One silver lining to a pandemic-induced quarantine is the sudden surge of productivity that almost everyone’s had in the kitchen. For Rankin Cailles, an up-and-coming chef who’s been making his way through the culinary industry, this is certainly no less true.
During the ECQ, online food stores have been popping up left and right. Cailles’ personal project, By Chef Kin, is one such example, the result of the urge to pursue passion despite — or perhaps because of — the lack of work to be found in professional kitchens during these trying times.
“I decided to be busy in the kitchen and create products I seldom do at work,” said Cailles, explaining how By Chef Kin came to be.
Although Chef Cailles has been cooking for almost all of his life, he found that he hasn’t dedicated as much time to explore the sweeter side of the culinary world as he had its more savory counterparts. Now, during his free time, Cailles allows himself more freedom to develop his creativity — not unlike what many others had done during this pandemic, he started to bake bread for his family and friends.
“In my whole career, I [have been] assigned to the hot kitchen. I have cooked meals [but] not [many] desserts. I realized since I have time to spare, why not explore the world of desserts?” Cailles shared.
One of the most important aspects of managing a business is to pay particular attention to the products being showcased. As he delves ever deeper into his developing sugary interests, Cailles shares that there is a lot to be discovered during the process of innovating, especially when working out the details of the food he presents — after all, for every dish that a chef serves, there is always a story to tell.
“I like the challenge, especially when it comes to creating new products … A lot of R&D (research and development) happens in every dessert. I usually do trial and error,” said Cailles.
During this stage, Cailles makes sure to consider the flavors and availability of the ingredients that he has on hand. Those close to him know the process well, having served as the final judges of the desserts offered by By Chef Kin. “I let my family taste [the dish] first,” explained Cailles. “If it passes their standard, then it’s a sign that it will be included in the menu.”
Of course, what sets By Chef Kin apart from other online dessert shops is Cailles’ own culinary background. In 2011, Cailles graduated from Enderun Colleges with a degree in international hospitality management, specializing in the culinary arts. Afterward, he gained experience as a line cook at an airline catering company before working his way up the ladder to become its executive sous chef.
Working alongside several mentors and co-workers has refined Cailles’ skills as a culinary expert, gifting him with a personal touch of flavor that he can confidently call his own. As a testament to these experiences, By Chef Kin offers innovative takes of classic quarantine selections, including chocolate chip cookies, ube cheese pandesal, and butternut crinkles in its menu of delights.
And if those aren’t tantalizing enough, then maybe something that requires a little more finesse can do the convincing. The crowning glory of this online bakery is a timeless Italian delicacy expressed in its best-sellers: the Mascarpone Tiramisu and Limoncello Tiramisu. Each dish is available in three sizes (petite, regular, and party), the former priced respectively at P350, P700, and P1,300 and the latter at P500, P1,000, and P2,000.
Continuing the Culinary Journey
As an online bakery, By Chef Kin has gathered itself a strong and loyal following since its inception last year. However, Chef Cailles’ ambitions don’t stop there.
When asked what he loved most about managing By Chef Kin, Cailles had this to say: “I like to make something new. Most often, I find myself learning more from this experience.”
“I never saw myself doing routine tasks. [This] is why I love cooking. It’s a different experience every day, and that is what excites me. I love making people happy through the food that I serve — every good feedback [sic] I receive is really heartwarming. It validates all the hard work and countless hours I put in the kitchen.”
In line with his passion for the culinary arts, Cailles hopes to continue creating food that both he and his customers love. “My goal is to become a well-known brand that [creates] refined desserts [delivered] straight to everyone’s home.”
Tips by Chef Kin
With years of experience in the industry, Chef Cailles knows how difficult it is to walk down the culinary path as both a chef and a budding entrepreneur. To those wanting to pursue the same dream, he advises focusing on three things: time, experience, and trust.
TIME: “If you truly want something, having no time is not an excuse. Before, I used time as an excuse, which is why I waited until I had free time to do By Chef Kin. But I realized that you have to make time, or else it will never happen.”
EXPERIENCE: “Learning never stops. Every day is a learning experience for me, especially in By Chef Kin.”
TRUST: “Trust in God’s timing for you. By Chef Kin was so timely because my wife and I had just welcomed our baby girl — and as parents, we want to provide her with the best. I am truly grateful for this blessing that was given to my family. Indeed, God will provide.”
Thinking about starting your own food business? For more insights on the food industry, check out our article on leading Cebuano restauranteur John Dytian and his experiences in tackling the local culinary scene right here!