I was born and raised in Malaysia, in a small town called Ipoh. I immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts in 1996. I don’t have a story about growing up making pies with grandma. My very first baking experience was back in 2008, when I attended a fellowship small group potluck party with my homemade vanilla bean creme brûlée. Everyone was impressed and one of the small group members told me, ”You often hear people say that I’m a vegan, but I would say that I’m a Keegan, and you should consider pursuing a career as a pastry chef!" I began my pastry educational journey by attending the baking and pastry program at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. While in school, I was fortunate to work with Petit Robert, a French restaurant, as an assistant pastry chef part-time and was introduced to the art of French pastry.
After I graduated from Johnson and Wales University, I began my pastry career at Taj Boston Hotel as a pastry cook and there I began developing my own style as I designed beautiful and elegant cakes for weddings and other special occasions, and sculpted signature cakes with proficiency. During my final year at Taj Boston, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend The French Pastry School of Chicago for Chocolate Showpieces for Competition or Display with Chef Stéphane Leroux M.O.F. through the support of family and friends.
In 2013, I moved to the Berkshires to be the pastry chef at the luxurious five star, five diamonds Wheatleigh Hotel in Lenox, Massachusetts. In this role, I was responsible for overseeing the production of all dessert offerings, breakfast Viennoiserie and chocolate production for the hotel and restaurants. I also worked closely with the Executive Chef to maintain the high quality and standards of the entire pastry department for all restaurants and banquets. It became a very significant chapter of my life, as I learned the importance of details, consistency, and attention of fine dining. Some of the highlights of my time at Wheatleigh was being able to host a James Beard dinner at NYC with the Chef Jefferey Thompson and attending The French Pastry School of Chicago to take The Art of Viennoiserie class with the Master Baker and Chef Instructor Jonathan Dendauw to refine my lamination skills.
In 2016, I met my wife Yilin at Wheatleigh and I’m blessed to have her in my life. She always believes in me and encourages me to follow my dream. With all her support and encouragement, very soon my dream will become reality. Today, we are thrilled to be carrying on the tradition of excellence from Wheatleigh Hotel, as we merge together under the name Keegan Kreations (as inspired by my wonderful wife).