The Wonder of Bold Exploration

What have you accomplished when you was 16? Well, Arielle Chenara surely can proudly answer that question. We sat down and talk with the great young cake maker of how she becomes one of biggest player in Bali’s cake industry nowadays.

Don’t let anyone despise you for your youth. This phrase rings true if we see what Arielle Chenara has accomplished. In just her 16th age, she has established herself as one of the island’s prominent wedding cake maker through her own brand, Thyme and Caramel. PASSION has a great chance to chat with the aspiring youngster and gain insight into her brilliant mind and her knacks of exploring the possibilities.

Wow! You’re so young and talented! Could you tell us who inspires you to enter this particular business scene?

I think my biggest inspiration would be my parents, what they do and how they taught me as a kid to really follow my heart and what my passion is. I think if we follow our heart and our passion, everything will eventually fall into places.

How did it all started then?

My journey started when I was around 5. It was a usual summer holiday and kids have extra time. My parents wants me to use that time wisely, and given my interest in craft, my mom sent me to a clay molding workshop, and there I made my very first bakery, out of clay, which is actually still here on display at our store (Kinoa Clean-Eating Concept).

You choose to specifically use buttercream in your creation, any particular reason?

Actually a lot of people asked me why I don’t use fondant. They were like ‘buttercream is so outdated, why you still using it?’ But to me, it’s the way you can use buttercream into making different type of art. You can really use buttercream to make a lot of things and I’m still exploring the possibilities. Our buttercream are vegan and it’s made from healthy ingredients so you can indulge in it without thinking of negative things (laugh).

Explain to us a bit about your decision to go with ‘vegan’ cake, and what makes yours different from other similar products

At first, we decided to go with the gluten-free and vegan for the demand. There were a lot of demands of special dietary requirements in Bali. And we think it would be good supply to them with the products. I wanted to make something that you could really enjoy and indulge even if it said ‘vegan’ and ‘gluten-free’. I wish to change the mindset of people and hope that my cake could taste as beautiful as it look.

So what ingredients did you use as a substitute to make a ‘vegan’ buttercream cake?

I use mainly coconut products because I want to use something locally rich in Indonesia, especially in Bali. For the buttercream it mainly consists of coconut oil coconut milk, coconut cream and sugar cane.

Running a full-blown business is not an easy task. Do you have anyone who helps you in this area? What’s the biggest challenge?

My mom is a great manager and role model. She likes to just ‘push me off the cliff’, let me fly and explore myself. She’s very allowing me to go and getting into mistakes. When I do, she won’t help me and encourage me to solve my own problem. Daily, I also work with a staff to help me in small details.

To be completely honest, I don’t see anything as a ‘big challenge’ or even a challenge itself. Working daily there will always be challenges, but really it’s so hard to find a big enough challenge (to stop me). If you’re really passionate it’s so easy to jump through the hoops when there’s a problem or challenge coming your way. But if I have to choose, I guess the largest challenge would be delivery. It stressed you out a lot during delivery especially for large-tier cakes; you have to think every aspect in order for the cake to arrive safely to the clients.

How long have you been running Thyme and Caramel Bali? What’s the meaning behind the name?

Interesting question, I love it! I have been running this brand for two years now, and in making the name, I wanted something that represents balance, so then I come up with the name ‘Thyme and Caramel’. Thyme is an herb usually used in savory dishes, to cook meat and I actually like it because of its distinctive taste; a little bit spicy and bitter. Then Caramel, as we all know, is so sweet, so putting them together kind of means life or balance to me and that’s why I choose the name.

If you could meet with one chef figure right now, who would that be, and why?

I would go with two! I would love to meet with Christina Tosi as my number one choice, and two, definitely the world famous chef: Gordon Ramsay.

Christina Tosi is amazing, I watched her Netflix Chef’s Table series which kind of unfolding her life background and I was so inspired by it. Like a lot of people stories, we started literally as no one, just out of passion. I believe that you can be successful one day if you really start from your heart and that’s exactly what she did.

As for Gordon, I would love for him to taste my creation. I don’t think he’s a very vegetarian type of person, but I hope that he could take something else, take something home from my cakes and I would love to hear his advises.

Where do you want to see yourself five years from now?

There is a magic in sharing, and my other passion would be empowering youths, especially the kid generation of today and see them being able to create something unique, truly out of their heart and passion. So in five years, definitely I would love to see my business expanding, but on top of that, personally I would love to share to a wider audience of youth, hoping to inspire them to do something similar, whatever their hearts tells them to be. Show the world that you have power!

Like doing workshops?

Yes! Right now I’m already leading workshops on cakes for kids. I do it around once a month for ages six to fifteen, I give them the opportunity to touch the tools that I use to create their own cupcake creation and express their creative minds.

Thyme and Caramel Bali
Pererenan, Mengwi, Badung Regency, Bali
Phone: +62813 3892 7578