriented and flexible. Every customer has a different taste preference when it comes to desserts, so I’m constantly challenged to be flexible in terms of creating desserts that can resonate with different tastebuds.



We know that you’re greatly inspired by modern design and grand architecture. What’s your latest muse?

I’ve always relied on travelling for inspiration and that remains my number one muse, especially now that we’re able to travel again. I’ve also been drawing inspiration lately from pop-up events that come to Singapore – like the Mirazur pop-up hosted by Mandala Masters and Mandala Club last year, for instance. I also constantly explore different parts of Singapore to admire the diversity of architecture we have here, from buildings that are heavily inspired by biophilic design, to the colourful conservation shophouses along Joo Chiat.


Where in Singapore would you love to recreate as a dessert?

National Gallery Singapore, because of its elegance. Its colonial-era architecture is very unique and something you don’t see often in modern-day Singapore.



What are your favourite colours (and the things they mean to you)?

White, pastel purple, and blue. When you combine these three colours, you get a very special colour that makes me feel happy and good. It’s also why I incorporate a lot of these colours into my creations at Ginger.Lily.


In pastries and desserts – are you on camp chocolate or fruits?

As much as I love fruits and enjoy working with them, I’m definitely camp chocolate if I have to choose. There are so many different types of chocolates in the world, each with a unique tone and taste profile – some with a woody tone like wine, others that are fermented differently. Each type of chocolate gives a different kind of taste, which makes it unique in so many ways and a very fun ingredient to experiment with in pastry making.


If you could only choose 3 pastries/desserts to have on Earth, what would they be?

Lemon tart, chocolate cake, strawberry shortcake.


Find Chef Cindy's immaculate creations at Ginger.Lily for a personal experience. Head over to their website here for more information.