Hanbit never started out as a pastry chef – he studied mathematics at Oxford(MMATH), worked in investment banking(Credit Suisse) and consultancy(Bain & Company). So basically nothing to do with pastry…but Hanbit was always interested in starting a F&B business so he was constantly looking out for opportunities. And one day, he made a bold move by quitting his job and enrolling at a pastry school. That’s where it all started.
He loved it and he still loves it! The career shift wasn’t easy at all – gruelling hours of pastry production was a whole different world to working in an air-conditioned office. But as time went on he quickly got used to it and the learning curve was steep. Having jumped into pastry at the age of 31, he had a lot to absorb to catch up as quickly as possible and bring himself up to speed.
He did manage in the end and 6 years after the career shift, Hanbit raised his business (Sugar Lane) all the way from ground zero to becoming a respectable baking academy in Korea. His academy has taught over 2500 students with many of them opening up successful businesses in Korea. He has now expanded the business to the online sector and strive to offer the best baking online courses – especially in English.
- Author of bestseller, “Sugar Lane’s Cafe Desserts”
- Sugar Lane Baking Studio, Seoul
- Ecole Lenôtre, Seoul
- Nakamura Academy, Seoul
- SCAE Barista/Brewing Intermediate
- Neowiz Games, Seoul
- Bain & Company, London
- Credit Suisse, London
- Oxford University, UK
How is Hanbit different?
There are lots of pastry chefs out there – and lots of really good pastry chefs. As long as you study at a top pastry school, you should be able to harness your skills and make decent pastry products. But then how do you differentiate yourself? It was here that Hanbit’s past experiences came into play.
Why & How
Hanbit focuses heavily on how things work. His background of mathematics has certainly equipped him with a logical mind which is a great tool in pastry. Understanding the science behind allows one to avoid mistakes and achieve great results.
Hanbit’s life has been about efficiency. His career before pastry was heavily focused on working fast with precision. This mindset applies to every process of pastry including the measurement of ingredients all the way to dishwashing.
Hanbit quickly realised that pastry was not all about being delicious – it was only half the story. The other half was to make your product look nice and appealing to the eye. As seen from Hanbit’s products he cares a lot about making dessert look pretty.
Making your product is one thing, teaching is another. Having taught more than 2500 students at his own baking academy, Hanbit has greatly enjoyed teaching students and also gained a lot of experience. It’s especially rewarding when your students open up and run successful businesses.
Hanbit and Annie form a perfect duo – especially because they are mother & son. Have you ever seen such a pair in the world of pastry? Probably not.
CEO & Pastry chef
Hanbit is the CEO of Sugar Lane Baking Academy based in Seoul, Korea. As a pastry chef, his mission is to make baking more enjoyable – both for homebakers and professionals. This is being achieved through his baking academy in Seoul and having taught more than 2500 students over 6 years, he has a pretty good idea of how to teach his students. Based on his international background, he has expanded his presence outside Korea through youtube and now through his online baking platform.
Annie is the head instructor of Sugar Lane Baking Academy. She is a professionally trained pastry chef and has played a key role in building the Sugar Lane brand to where it is now. Prior to working at the academy, she was the head chef at Sugar Lane cafe where she created the popular line up of Sugar Lane’s K-style macarons (fatcarons). She adopts a systematic approach to pastry and focuses heavily on R&D. She is also Hanbit’s mother(?!) and such a duo is a very rare case in pastry.