Connect with us

Food Scene

The devil is in the detail – Phuket’s Les Diables

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Walking into Les Diables bakery to interview creator and master pastry chef Peter Webber, I find him hunched over his work bench, meticulously crafting a tiny toilet out of white chocolate.

Curious, I ask him what on earth it is for and he replies matter-of-factly: “It’s for a customer, they were having a trailer-trash party and they wanted the cake to have a drunken barbie doll throwing up into the toilet.

I guess it’s one of the more extreme cakes I’ve done recently,” he says with a laugh.

Creating specialty cakes is Peter’s passion and over the years he has crafted hundreds of cakes of all shapes and sizes, including Formula One cars, helicopters and yachts – all from a simple palette of chocolate, sugar and flour.

He has worked as a pastry chef for more then 20 years, much of that time at high-end hotels such as the Savoy and the Four Seasons in England and for 14 years he was head pastry chef at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok.

“I’ve done some more extreme, weird [cakes] in Bangkok, ones that you couldn’t put in the paper! I became quite an expert on the dirty ones,” he says with a cheeky grin.

After leaving the Oriental, he came to Phuket and co-created Les Anges, a specialty bakery at the Royal Phuket Marina, where he was manager and baker, before leaving for a contract job in Malaysia.

His latest solo venture, Les Diables – a café, bakery and workshop for his specialty cake business – is on a much smaller scale. Located in a small shop-front at the Boat Lagoon complex north of Phuket Town, the café has a treasure trove of delicious baked good on offer including pies, croissants, biscuits, quiches, bagels, sandwiches, and of course, cakes (click here for map).

There are also plenty of drinks on hand including great espresso coffee and smoothies which change regularly depending on what fresh fruit is available; when I was there it was a choice between, banana-berry, mango-chocolate and pineapple-ginger.

It is clear that Peter is happy to be working for himself for a change and he says it allows him the freedom to focus on his passion for specialty cakes.

“I wanted to concentrate on my specialty, which is cakes and wedding cakes, but I also wanted to have more customer contact, somewhere people can come in and have something to eat,” he said.

When he returned from Malaysia, where he had stayed for a year, he came up with the plan to open his own business in Phuket.

“When I finished my contract in Malaysia I was wondering what to do. When I came back to Phuket, I spoke to a lot of my old customers who were event organizers and they told me they couldn’t get their wedding cakes the way they wanted them, so I saw an opportunity for some business here,” he says.

Peter began taking orders for cakes at Les Diables in January this year and opened the café to customers about three months ago. So far business has been booming.

“We got off to a really good start, I think it was because I had my regular customers from my time at Les Anges,” he says.

“I chose boat lagoon because I find it’s an easy address, you can just say I’m at the Boat Lagoon, rather then having to give directions. And I live here as well so that makes it even easier.”

Chalked onto the menu board are the words “If you want something special just ask. We will do our best!” and this pretty much sums up Peter’s approach to both his café and his specialty cake business.

He says he tried to vary the menu often and try new recipes and combinations to keep the food interesting and in his words the food is “simple fare, good fare”.

“We do different pies all the time, now we have chicken and mushroom, pork and garlic, but sometimes we do fish pie, salmon, prawn, sausage and onion… everything,” he says.

Both sides of the business are doing so well that Peter says he’s looking to get someone new on board to help him with cake decorating.

“I started small, because its easy to manage and grow with, but now I’m looking for a pastry chef, or just someone who’s very interested in it and wants to work hard,” he says.

With wedding cakes being his bread and butter, so to speak, I ask Peter about which styles of wedding cake are popular at the moment.

“Some people are very definite about what they want for their wedding cakes. The trend is changing a little bit now and going back to retro, classic looking cakes.

“We also do a lot of cupcake tea parties for kids’ birthdays, where the kids can decorate their cupcakes and they become the birthday cake.

“We can do cakes for any event, whatever people want. Often people give us a picture and we can redo it in chocolate,” he says.

When it comes to type of filling, some things never go out of style. Peter’s chocolate truffle cake remains far and away the crowd favorite.

— Mark Knowles

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

PM Prayut asks everyone to work together towards reopening

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Bangkok restrictions lifted on 8 categories, including swimming

Patong9 hours ago

Tar balls spreading in Phuket hit Patong Beach

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Phuket11 hours ago

Officials predict 600,000 tourists to Phuket following reopening

Phuket11 hours ago

Technician electrocuted to death while trying to fix jacuzzi

Pattaya11 hours ago

Pattaya pushes for August 1 Sealed Route reopening plan

Thailand12 hours ago

Mother alleges that Doctor mistakenly gave her 10 year old sleeping pills

Bangkok12 hours ago

1 million Sinopharm doses arrive today

Tourism13 hours ago

Full reopening guidelines for Phuket and Samui

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 3,682 new cases, 20 covid-related deaths, provincial totals

Thailand14 hours ago

Poll shows schools, students, parents, “not ready” for online learning

Chon Buri14 hours ago

Man returns lost parakeet, gets rewarded with BBQ

Thai Life15 hours ago

Thai Lion predicts football matches, other abilities currently unknown

Tourism15 hours ago

Reopening details for Phuket, Samui and beyond laid out

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Multiple Chiang Rai schools to close after infections found

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending