2020/04/11

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Interview: Priscilla Young of Ms. P Burnt Cheesecake


Priscilla Young has been in Shanghai for over 5 overs. She arrived, with her husband, chef Jun Wu, to explore the F&B industry of this great city. After creating a thriving neighborhood restaurant called Brut Eatery, Priscilla is now starting her new brand, Ms. P Burnt Cheesecake. Lets see how she came about this endeavor. 



You mentioned you and your husband came to Shanghai with the intention of starting a restaurant, how did that work out for you guys?
5 years ago, western cuisine was still in its infancy. Its unlike now where you have a wide variety of choices. We saw an opportunity in this city. We packed our bags and moved up here from Hong Kong to open a restaurant inside of a hotel in Qingpu. Not familiar with Shanghai at the time, we didnt realize that Qingpu was in the middle of nowhere. But, weve already signed a contract, so we went forth and put in our best effort. After struggling for nearly 2 years, we realized that we needed to be in the city center in order to succeed in western cuisine. After months of location scouting, we came across an available space on the corner of Yuyuan Rd and Zhenning Rd. And thats how Brut Eatery came to fruition. 3 years and 5 locations later, we felt we made the right choice in not giving up our dream of being in the restaurant business. 



In addition to managing Brut Eatery, I noticed that you are also highly involved in other projects. 
Yes, Ive always believed in not putting all eggs in one basket. Brut Eatery is our bread and butter. Now that it is self-sustaining, I wanted to see what else I can do that is still related to F&B. Currently, Im a co-producer for a food documentary that features chefs who were influenced by Chinese cuisine. Filming has been currently halted, due to the epidemic. But once it is completed, it will air on CCTV 9. Im also exploring live-streaming, as it is a big thing here in China. One of the live-streaming project that I just embarked on is with Ctrip. It features me speaking with various chefs around Shanghai. I want this to be more educational based. Thats why my focus will be on restaurants that showcase special ingredients or techniques. I want the audience to learn something, and not just watch people eat for an hour. And, its also a good way to help promote various restaurants around town.



I cant wait to tune in to your broadcast. Based on your philosophy, is that how Ms. P Burnt Cheesecake began?
Absolutely! Its about diversification and building my personal brand. I would only provide a product or service that resonates with me. If I cant stand by it, then theres no way I would produce or promote it.
But why cheesecake?
Ive had my first taste of the burnt cheesecake over a decade ago in Germany. My host mother, who was a talented home baker, concocted a burnt cheesecake for me to try. And since then, I have never forgotten it. Just a few months ago, I reconnected with her. Talking to her made me relive all of those fond memories, and especially all of the cakes that she made daily. It sparked a passion in me to bake, and the one that I wanted to perfect was, of course, the burnt cheesecake.


Tell us whats so special about this burnt cheesecake. 
Forget what you previously know about cheesecakes, this one is the complete opposite. Its cooked at a high temperature, its purposely burnt on top, and theres no cake or cookie base on the bottom. If youve never seen one before, you might think that someone screwed up on the recipe. But believe me, it is intended to be like this. Whats beautiful is the contrasting taste of the caramelized burnt exterior and the rich creamy interior for a perfect balance. Oh, did I mention that Ms. P Burnt Cheesecake is gluten-free.
Where do you sell these cheesecakes?
We are currently selling them online, through my Wechat store. People tell me that they order it as a gift, or for the office, or even as a daily indulgence. Whatever the reason, we can deliver the cheesecake right to your door.





Sounds like youre quite the entrepreneur, any words of advice for our fellow readers?
China is constantly evolving. You have to stay up-to-date, whether its the latest food trends or technology. I used to repel against the idea of using Douyin. But I realized I should have jumped on the bandwagon sooner. Let us not confine ourselves to the old ways of doing things. Be open to exploring the possibilities, it may surprise you. 
Find Ms P on Weibo at MsP_Priscilla, and her burnt cheesecake at MsPBurntCheesecake on Wechat. Follow their account, and get a discount coupon. Yes, you might be an old customer, but you are still rewarded for following their account.
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