This Guy Can Make Pretty Little Things a.k.a. Yummy Cupcakes
Wado Tan Siman is not the type of person who'd come to mind when one says cupcake baker. He's a big guy, for starters, almost six feet tall with a handsome physique to match. And he's neither shy nor dainty, given to spewing out gurgles of with laughter at every opportunity. But his is the mind who conjured up the idea of a moist kapeng barako cupcake with a Kahlua buttercream frosting, a chocolate fudge brownie spiked with bacon and bourbon whiskey, and a luscious yema cake. That Wado loves playing with food is obvious. But what's even better is that his spirit of playfulness has resulted in exciting flavor combinations, which have wowed the senses of cupcake fans and foodies alike.
Wado didn't actually plan on becoming a baker. One of his friends, who thought it would be funny to see a big guy making little cupcakes, suggested he take up baking, and gifted him with a set of baking tools for Christmas. Eight months later, he found himself gravitating towards the baking items.
He watched baking tutorials on YouTube, and started making cupcakes just to show his prankster of a friend that a big guy can make little things. His cupcakes earned such rave reviews that his friends urged him to start selling them.
Wado's first big order came from comedian John Lapus in 2012. He bought an assortment of cupcakes, which he gave to his celebrity friends. Wado recalls, "When Eugene Domingo posted it on Instagram, people went crazy. I was getting orders. I thought, ‘Is this serious?' People were actually buying."
Initially, he sold his cupcakes online and delivered the goodies himself. Often, his customers were surprised to see that a muscular dude was the one who baked the creamy cupcakes.
In 2014, Wado joined Lifestyle Network's reality competition, "The Clash: Search for the Next Great Dessert Master," where he eventually finished fourth, besting other participants who had more experience and studied in baking schools.
Inspired by his reality show experience, Wado vowed never to let an opportunity pass him by ever again. He threw his hat on any sort of competition that came his way, including Globe's Pitch Tuesdays: Most Inspired Start-Up Food Edition.
Wado made it to the top 20, and his Globe Pitch Tuesdays experience proved to be very rewarding. He says, "People think making cupcakes is easy. You mix and then you bake. But when you explain the thought process of how you came up with the dish, they appreciate it more. It works both ways. They get rewarded when they understand what they're eating. We get rewarded because they understand the process of what we went through to create what we did."
Though Wado faced fierce competition, his Black Bottom Cupcake with Tablea Ganache eventually came out the winner. "It's a black chocolate cupcake with cheesecake inside, topped with tablea ganache. It's 72 percent dark chocolate mixed with heavy cream and tablea from Davao."
It's not every day that someone with no background in baking whatsoever gets to best culinary professionals at their own game. That's why he encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to get busy. "There is no such thing as the right time. If you want to do something, just do it. While you're young, it's okay to make mistakes. No one's going to laugh at you. If you made yourself happy, it's not a wasteful experience."
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