Serdar Yener’s Autobiography


Serdar Yener’s Autobiography

Personal Details


Name:Serdar Omer Yener (nickname: Yener)
Date & place of birth:28 November 1952 – Istanbul TURKEY
Email:serdaryener1952(at)gmail.com
Profession:Pastry Chef, Culinary Artist, Lecturer


Present Occupation


Yeners CakesWedding and Novelty Cakes
Gold Coast QLD 4220 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +62 07 55938282
Fax: +62 07 55938283
Email: info(at)yenerscakes.com.au
Yeners WayOnline Cake Tutorials

Summary of Contents


1969-1973
ISTANBUL HILTON

Left as chef-de-partie

1973
PHOTO STUDIO “73”

Owner

1973-1975
ANKARA PALACE (New Opening)

Pastry Chef

1975-1976
MILITARY OFFICER HOUSE – Ankara

Pastry Chef (Military service)

1976-1979
ISTANBUL INTER-CONTINENTAL

Pastry Chef

1979-1980
DUSSELDORF HILTON

Pastry Chef

1980-1985
DUSSELDORF INTER-CONTINENTAL

Executive Pastry Chef

1985-1989
PAN PACIFIC KL (New Opening)

Executive Pastry Chef

1989-1991
PAN PACIFIC SINGAPORE

Executive Pastry Chef

1991-1992
YENER PASTRY ART (SINGAPORE)

Owner/Lecturer

1992-1997
CONRAD JUPITERS – GOLD COAST

Executive Pastry Chef

1996-2011
YENMART PASTRY ART

Co-Owner

2011-Present
YENERS CAKES – Cakes with a Difference

Family Business

2014-Present
YENERS WAY – Cake Art Tutorials

Family Business

Competed and won 15 gold medals (most with distinctions) at major international competitions.

Twice awarded as MOST OUTSTANDING ARTIST (SWITZERLAND 1997) and MOST OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF (SINGAPORE 1990).

Serdar Yener’s masterpieces are displayed in museums at Champagne FRANCE, Culinary Art SWITZERLAND and National Museum of SINGAPORE.

Trained more than 400 local and abroad students in SINGAPORE, YENMART PASTRY ART Gold Coast, TAFE COLLEGE Gold Coast and TAFE COLLEGE Brisbane.

Has judged in major culinary competitions in MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE, AUSTRALIA and World Pastry Championships USA.

Invited on many occasions to different countries to give seminars and demonstrations on sugar and chocolate work.

Has coached young pastry chefs, regional and national teams in multiple international competitions.

More than 300 articles written about his work in international newspapers and magazines.

Appearing regularly on Malaysia TV programs (Quali, Good Morning Malaysia and News) and occasionally on Australian TV Gold Coast Channels (Wild Life, Great Southeast and News)

His custom designed cakes and showpieces were purchased and presented to many celebrities and government personalities which includes Richard Clayderman, Pink Floyd, David Copperfield, the Sultan of Brunei, Malaysia and the King of Oman as well as the Turkish Prime Minister and Presidents.

  • International Patisserie
  • Custom designed novelty cakes with realistic finishing for weddings or any other special occasions
  • Multiple or single large showpieces out of chocolate, pastillage, blown and pulled sugar or other edible materials
  • Sculptures with the influence of European and Chinese culture
  • Aquarelle paintings with sugar colors

Married with 2 children and 4 grand children.


Lecturing & Judging History
1991Guest Demonstrator for Sugar Work at Hofex Hong Kong
1991Gave regular Pastry Art courses (Yener Pastry Art, Singapore)
1992Judge Prima Baking Awards, Singapore
1992Judge & Guest Demonstrator of Sugar Work at Food Asia, Singapore
1993Judge Gold Coast Chefs Association 6th Salon Culinary
1994Judge & Guest Demonstrator at ACF (Australian Culinary Federation) Chef Congress, Gold Coast, Australia
1994Judge at Food Asia, Singapore
1994Judge Work Skill Australia Regional Competition
1995Guest Demonstrator of Chocolate & Sugar Work at Polytech Auckland, Christchurch & Wellington, New Zealand
1995-1998Occasional Guest Lecturer at Tafe College, Gold Coast, Australia
1996Judge Chain de Rotisserie Regional Competition
1996Judge & Guest Demonstrator at Gold Coast Chefs Association Salon Culinary
1996Assist Mr. Joel Bellouet for his Pastry classes
1997Guest Demonstrator of Chocolate Work for IMF Conference, Hong Kong, Hilton
1998-2001Gave regular pastry art courses (Yenmart Pastry Art, Gold Coast)
1998Coach for Chinese National Team for Lion, France, Cup de Monde
1999Guest Lecturer at Tafe College, Brisbane, Australia
2000Chief of Judges Gold Coast Chefs Association Salon Culinary
2001Judge at Gold Coast Chefs Association Salon Culinary
2002Judge at World Pastry Team Championship, Las Vegas, USA
2003Judge at Gold Coast Chefs Association Salon Culinary
2004Judge at Gold Coast Chefs Association Salon Culinary
2004Judge at World Pastry Team Championship, Las Vegas, USA
2005Guest Lecturer Prima School Singapore

Before Pastry
Around 4 years old.

Around 4 years old.

I was born on the 28th of November 1952 in Istanbul, which is one of the most populated cities in the world. Today, over fifteen million people live in this historic city of Turkey. As far as I can remember from my childhood days and some of my family photos, my father’s family was quite wealthy. The white house with two stories and ten rooms where we lived was surrounded by all sorts of fruit trees and it was the landmark of the small town called Bakirkoy, which today has become a very busy town in the giant city. My grandfather was the owner and founder of a factory, which supplied road construction materials, and he became rich during his time when Turkey started building the city’s highways in the 1950’s. Unfortunately, after my grandfather’s passing, neither my father nor his siblings had the interest to carry on with his legacy.


I had an ordinary childhood life with lots of self made toys like wood carved guns and galvanised wire trucks. I could still remember the football matches my friends and I had on the dusty streets whenever it was free of cars. Not to mention the wooden scooter I made with ball bearing wheels.


Me (middle) having dinner with family.

Me (middle) having dinner with family.

In 1959 when I was just seven years old, our beautiful house was burned down and everyone in my family had to move to another town call Sisli. As a result of that, I had a complete change of environment, school, friends, hobbies and activities in such a short time. Whenever I had a few coins to spare, I always indulged myself in those delicious mouth-watering finger sponges from the corner pastry shop, not knowing that I would be baking the same sponges in huge quantities in years to come. During this time, there was no television at home but through the cinema movies that I frequently watched growing up over the years, I learned that there’s a world outside which I would like to visit one day. I have never excelled well in subjects like maths and history at school, and I can never remember names and places, but remarkably, geometry and physics that involve shapes, lines and creative thinking was a breeze for me. Obviously, I inherited my natural talent from my father Sadi Yener who was an amateur painter and my older brother Derya also showed great artistic abilities. When I had to repeat 11th grade as my results got from bad to worse, I asked my mum, Suhendan Yener to find a job for me. Her first choice was Istanbul Hilton, for she knew the director of finance, Ekrem Colakoglu who rented an apartment from us. That was the day of my life time encounter with the pastry world. Mr Colakoglu sent me and another boy (with the same intention as me) to the chief cashier Enis Tekin. I can never forget that particular moment when Mr Tekin pushed his glasses up, pointed his finger at me and said “You go to the pastry kitchen!” and to the other boy he said, “You go to the Rooftop Restaurant”. With those few words, he paved my life time career for me as a pastry chef. I didn’t know anything about pastry then; thus it was the beginning of my profession.



Employment History
1969-1973 ISTANBUL HILTON
Istanbul Hilton

Istanbul Hilton

I started my career as a trainee outlet controller and I was stationed in an enormous pastry kitchen with 25 staff. Whenever the mixer machines were on, I felt like I was working in the engine room of a cruiser ship. I was 17 years old then and each day, sitting behind my desk, I had to count and record every bit of dessert, ice cream, bread and pastries into an inter-kitchen transfer form before they leave or return to the pastry kitchen. The recording of transfers and staff sales were transacted a few times a day but it left me with lots of free time to observe everything that happened right before my eyes in the pastry kitchen; mass production, fine cake decorating, chocolate dipping and bread baking. After a few days’ hesitation, I stood up and started giving the staff a hand. It was then that I realised that it was much more interesting then just filling out forms. My first month’s salary was 402 Turkish lira and 25 kurus. I gave half of the money I earned to my mum and enjoyed the first feelings of being useful and responsible.


Kitchen meeting.

My first position as kitchen clerk.

The first wedding cake I ever made.

The first wedding cake I ever made.

When summer was over and school started again I continued working part-time after the school hours. Priorities changed and school became less important than working in pastry. By then, I was already quite popular amongst the staff and even the managers were requesting me to decorate their cakes. Many of my colleagues were encouraging me to work in the pastry rather than just helping part-time. I took up their advice and in 1970; I submitted my application for the pastry cook position to the human resource manager, Avni Diper. I was told to list the things I learned every 20 days and give him a full report. My first report was quite comprehensive as I had one full year’s hands-on experience before. When my school results got worse and the term was finishing, I decided to give up my studies and concentrate on pastry. I then applied for a full-time commis position and knew that pastry will be my life from now on. I put in a lot of effort and involved myself fully in all the functions, promotions, banquets and special menus at the five start hotel where I worked. Even without my apprenticeship, I was holding all the key tasks at the pastry and was also trusted by local chefs and expatriate Danish pastry chef Mr Petersons. When he left, his successor, a Swiss pastry chef named Peter Straub came on board and we enjoyed working together.


I loved music a lot too and I spent many hours after work rehearsing as lead singer in a band. I worked at a graphic sign shop part-time, and just before I left Hilton, I opened my own photo shop STUDIO 73 for a short period. When my first manager Mr Tekin resigned from Hilton and was appointed as Food and Beverage manager at Ankara Palace which was yet to open, he offered me the position of Pastry Chef there and I accepted it without any hesitation. It was a great challenge for me, with only a few years’ experience, I was given the opportunity to lead a team of 10 staff and to organise the opening of a brand new hotel.


Working at the hotel.

Working at the hotel.

Performing at a friend's wedding.

Performing at a friend’s wedding.


1973-1975 ANKARA PALACE
From left: Mr & Mrs Mehmet Binyilldiz, George Usta, myself, Mr Dogan, Mr Bilal, Mrs Tekin, Mr Faruk Atayman and Mr Enis Tekin.

From left: Mr & Mrs Mehmet Binyilldiz, George Usta, myself, Mr Dogan, Mr Bilal, Mrs Tekin, Mr Faruk Atayman and Mr Enis Tekin.

For the first time in my life, at the age of 21, many wonderful things were happening to me; so far away from home, being independent, making good money, “boss” of the pastry department and the freedom of work execution. I was young and full of enthusiasm.


Ankara Palace’s opening ball was a huge success; with over 40 different varieties of sweets and desserts which my assistant Hakki Pinarbasi (who was also previously working at Istanbul Hilton) and myself had prepared for the last 3 days and 2 nights continuously.


Ankara Palace hotel with its amazing numerous classic arches was built in the early 1900 in the capital city of Ankara. Opened by Ataturk, it was the very first luxurious hotel in the beginning of new Republic of Turkey and the stage of many historic moments. For some reason, it was closed for a while later renovated by Oleyis and opened again to diplomatic clientele.


With my staff and assistant Pastry Chef Hakki Pinarbasi (standing right)

With my staff and assistant Pastry Chef Hakki Pinarbasi (standing right)

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My Chef George Usta (Rauf Soykut) was an 80 year old white Russian and I learned a lot of things from him. He was like a recipe folder, for he taught me how to manage the most important ability of a pastry chef that is to build recipes instead of collecting them. From those days onwards, ingredients were like the knobs on an equalizer. What happens if one of the knobs gets turned up and another one turned down? That was the first learning step of composing recipes on paper without actually making them. I really enjoyed working in this very old kitchen. We used to make all those preserves, jam, pickles, etc. After almost two years working and serving many foreign diplomats, I realized that I had to join the military service for 20 months, which was compulsory at the time for every man when he reaches 20 years old in Turkey. I was then almost 23.



1975-1976 MILITARY SERVICE

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As usual, it helped to have a profession at a young age. After struggling through the few months’ training, I ended up again in Ankara and was placed in a military house to serve only the hierarchy officers. It was not like a hotel, with no machines nor mixers and everything had to be done with hands. I was lucky to experience this manual work environment to appreciate the future’s technologies.


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The pastry kitchen was only 12m square and two staff (including myself) had to finish almost 2000 pieces of bakery and pastry items, one to two wedding cakes and 30kg mix cookie everyday. We had to really “work smart and not hard” so that we can still have enough time to go for a walk in Cankaya.


Just a few days before my birth certificate was stamped (signifying the end of my military service) I received a letter from my previous General Manager Mr Mehmet Binyildiz. He wrote that he has recommended me to his friend Mr. Taci Tinmaz who was the Food and Beverage manager of Inter- Continental Istanbul. Wow what an opportunity to work in a 5 star hotel again. Finally the traditional count down came to an end and when I was in the bus, I looked back at the memories recorded in my mind the past 20 months and it was just like a quick rewind of a video film. I must say that the days serving in the military service did not pass quickly at all.


July 1975 - Standing left to right; Ali Ihsan, Husnu Usta, Me, Husamettin, Kemal,  Recai,  Huseyin Usta, Ali Riza, Cevdet. Sitting left to right; Ibrahim Sonmez, Elmaci, Huseyin.

July 1975 – Standing left to right; Ali Ihsan, Husnu Usta, Me, Husamettin, Kemal, Recai, Huseyin Usta, Ali Riza, Cevdet.
Sitting left to right; Ibrahim Sonmez, Elmaci, Huseyin.


1976-1979 ISTANBUL INTER CONTINENTAL

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Few days later, Mr Tinmaz himself interviewed me and I must admit that the recommendation was quite helpful. In a few minutes, I was given the position of assistant pastry chef. My executive chef was Helmut Helwig and Herr Eisenbeis was the experienced opening pastry chef from Inter-Continental Hanover. I could never forget how he jumped up with joy when he saw my first French pastry platter. We had such a good time together. When his contract finished in two months, he went back to Hanover and I was promoted to pastry chef.


Shortly after, I entered my first competition at Ikonda Vienna and won my first gold medal. The following year, the management liked the sugar showpiece (a giant model of a hotel which I made for the official opening party) so much that they sent me to Inter-Continental Vienna for two months’ training.


During a strudel demonstration in the lobby.

During a strudel demonstration in the lobby.

In 1977 my first marriage was to Mine Pere, the daughter of a famous opera singer Nevin Pere. The morning after my wedding, I flew to Vienna for the training. I came back later from the training with lots of new European influenced ideas, and it helped me to upgrade myself and the products we do. In the meantime I was also making small sugar figurines at home with my neighbours’ help. Eventually, this business turned out to be quite lucrative.


Birthday party of Food & Beverage Manager Mr. Taci Tinmaz.

Birthday party of Food & Beverage Manager Mr. Taci Tinmaz.

After three successful career years has passed and the 1979 hospitality industry turmoil, which caused endless strikes, I was prepared to move on. Our first child was stillborn and sometime after that, my ex-wife Mine was again pregnant with our son Orcun. My ex mother-in-law believed somehow that the medical facility was much better in Europe and she persuaded us to move. I called Helmut, and he found me a job at Inter-Continental Dusseldorf as pastry chef. A few months later, I received a letter from the German embassy stating “your visa application has been approved”. I considered myself very fortunate for it was not easy that time in Turkey to get a work permit in Germany.



1979-1980 DUSSELDORF HILTON

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It was really interesting to travel over 3000km by bus and see lots of things which I had never had the chance to experience if I were to travel by air. There was no war then, and to travel from Turkey to Germany I had to pass through Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Austria. When I arrived at the Human Resource office of the Inter-Continental hotel, there was a big surprise waiting for me. As the official correspondence and red tape matters took too long between the consulates of Germany and Istanbul, they hired another pastry chef. My goodness! I was there, jobless and it was the biggest shock of my life. Luckily the Human Resource manager Herr Dossman helped me to start immediately as assistant pastry chef at it’s sister hotel Dusseldorf Hilton.


My Executive Chef was Gunther Scherrer and he was the most demanding chef I had ever worked with. He was so amazed that I was able to finish 7 large butter sculptures in just a few days. The young Pastry Chef Norbert Maushagen left for Canada 3 months later and again I was promoted to Pastry Chef in a short while.


My first centerpiece displayed on a grand piano.

My first centerpiece displayed on a grand piano.

One of my large butter sculpture (Asterix).

One of my large butter sculpture (Asterix).

In early 1980 I attended the Pastry Chef seminar in Vienna Hilton and Walter Glocker conducted it. There were 20 Pastry Chefs from all around the world and I must say it was very educating. On the 27th of February 1980, my eldest son Orcun was born and at that time, we were still living in a one-room apartment at the staff lodge. My reputation grew and a year later I started receiving phone calls and letters from Biancalio Corporate of Inter-Continental hotel. Obviously they have regretted sending me to Hilton and requested for me to work for them. For me, it was fair enough as they were the people responsible for getting all the red tape done to enable me to work in Germany. Besides the offer was better and I took the job.

20 Pastry Chefs from around the world gathered in Vienna to attend Walter Glocker’s ( 4th from top) 10 day work shop.

20 Pastry Chefs from around the world gathered in Vienna to attend Walter Glocker’s ( 4th from top) 10 day work shop.

Executive Chef Gunter Scherrer (5th from right) and his crew with famous restaurateur Rudolf Katzenberger (6th from right). This photo was taken during Katzenberger’s one week promotion in San Francisco Restaurant.

Executive Chef Gunter Scherrer (5th from right) and his crew with famous restaurateur Rudolf Katzenberger (6th from right). This photo was taken during Katzenberger’s one week promotion in San Francisco Restaurant.


1980-1985 DUSSELDORF INTERCONTINENTAL

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The first good thing was, we moved from the Hilton staff lodge to a proper 3 bed room house. When I started working in the pastry, my Executive Chef was kind enough to let me convert the small storeroom into an office. Shortly after that, I appointed my assistant Achim Mehler and everything went very smooth, for we enjoyed the next few co-operative and creative years together. Achim was part of the exchange program from East Germany when the wall was still there. On the 17th of September 1982 my second son Serkan was born.


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At that time, I was quite crazy about wines and I attended many wine tasting seminars. Getting medals from the Carnival Princess was a yearly event. If somebody were to ask me today what was the most exquisite piece I have ever produced, surely I would mention the 3 metre high Japanese sugar pagoda in Mainz for the “sports des ball” event. About 3000 people including the Prime Minister and all the Olympic medallists had to pay 500 German Mark each to support the sports events held in Germany. I had been personally invited to produce this piece. I worked 7 days for the 3 minutes presentation. I was very proud when my piece, was paraded in the function room during the desert presentation.


Presenting a sugar centrepiece to the Carnival Princess

Presenting a sugar centrepiece to the Carnival Princess

I worked 5 full “hands-on” years in this hotel till one fateful day, I received a call from my ex manager of Istanbul Hilton. He asked me to join him for the opening of Pan Pacific Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. I went to the library to do some research on this beautiful Asian country. Besides me, a couple of my ex colleagues from Istanbul Hilton, Mr Erhan Bursa as F&B director and Birol Kaymaz financial director, were also going there. I took up the challenge for my second opening and this time, I signed my contract as Executive Pastry Chef for a five stars hotel. At our farewell party with my good friend Kemal, we opened a bottle of Magnum Perrier Jouet, which was presented to me a short while ago in appreciation for my blown sugar centrepiece of the replica piece, which was exhibited at the Champagne museum in France.


4 metre high sugar pagoda carried in to the ball room by hand by students of the ballet school

3 metre high sugar pagoda carried in to the ball room by hand by students of the ballet school

My sugar painting of Houston InterContinental hotel. With Executive Chef Egon Hoffman

My sugar painting of Houston InterContinental hotel. With Executive Chef Egon Hoffman

I produced a Large Galleon Centerpiece out of Pastillage. It was well received and attracted all the customers dining at the Rotisserie Restaurant

I produced a Large Galleon Centerpiece out of Pastillage. It was well received and attracted all the customers dining at the Rotisserie Restaurant


1985-1989 KUALA LUMPUR PAN PACIFIC

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That was really a new page in my life. It was a very different feeling; my income has tripled, working first time in Asia as an expatriate. It was raining heavily with thunder when we arrived at Shangri-la Kuala Lumpur hotel. I faced a total culture shock; with totally new life-style, environment, food and people. At that time the Pan Pacific hotel was still under construction and thus, myself and the rest of the management staff had to work at the opening office. My Executive Chef Werner Meyer was a Swiss with working experience in Asia. He trusted me from the first day and allowed me to work the way I want to be most productive and creative.


After three months of preparations, interviews, recruitment and classroom training we took over the hotel. From the first day, I had problems with my English language. Jiuan was a real help to me for she was the only one who understood German and got the message through to the staff. I believed that my staff appreciated that they could learn a few things from me right from the start. I had never worked with such an ambitious team before. With everybody’s help especially Jiuan’s administrative input we achieved a very high standard and made “La Patisserie” a very popular pastry shop in town.


With the numerous competition awards and medals, I was even featured in the TV news, local and overseas newspapers. Here was the start of my international career, especially after I have bagged the “Best Artist” award from the Igeho competition in Switzerland. My family also enjoyed our 3 connecting corner suite rooms at the hotel. On many occasions I had the opportunity to socialize with the diplomats. If I were not in Kuala Lumpur, I would never dream of meeting the Turkish President Kemal Evren and present him one of my sugar centerpieces. The day came again that I had to move on and I got my transfer to the Pan Pacific Hotel in Singapore.


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With the Press just before I left for Switzerland. I was giving the details of my competing pieces.

With the Press just before I left for Switzerland. I was giving the details of my competing pieces.

A big crowd welcomed us when we arrived at the Subang Airport from Switzerland.

A big crowd welcomed us when we arrived at the Subang Airport from Switzerland.

With Chef Meyer and GM Jean Wasser.

With Chef Meyer and GM Jean Wasser.

During a training session.

During a training session.


1989-1991 SINGAPORE PAN PACIFIC

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This two year old hotel was located at Marina Square and the General Manager was Mr Jean Wasser, who was also my previous General Manager from Kuala Lumpur. I carried on doing my famous novelty cakes at “La Patisserie”, while competing with all the other hotels to uphold a certain level of pastry standard in Singapore. This competition streak was also an “addiction” in Singapore. In 1990 I received the best pastry chef award. I decided not to compete any more after I received an invitation to judge in a competition.


For the longest time, I had thoughts of opening my own business and with that in mind, I turned down the corporate Pastry Chef position from Hong Kong Hilton. On the 1st. August 1991, I incorporated Yener Pty Ltd with Jiuan as my partner. I felt like I was in the middle of the ocean and I jumped into my small boat from someone else’s cruiser. Mr David Cheong, the owner of Win Sin kindly offered me the classroom space at his premises for conducting my courses and producing special cakes.

With Chef Blanchard.

With Chef Blanchard.

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During Christmas we organised a competition. Whoever guessed the closest weight of the giant Yule Log cake will win a prize.

During Christmas we organised a competition. Whoever guessed the closest weight of the giant Yule Log cake will win a prize.


1991-1992 YENER PASTRY ART

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At that time, Win Sin was the main pastry ingredient supplier in Singapore. Mr Cheong spent a few million dollars on his brand new showcase factory which included a perfectly designed comfortable demonstration room to accommodate 12 hands on students at a time. My joint venture with Mr Cheong worked out well and in a short while, my reputation increased and one of my most important clients was the Sultan of Brunei. The students both local and overseas were constantly filling up the classes.


I enjoyed working as my own boss for over a year till i decided that it’s better for us to move on to another country where we can settle down for good. Australia was the best option over USA and Canada and I could no longer resist the long pending offer from Hotel Conrad Jupiters on the Gold Coast.



1992-1997 CONRAD JUPITERS GOLD COAST

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My Executive Chef Gunther Karch sent his Sous Chef Volker Kopke to pick us up from the Brisbane airport on the 21st of December 1992 upon my arrival. On the following day, which was 3 days before Christmas, I started working and it wasn’t easy even though the kitchen was well prepared for the festive event. This giant hotel, operated by Hilton, welcomes on average over seven thousand guests daily. It has 6 restaurants, 1000 sitting banquet capacity plus the largest casino in Queensland. That was the biggest baby I have ever cared for in my entire working experience. Everyday, 20 over staff looked to me and asked, “What do I do now”. That wouldn’t be an easy question to answer if I didn’t have a well-organized kitchen with its proper station delegations and duty rostering system. My first task was to simplify the operation by separating the kitchen’s 5 distinguished stations and to deal with them like individual departments.


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During those 5 years we had hundreds of challenging ideas, menus, events and of course also some “show off” events. Every one of our X’Mas lunch buffets and chalet sales of Christmas goodies always out sold the previous years. The dessert for the Indy ball where I created chocolate “tyre-like” marks on each plate was one of the ideas, which will never be forgotten.


Occasionally I also taught sugar and chocolate art at TAFE College. Years passed and the time came for us to look forward for new challenges.


After 8 months of regular home meetings, my assistant Pastry Chef Martin Reisch and myself decided to go into our own business venture. On the 14th of August 1996 we registered our company Yenmart Pastry Art. Surprisingly, Conrad Jupiters management agreed to allow us to continue to work at the hotel. We found a nice front shop in Bundall and for the next 18 months we continued working at Conrad whilst we built our shop from scratch. At midnight on the 31st of December 1997 we celebrated our last day of work at Conrad Jupiters and our new venture with bottles of champagne. On the following morning we only had out little shop to worry about.


With Executive Chef Gunther Karch.

With Executive Chef Gunther Karch.

A street performing artist sprayed with chocolate surprised guests when he suddenly moved during a service.

A street performing artist sprayed with chocolate surprised guests when he suddenly moved during a service.

Christmas dessert buffet was presented with a different theme every year.

Christmas dessert buffet was presented with a different theme every year.

Gold Coast skyline out of Ginger Bread.

Gold Coast skyline out of Ginger Bread.

Santa’s sugar train filled with goodies.

Santa’s sugar train filled with goodies.


1996-2011 YENMART PASTRY ART
First shop in Bundall, Southport.

First shop in Bundall, Southport.

Here we go! I was again in a small boat off the shore. Found a beautiful front shop on a busy street in the middle of Bundall. This was a good place to rest ashore.


The shop’s front windows were covered with paper whilst we produced more than 45 sample cakes and showpieces with a lot of passion in the kitchen. On Monday the 3rd of March 1997, we took the paper off the windows. Gold Coast had the pleasure of viewing realistic looking novelty cakes that they had never seen before. Yenmart Pastry Art’s aim was to deliver a wide range of products from wedding cakes, birthday cakes, table centrepieces and any other custom made designs with a reasonable price and excellent service. We said to our customers “if you can dream it, we can do it”. Our product range was limited only by people’s imagination. We also produced frozen cakes and desserts made to order for hotels and restaurants. We served our customers for over ten years in this location. We then moved to Central Dr, Burleigh Heads for production and opened a retail shop at Broadbeach.


Standing: Serkan Yener, Martin Reisch, Orcun Yener. Sitting: Jiuan and Serdar Yener.

Standing: Serkan Yener, Martin Reisch, Orcun Yener. Sitting: Jiuan and Serdar Yener.

At the end of our 3 years lease, we moved again to another shop just around the corner at Hutchinson Street, Burleigh Heads. This time we purchased a 400 square naked factory and built everything from scratch according to local council requirements. After 4 and a half years, we decided to close our Broadbeach retail shop. We (Martin & myself) also decided to go our separate ways. Meaning we would operate as two separate companies and continue to work in the same building. My family and I continued our activities as Yeners Cakes.


Central Dr, Burleigh Heads

Central Dr, Burleigh Heads

Retail shop in Broadbeach.

Retail shop in Broadbeach.


Since 2011 YENERS CAKES
Our shop at Hutchinson St, Burleigh Heads. (AFTER)

Our kitchen at Hutchinson St, Burleigh Heads. (AFTER)

Our shop at Hutchinson St, Burleigh Heads. (BEFORE)

Our kitchen at Hutchinson St, Burleigh Heads. (BEFORE)

We moved to Hutchinson street early in 2009 as Yenmart Pastry Art. This move would be our final relocation. We started everything from scratch and carefully designed each component of the building accordingly. Thanks to Martin, my family and all our friends, for working so hard during the construction. We even built in a second floor with a raised platform which added 140 square working and storing space.


Serdar planning  a cake.

Planning a cake.

Jiuan in the office.

My wife Jiuan in the office.

From 2011 July onwards, we were Yeners Cakes and we emphasized more on wedding and novelty cakes. We were involved in almost every Wedding Expo on the Gold Coast and Brisbane. Just like the fashion world, we also had to update ourselves with the latest designs & trends in the wedding cake space. Certain designs that we did and was very popular a few years ago is out of fashion today. Updating ourselves with the help of the internet, an open mind and learning from others became a daily affair. We regularly added new designs to our website and portfolio. Having a good informative website and working on it regularly is a big priority these days. My son Serkan was always interested and involved in IT and made a lot of this possible.



2014 YENERSWAY – CAKE ART TUTORIALS

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On the 1st of April 2014, we launched our new website Yeners Way. A place for all cake enthusiasts to learn cake decorating or improve their cake decorating skills. Over a year in the making, my son Serkan and I put this website together from scratch to be an ideal platform for us to share and teach cake decorating ideas and techniques that we have been using for years.


Years of working in international hotel chains, participating and judging in international competitions and primarily producing wedding and birthday cakes for over 15 years in our family business, we have gathered an extensive accumulation of tricks and techniques. I have always had it in the back of my mind to write a book (or books) about all the acquired pastry knowledge in my life. Thanks to today’s information and technology age, I have decided not to go into booking writing just yet but instead, share and impart my knowledge through Yeners Way.


With a focus on attention to detail, simple and clear teaching style, downloadable blueprints and templates, our aim is to make learning the art of cake decorating easy and accessible for everyone.



Personal Achievements
Competitions

I have competed internationally and won 15 gold medals (most with distinction) at major salon culinary competitions.



1976 IKONDA (VIENNA – AUSTRIA)

DOLMABAHCE - Petite Fours Presentation - GOLD MEDAL

DOLMABAHCE – Petite Fours Presentation – GOLD MEDAL

“Dolmabahce” was my very first piece in the competitions. I shot 72 photos of this huge gate with my zoom objective camera to achieve fine detail and it took me 20 days to make its replica out of sugar. The box, which was used to transport this showpiece, was so big that it couldn’t go into cargo door of the plane. I had to tilt the box side way and it was fortunate that it arrived in one perfect piece. It was a good idea that I had fixed the whole piece on the base of the box.



1986 FOOD ASIA (SINGAPORE)

Ten years later I had the opportunity to compete as much as I can. Until today, I still don’t know why my 1930 style wedding cake failed to win any medal in this first day of the competition. I guess the judges did not appreciate the baroque style, which I’ve adopted for my wedding cake, as they were used to the traditional lace piping styles. My second gold medal, after all these years, which I had won with the dragon vase entry, brought tears to my eyes.


DRAGON VASE - Pastry Centerpiece - GOLD MEDAL

DRAGON VASE – Pastry Centerpiece – GOLD MEDAL

AMETHYST CAVE - Petite Fours Presentation - GOLD MEDAL

AMETHYST CAVE – Petite Fours Presentation – GOLD MEDAL

HORSE KEEPER - Butter Sculpture - SILVER MEDAL

HORSE KEEPER – Butter Sculpture – SILVER MEDAL


1987 IGEHO (BASEL – SWITZERLAND)

SPEED & BEAUTY - Petite Fours Presentation - GOLD MEDAL WITH DISTINCTION

SPEED & BEAUTY – Petite Fours Presentation – GOLD MEDAL WITH DISTINCTION

THE KNIGHT - Pastry Centrepiece - GOLD MEDAL

THE KNIGHT – Pastry Centrepiece – GOLD MEDAL

At the Subang Jaya airport, Kuala Lumpur we all looked like a baseball team in our uniforms. Nevertheless we were just the national team representing Malaysia and we were our way to Basel for the international competition. I prepared all my pieces before we left Kuala Lumpur and expected some damages when we arrived there. Thank goodness I was able to fix the broken parts of the showpieces at the Basel hotel’s kitchen. Everyone in our team helped each other and we worked through 4 sleepless nights. The talented Pastry Chef S.K. Lim from the Equatorial Hotel also did a very good job in the Regional Team Competition.


SAMURAI - Pastry Centrepiece - GOLD MEDAL

SAMURAI – Pastry Centrepiece – GOLD MEDAL

HACI BEKIR - Pastry Centrepiece - GOLD MEDAL

HACI BEKIR – Pastry Centrepiece – GOLD MEDAL

MOON LADY - Butter Sculpture - GOLD MEDAL

MOON LADY – Butter Sculpture – GOLD MEDAL


1988 FOOD ASIA (SINGAPORE)

SHOE MAKER - Petite Fours Presentation - GOLD MEDAL WITH DISTINCTION

SHOE MAKER – Petite Fours Presentation – GOLD MEDAL WITH DISTINCTION

4TH SECOND - Butter Sculpture -  GOLD MEDAL WITH DISTINCTION

4TH SECOND -
Butter Sculpture – GOLD MEDAL WITH DISTINCTION

Competitions became an addiction for me during those years. I had so much self-confidence and for all the three entries, I achieved 40 straight points. I should have joined another pastry entry to win the Most Outstanding Pastry Chef title easily for the 3rd time in my career.


ORIENT EXPRESS - Pastry Centrepiece - GOLD MEDAL WITH DISTINCTION

ORIENT EXPRESS – Pastry Centrepiece – GOLD MEDAL WITH DISTINCTION


1990 FOOD ASIA (SINGAPORE)

ADAM & EVE - Butter Sculpture - BRONZE MEDAL

ADAM & EVE – Butter Sculpture – BRONZE MEDAL

OLÉ - Pastry Centrepiece - GOLD MEDAL WITH DISTINCTION

OLÉ – Pastry Centrepiece – GOLD MEDAL WITH DISTINCTION

I decided to compete for the last time and do the right finale. I aimed to get the Most Outstanding title for the second time. I was the Regional Team captain and tens of other staff was expecting good advice from me. Beside the normal operation of work we all prepared 8 months long for this competition. Monthly meetings and trial runs with the team were quite important. Hard work always pays off and we were ranked third at the Regional Competition. I got my title and the staff I trained bagged most of the gold medals. I was named The Candy Man and I guess it’s because they liked my Candy Man Sugar Showpiece very much.


THE FOOD OF LOVE - Regional Team Competition - SILVER MEDAL (3RD PLACE)

THE FOOD OF LOVE – Regional Team Competition – SILVER MEDAL (3RD PLACE)

GOLFER’S BIRTHDAY - Confectionery - GOLD MEDAL

GOLFER’S BIRTHDAY – Confectionery – GOLD MEDAL

FAN’S CEREMONY - Deserts Presentation - GOLD MEDAL

FAN’S CEREMONY – Deserts Presentation – GOLD MEDAL

CANDY MAN - Petite Fours Presentation - GOLD MEDAL WITH DISTINCTION

CANDY MAN – Petite Fours Presentation – GOLD MEDAL WITH DISTINCTION



Outstanding Awards

After I have received 5 gold Medals for 5 entries I was also awarded with the most outstanding artist title. At the end of the competition, I was asked to display all my entries on a table for the special presentation (left). I received my second most outstanding pastry chef award in Singapore from Mr Huuber and Mr Alan Parker (right).


1987 IGEHO (BASEL – SWITZERLAND)

1987 IGEHO (BASEL – SWITZERLAND)

1990 FOOD ASIA (SINGAPORE)

1990 FOOD ASIA (SINGAPORE)



Pieces in Museums

My centrepieces were displayed in museums at Champagne FRANCE, Culinary Art Museum SWITZERLAND and the National Museum SINGAPORE.


Pulling and blowing sugar of Perrier Jouet - CHAMPAGNE MUSEUM

Pulling and blowing sugar of Perrier Jouet – CHAMPAGNE MUSEUM

Sugar food replicas for the multi cultural wedding exhibition - SINGAPORE NATIONAL MUSEUM

Sugar food replicas for the multi cultural wedding exhibition – SINGAPORE NATIONAL MUSEUM

Solid sugar sculpture of Samurai Warrior -  CULINARY ART MUSEUM TUHN

Solid sugar sculpture of Samurai Warrior – CULINARY ART MUSEUM
TUHN



Teaching

I have trained more than 250 local and overseas students in Singapore. I continue teaching in Australia at Yenmart Pastry Art and TAFE Colleges about sugar, chocolate centrepieces and pastry specialities.


Assisting Joel Bellouet.

Assisting Joel Bellouet.

Teaching at TAFE.

Teaching at TAFE.

Teaching at Yenmart.

Teaching at Yenmart.

Teaching at TAFE.

Teaching at TAFE.

After a demonstration.

After a demonstration.

After a demonstration.

After a demonstration.

Another group at TAFE.

Another group at TAFE.

Strudel Demonstration.

Strudel Demonstration.



Judging

I have judged at major culinary competitions in Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and USA.


During Prima Cake Competition Judging with Joseph Cavietzel.

During Prima Cake Competition Judging with Joseph Cavietzel.

During one of the Singapore Food Asia judging sessions with other pastry chefs Mr. Meyer, Mr. Baumgartner and Mr. Shutzenberger.

During one of the Singapore Food Asia judging sessions with other pastry chefs Mr. Meyer, Mr. Baumgartner and Mr. Shutzenberger.

I was very honoured when Herr Kurt Schintler (Principle of Master School in Koln Germany) and Mr Ewald Notter (World renown sugar artist and owner/founder of International School of Confectionary Arts outside Washington City USA) accepted my dinner invitation. We talked about the olden days in Germany and Switzerland. Mrs Kavietzel (standing) on left.

I was very honoured when Herr Kurt Schintler (Principle of Master School in Koln Germany) and Mr Ewald Notter (World renown sugar artist and owner/founder of International School of Confectionary Arts outside Washington City USA) accepted my dinner invitation. We talked about the olden days in Germany and Switzerland. Mrs Kavietzel (standing) on left.

With Japanese Judge Tatsuya Kijima during 2002 World Pastry Championships, Las Vegas.

With Japanese Judge Tatsuya Kijima during 2002 World Pastry Championships, Las Vegas.

Judging with USA Judge Mr Ewald Notter during 2002 World Pastry Championship Las Vegas.

Judging with USA Judge Mr Ewald Notter during 2002 World Pastry Championship Las Vegas.

Just before the starting bell - 2002.

Just before the starting bell – 2002.

Judging community solving some conflict issues - 2004.

Judging community solving some conflict issues – 2004.

Winning Team USA chocolate and sugar centerpieces 2004 World Pastry Championship, Las Vegas.

Winning Team USA chocolate and sugar centerpieces 2004 World Pastry Championship, Las Vegas.



Seminars

I have been invited several times to different countries to give seminars and demonstrations about sugar and chocolate work besides constantly being involved giving short seminars at our work place. Few of the major one-man shows were at the Hong Kong Hofex, Singapore Food Asia and New Zealand Tour for Nestle.


Exhibiting in Food Asia Singapore.

Exhibiting in Food Asia Singapore.

Demonstrating Sugar Work for Chinese Women Association.

Demonstrating Sugar Work for Chinese Women Association.

My Chocolate work for IMF at Hong Kong Hilton.

My Chocolate work for IMF at Hong Kong Hilton.

I enjoyed my tour of Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington with Mr Phillip Thousend who was responsible for the 400 attendees in total for the three seminars.

I enjoyed my tour of Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington with Mr Phillip Thousend who was responsible for the 400 attendees in total for the three seminars for Nestle.

During my Seminar at BITC Singapore

During my Seminar at BITC Singapore

During my Seminar at BITC Singapore.

During my Seminar at BITC Singapore.



Coaching

I enjoyed coaching and encouraged many young pastry chefs, regional and national team members in many international competitions. Some of those colleagues have shown their appreciations more than others. I am proud to present them and their work of art in my pages of memories.


Mr Christian Onno
Owner of two pastry shops in Mauritius. He came for work experience at every place I went. He won the most awards in Mauritius and in Europe. I look forward to his next visit.


Jiuan Ho (Yener)
We worked together in Malaysia and Singapore. Her great passion won her a couple of medals. We will continue to enjoy working together for the rest of our lives as we are now happily married.


Mr Lee Lay
Owner of the largest Pastry Supply company in Singapore. He was my assistant Pastry Chef at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Singapore. We enjoyed consulting each other in many tough competitions. He was recognised as the second Best Pastry Chef in 1990 and awarded the Most Outstanding Pastry Chef in 1992 at the Salon Culinaire, Singapore.


Mr Shane Rick
One of my most enthusiastic colleagues. While we were working at Conrad Jupiters, he mastered chocolate modelling in a short time and won many medals at major competitions in Australia. At present, he is running his own Pastry Shop on the Gold Coast.


Christian invited us to Mauritius for our honeymoon. He and his wife Bianca spoiled us for 8 days. He gave me an envelope to open in the plane. It was the speech he used at our farewell dinner with his 30 family members.

Christian invited us to Mauritius for our honeymoon. He and his wife Bianca spoiled us for 8 days. He gave me an envelope to open in the plane. It was the speech he used at our farewell dinner with his 30 family members.

coaching2

coaching3

coaching4

coaching5

coaching6

coaching7

coaching8



Articles

Some of the articles written about my work in international newspapers and publications.


Malaysia

Malaysia

Germany

Germany

Turkey

Turkey

Singapore

Singapore

Singapore

Singapore

Singapore

Singapore

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Australia

Australia

Australia

Australia



TV Appearances

I appeared regularly on Malaysian TV (Quali, Good Morning Malaysia, and News) and occasionally on Australian TV, Gold Coast Channels (Wild Life, Great SouthEast and News) and Brisbane show Extra.


Malaysian Cooking Show QUALI.

Malaysian Cooking Show QUALI.

Australian Tv Program Wild Life.

Australian Tv Program Wild Life.



VIP & Royal Customers

My custom designed cakes and showpieces have been purchased by or presented to many government personalities including the Sultan Of Brunei.


Just before presenting the Malaysian King Iskandar with a helicopter birthday cake.

Just before presenting the Malaysian King Iskandar with a helicopter birthday cake.

Finishing touches on the sugar picture of the Royal Brunei couple.

Finishing touches on the sugar picture of the Royal Brunei couple.

Oman’s King sugar painting.

Oman’s King sugar painting.

Presenting a chocolate bust of Turkish President Demirel to himself.

Presenting a chocolate bust of Turkish President Demirel to himself.

Receiving an autographed picture from the Turkish Prime Minister Turgut Ozal

Receiving an autographed picture from the Turkish Prime Minister Turgut Ozal

It was an honour to meet Mr Sakip Sabanci in Singapore.

It was an honour to meet Mr Sakip Sabanci in Singapore.

My Cocoa paintings of Malaysian Prime ministers displayed at the Hotel entrance of Pan Pacific Kuala Lumpur.

My Cocoa paintings of Malaysian Prime ministers displayed at the Hotel entrance of Pan Pacific Kuala Lumpur.



Specialties
  • International Patisserie
  • Custom designed novelty cakes.
  • Realistic three dimensional cakes.
  • Weddings cakes in classic or contemporary designs.
  • Multiple or single large showpieces out of chocolate, sugar or other edible materials.
  • Sculptures with the influence of Western or Eastern cultures.
  • Aquarelle paintings with sugar colours.


Sugar centerpiece (isomalt)

Sugar centerpiece (isomalt)

Birthday cake

Birthday cake

Wedding cake

Wedding cake

Chocolate sculpture for Melbourne Cup

Chocolate sculpture for Melbourne Cup

Chocolate sculpture for Melbourne Cup

Chocolate sculpture for Melbourne Cup

Wedding cake

Wedding cake

Wedding cake

Wedding cake

Wedding cake

Wedding cake

Chocolate centerpiece

Chocolate centerpiece



Social Situation

I was married to Mine in 1977 for 22 years. We both eventually realised that for a long time we did not enjoy any common interests and decided to go our separate ways in 1998. We have two boys’ Orcun (1980) and Serkan (1982). They are now both married and have given us 4 Grand children. On the 1st August 1999, I married with Jiuan and today we are happy working long hours and going out fishing together if there’s any time left.


My wedding with Jiuan.

My wedding with Jiuan.

Serkan, Jayda, Sue, Orcun.

Serkan, Jayda, Sue, Orcun.

Taylan & Semih

Taylan & Semih

Ayla & Selin

Ayla & Selin



Future Plans

I believe everybody comes to this wonderful place without any agenda. Shortly after family, social, economical, political, religious, educational and many other factors combined, it places a long task list in front of us. We follow that list and achieved some sort of success or struggle for the rest of our life. Luck only adds some small vibrations to that circle. BORN, PLAY, GROW, LEARN, EARN, ENJOY, SHARE and TEACH before we go. If you think about the question “what you think about your future?”, it all depends on which part of your life you’ve been asked this question. For example if you ask that to a toddler he will say “I want to GROW”. If you ask a student he will say “I would like to EARN something”. This will carry on like that at all the stages of life and the answer will be related to the next part of the agenda. I’ll ask myself this question today as I’m ENJOYing my life. It is time for me to SHARE and impart my experience & knowledge with others. For the rest of my life, I will seriously concentrate on Yeners Way. I will do my best to produce regular videos, tutorials and courses with educational value while promptly being available to answer any questions people might have about pastry. All in the hope to help and TEACH as many people as I can. I would also love to travel to conduct demonstrations and workshops around the world as well as write a book or two. This is the plan I have for the future.