Catherine Wong loved baking ever since high school. In college she was the go-to-girl for all things sweet and yummy but when it came to choosing a career baking had to take a step back. Catherine staid with the food theme, though, and became a food scientist. For years she created sauces: developed new ideas for pizza sauces, pasta sauces, meat sauces, tried, changed, improved and came up with intriguing flavors.
But baking remained her true passion. After work she would rush home and start exploring with sweet ingredients, developing new flavors, trying to recreate what she experienced during her travels, e.g. French macarons.
Occasionally, I bring you a story under the headline “Sometimes small change isn’t enough”. Remember Jutta who gave up her job as an admin in the pharma industry to teach English to students in Laos? Catherine’s story is like that: eventually rushing from her kitchen-plus-lab at work to her home kitchen in the evening wasn’t feasible anymore and instead of giving up baking, Catherine gave up sauce making.
She is now a full-time baker in Sunnyvale. She takes particular pride and joy in developing new flavors and letting her south-Asian heritage influence her creations. In her interview she mentions delicious sounding creations like Thai-tea cookies or sweet and savory sea wheat macarons. We also talk about the challenges of running a small, new business. Like many people starting out she finds marketing very hard and was stunned to find that, though people love a free cookie that doesn’t mean they are going to buy them for their next party.
It is an exciting and exhausting learning curve for Catherine but she is glad she took the plunge and followed her passion. Having an understanding and supportive husband certainly doesn’t hurt.
The permalink for the interview is here.
The direct download link can be found here.
Have a look at Catherine’s webpage here: https://www.catcatsnomnom.com
And another picture of some of Catherine’s cookie creations.