In Vancouver, Cà Phê Vietnamese Coffee House is sweetening up its menu with the launch of four limited-edition Bánh Boxes, created in partnership with renowned baker Maj Yee. The curated collection features modern takes on classic, Vietnamese and Filipino childhood favourites, including shortbread, cakes and desserts. We chatted with Maj about these culinary delights, and are giving you a chance to win! —Noa Nichol
Hi Maj! Please tell us a bit about your (baking) self to start!
I began developing my baking and cake decorating skills at age eight, also around the same time I also won my first baking competition. I recall standing on a chair so I could “assist” my mom in the kitchen as early as four years old. It was our way of spending time together when she was doing something she loved and now, it’s also something I love to do. As a second-generation baker, I draw inspiration from my early learning years from my mother, Milagros Yee, who is the co-founder of Goldilocks Bake Shop Inc., and our shared love for food.
How did you hook up with Ca Phê? What made the partnership a good fit?
I met Minna Van before she founded Ca Phê. It was a on project for Chinatown House. At the time, Minna was working on a long table dinner and wanted to feature cuisines from Southeast Asian countries, starting with the Philippines. We worked well together on that project and kept in touch afterward. When Minna told me about Ca Phe, I asked her if I could try the coffee as soon as she was ready. I took one sip and all these ideas for coffee accompaniments went through my head!
Tell us about the four limited-edition Bánh Boxes you’ve created in partnership with Ca Phê. What was does each look like/include, and what inspired you when conceptualizing them?
Minna had very distinct ideas in mind when she expressed what flavours and textures she was looking for in the pastries. I drew inspiration from the Vietnamese coffee flavours (coffee, butter, rum), the different cultural backgrounds of the people involved in the creating of the curated boxes, and the ideas Minna shared. I presented it to the team, and gave my interpretation of what I thought would be a good fit with their brand and with their coffee. We wanted to give people a taste of something different in each box, which is why we’ve created four versions. Each one features a variety of sweets from our Banh Box line of pastries.
Of the boxes, do you have a personal favourite?
Favourite? That’s a tough one. I think that would depend on what I’m craving and when I will be consuming. If I have to pick one then it would be the stuffed snickerdoodle cookie. It’s comforting and it takes me back to my childhood but elevated with the stuffing and oh so yummy with any of the coffee offerings at Ca Phe.
Win! 1 of 2 Bánh Boxes + Coffees!
Two lucky Lower Mainland, B.C., winners will each receive a Bánh Box plus two coffees from Cà Phê (pickup required). To enter, follow @caphecoffeehouse and @vitadaily.ca on Instagram and follow the entry rules on our corresponding post. Contest opens July 21, 2021, and closes July 28, 2021. Rules and regulations here. Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.