CEBU

Dessert-savvy Dumaguete

Sira-Sira Store

Meya Pauline Carlos

Contributor

When Chantilly, the first home-grown gourmet cakes and pastries shop in Dumaguete City, started almost 25 years ago, chef Claudine Luague-Giganan—fresh from her culinary training in Switzerland—could not imagine selling gourmet cheesecakes to her native hometown in Negros Oriental.

Gourmet back then was reserved for the financially elite.

“Not today,” said the chef, “and Chantilly’s niche customers don’t want the basic cakes anymore. Their expectations are high.”

Today, there is no need to educate the Dumaguete customer. He knows what he is eating, and what he wants.

When it was time to move to a new location in Claytown, chef Claudine called in her favored architect who also designed the original Chantilly along Silliman Avenue to design a compact white-washed shabby chic interior.

“Because the place was compact, I wanted to give the cake house a sense of lightness; the blank wall behind the counter, with open shelves and salvaged decorative shutter windows from the original store,” said architect Ned Carlos, creative director and principal architect of the Dumaguete City-based Carlos & Antique Architects.

Custom-made chandeliers salvaged from glass bottles were hung, and reused Victorian-style chairs and tables were furnished to bring in the rustic yet feminine feel. The architect also wanted to bring in the outdoors by letting in natural light by day and a fresh feel at night.

With a shabby chic interior prescribing to the Swiss ideology of desserts, Chantilly’s pretty and delightful cake creations are hearty slices in line with Filipino taste and ambience.

“While Dumagueteños love their sweets, their exposure to international-quality desserts began with Chantilly,” said Carlos.

Here, the architect’s work demonstrated the skillful use of practical decoration to dramatize Chantilly’s interior space.


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