Powered By:

hsbcinnovationbanking logo

From PhD To Winning The Great British Bake Off 2022

Syabira Yusoff

Powered By:

hsbcinnovationbanking logo

From PhD To Winning The Great British Bake Off 2022

Syabira Yusoff

|

Watch this episode on SpotifyWatch onListen on YouTube
Syabira Yusoff
Full transcript here

About Syabira Yusoff

The BAE HQ welcomes Dr Syabira Yusoff who won The Great British Bake Off 2022!

Syabira was born in Malaysia and originally studied agriculture but fell in love with genetics.

She moved to the UK to study this in more depth but her experiments frustrated her and took over her life.

Syabira turned to baking and it became her therapy. On a whim she applied to The Great British Bake Off in 2022.

Despite having never baked bread or pies before she won!

Learn from the mindset that enabled her to overcome seemingly impossible odds.

Syabira

Show Notes

Headline partner message

From the first time founders to the funds that back them, innovation needs different. HSBC Innovation Banking is proud to accelerate growth for tech and life science businesses, creating meaningful connections and opening up a world of opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors alike. Discover more at https://www.hsbcinnovationbanking.com/

Clips from this episode:

Full video of episode

Watch this episode on SpotifyWatch onListen on YouTube

Syabira Yusoff Full Transcript

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: [00:00:00] I'm the type of person when people say, oh, that's really difficult, you shouldn't do it. That is when I do it. I found my new hidden talent of baking. Those Baking session is like a therapy session for me. I don't have a lot of skills to be a good baker, even a winner of the show at that time. But what I do is I accept that I have the transferable skills.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I have my research skill, I have my experimental skills, so all of that actually contribute to what you're going to become. Always dream high because it's free.

Amardeep Parmar: and we're live today. I'm with Syabira Yusoff who's the winner of the Great British Bakeoff 2022. If you're joining us for the first time, we're The BAE HQ, and we're all about inspiring the next generation of British Asians. If you enjoy this episode, make sure you give us a five star review on Apple and Spotify and subscribe us on YouTube.

Amardeep Parmar: So I wanna dive in straight away with you when you're growing up. What did you wanna be? What was your dream? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: When I was growing up, you know, in the classes when teachers asking, oh, what you want to [00:01:00] do, I normally end up once to be a Doctor. So whatever I'm doing, I just trying to get the best of the best each in the classes.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: But I normally end up to be the most mediocre students in a class. I never be the first or the top least. So that's how I started my education from Primary school up until University, until I finished my degree, I'm still mediocre. So what I normally do is I work really hard, but I hate exam. Exam for me, the question is so complicated I normally don't understand, and I end up answering different things.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So, When I went to the university, I chat to my dad. I say, I want to be a doctor. And then he said to me, well, I'm growing up in a very conventional family. He said, if you become a doctor, you're gonna be very busy. You will not have time for your family. You will not have time for your kids. Why don't you change it to become a person who work in the agriculture sector, where you more into food?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Chain and in this world you are never running out [00:02:00] of food if you are working in a food chain. So that's how I started my journey in university. I learned about agriculture and I put off the dreams to be a doctor aside for a while. And after I finished my Degree, I still feel like I want more. For me, agriculture itself.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: And I do a lot of Plant breeding. I'm alone in the field doing a sweet corn evaluation, looking at the tassel, when is the best time to harvest the sweet corn? And I was wondering what is in the sweet corn, how it happened, how you cross everything. It just happened to be something else. And it's all what we call as genetics, and it's because I'm not normally the best student or the top achieving student.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Some of my friends just said, Genetics is really difficult, so I don't go near to it and I'm the type of person when people say, oh, that's really difficult, you shouldn't do it, that is when I do it. So I decided to apply for a degree and started my PhD six months after in UK and that's how I ended in [00:03:00] last university studying a PhD in genetics and Genome biology.

Amardeep Parmar: How did you find it when you moved to cross club? So you grew up in Malaysia, right? Mm-hmm. How did you find that move from Malaysia to the UK?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: There's couple of funny incidents happening. When I started university, on the first day I came into the leave, I met another person in the department. So he asked me a very simple question.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: How is it going? It sounds so normal. Now you can understand, but at that point, I don't understand what he's trying to say. So from the ground floor to the third floor to the department, it feels so long because he keep on asking me and I say, I don't understand. Can you repeat it again? So I just say, I don't understand you.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Can you ask any other question that could replace that question? And then he said, Are you okay? So I said, yeah, I'm okay, and I just turn around and wait until the leaf open and I would go and straight meeting my supervisor. And then my first meeting with my supervisor, I don't understand as well what she's saying, and then I realized, Okay, this is gonna [00:04:00] be a steep learning curve.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: It's gonna be fun times, you're gonna struggle, but it's fine. I'm here now. There's no turning back. And as a person coming from Asia, we do love our food. Our food is like you eat rice and curry for lunch. You eat a lot of hot food for lunch. But here, people normally eat sandwich and after a week, I eat sandwich every single day.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: It comes to my life. Okay, this is so difficult, and I only eat a sandwich with egg and crest every single day. Hey, I end up crying on the bench. Yeah. So I cannot forget that experience where you cry because you don't have your food. Mm-hmm. So that's when I just accept the fact that. This is my life now I just have to deal with it.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: And that's when I try to go out and explore more around the town. And apparently, let's say it's a very good place. I got a lot of good restaurants there. Yeah, 

Amardeep Parmar: because how, how was the actual studying part of it, right? Because like you said, people said it was gonna be really difficult. Mm-hmm. Which is really mean to say that to you, [00:05:00] but how did you find the studying?

Amardeep Parmar: Did you enjoy the studying part with the research 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: part? So, for the studying part, it doesn't involve exam, which is what I love about it ‘cause I, I'm not really good at exam. But other than that, I'm good at it. So in terms of the lab work on first day I came, I dunno how to use P-pipes, but I learned it's a very, very steep learning curve.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Learning into research got thrown into the deep end of the research, but I don't dunno, for some reason I just pull it through. I, I normally will work really, really hard to get where I wanted to be and. It's because the lab is so full of people. I normally come in at six o'clock and I say goodbye to everyone by 12 o'clock, and at the same time, I have been introduced into very cool computational biology that I'm so obsessed about.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So in that three and a half years of my time, I normally just spend researching the morning, and then in the afternoon I'm just doing coding and that's it. Three and a half years gone really [00:06:00] quick. 

Amardeep Parmar: So what happened next after that? Where did you go to from there? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So after the research and the fun part of doing the coding, now it's time to writing up.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So the writing up is not as easy as I thought it could be ‘cause um, you have to understand the language you need to make it more scientific so it get really stressful. I think, okay, I need to step back. I miss my country now. I just wanna go home, but I can't go home. I have a lot of things to do. So that is when I found my new hidden talent of baking.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: ‘Cause before I came to England, I wasn't born in a very rich family. It's a very normal family. Where my friend brings me to a cafe in Malaysia and they say, when you're in England, you have a lot of this cafe. When you stress or you feel set, you go into the cafe, ask a slice of cake and have a cup of coffee, chill.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Yeah, so every time I enter every single cafe I ask for a slice of cake. It's so full of icing [00:07:00] sugar, and it's quite sickly at the end of it. So I, I want something that really not that sickly sweet. And I remember the red velvet I love the most it. Full with cream cheese rather than icing sugar. So I do research.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I put down all my research work and I do more new research about how to bake a cake. So why we need butter, why we need flour, why it has to be a certain oven of temperature, why I cannot over mix it, why I need to mix this first, not that one, why I cannot throw it all together, because it turned into a mixture.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So at the, at the end of the, after a month, I tried to bake it and it turns out to be really, really good. So, I found my new hidden talent and that's when I start baking. When I feel stressed.

Amardeep Parmar: It's interesting cause like I, I think during the pandemic 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar: Many people that started tried to bake as well. Probably not as good as yours obviously, but. I didn't really think about, like you always wonder in some ways they didn't do the research, but why things work that way that, oh, cause baking obviously is so different to other types [00:08:00] of cooking, right? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar: Or the way that the chemicals react or whatever. Obviously you know this from your research, right? And it's interesting you came with it from that different perspective that many people don't try, and then obviously it has enabled you to like learn very fast mm-hmm. And make it in that way. But even when you started baking, it was a hobby to begin with, right?

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. You didn't, did you ever think, oh, maybe I'll become a baker one day? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: No, when I start baking, I do it for fun ‘cause for me it's an outlet for me to release all my stress. And sometimes, like I said, research is not always flying high. Cloud nine, everything turns out to be really good. Um, I've stuck with the same experiment for six months during my PhD as well.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So the experiment still trying to get to do. It's not done. It's just not the result that you expected it to be. So every time, whenever the research doesn't work in the lab for so many reasons, I would always go back to home and then start looking for something to make. So before that, I always cook, and then, oh, sometimes cooking.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: It's just, oh yeah, I just eat the same thing all the time. I need [00:09:00] something nice, something sweet to fill up the craving. And yeah, so those baking session is like a therapy session for me. So the good thing about baking is. If it's not happening, you can repeat it and then you know what the mistake you've done, it's gonna turn into a cake.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: You it, even if it's non-edible, even though it's a little bit hard, you can still eat them. So that is when I feel I'm in control. You are not feeling hopeless. I like research. If it's not working, you're feeling hopeless. You have to go back and you're hoping that it would work. So it is kind of playing with my mental.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Perception and to channel my stress into different ways so that it's all balanced and I'm not going mad. 

Amardeep Parmar:And then  obviously with the Great British bakeoff from mm-hmm. When you applied, you didn't necessarily think, oh yeah, I'm gonna go on the show and win. How did that come about? What made you decide to even apply? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I just baked cakes before I even watched British bakeoff. I watched British Bakeoff just during the year of pandemic, which is in 2019. And [00:10:00] one of the challenges people make brownies and I was like, oh yeah, this is the great British bakeoff. People make brownies. I can make brownies probably stand a chance to be in there.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I can do that. So that's it for the very, it's just, I didn't try to see the whole challenge of the show. I just see one tiny bit and I decided to go for it and, and that year it's, it's closed already. It's just too late to, to apply for that year and then I have to apply for the year after. So then I didn't even thought I'll be on the bake off.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: The reason why I bake a pie, I never bake a bread. I don't know anything about yeast at that point. It's so many things. I don't know how to bake. I don't even know. Different type of meringue existed until a couple of weeks before I bid on bake off. So my knowledge in terms of baking is very little. But what I do is I did a lot more research and tried to understand them, and all my calculation of the recipe is based on purely calculation convert and volume and size and area.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So, Always [00:11:00] I try the recipe. So when you do the Bake Off show, it has to be scaled up to make it showstopper and something else. But normally when I practice, it's a very small little cupcake or maybe a very like maybe a third or quarter of the portion of what you should make. So I end up just scale it up and hopefully on the day it works.

Amardeep Parmar:Yeah.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So yeah, I never know that I could get that far, ‘cause when I look around on the first week, everybody make a very good cake. But then again, it's because of the instinct, as a researcher and everything, you always sample other people's food. I'm always looking at the judges, what our judges say to other contestants, what they really want to know, want to taste like.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I took all of the input, not only from my cake from. Other people's cake and I go and taste their cake to see why the judges said that. Mm. So the research been done also against my, the bakers in a tent so that I know exactly what the judges said. So that's a episode that is very, very, Put me down [00:12:00] bottom, the three, which is the episode five.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: You have to make lemon meringue pie. Lemon meringue pie is the only thing that I will never eat because it's too hot and then it's too sweet. It's just didn't work for me. I don't know if people will feel offended me saying this, but I have to make it. I have to make it work and I end up the last on the technical and then it didn't work for me.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So that is a week when I think. I want to survive further. I know I'll be happy to stay for the first two episodes when I joined Bakeoff, but as a human, your survival instinct kicks on and you just wanna be to go as further as you can. So, That is when I went home, I changed the strategy completely for my big six until the end of the show.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I just change everything. I tweak it as much as I can, and then I can see the impact of it the week after. So it's all worth it, the research, and I'm taking the huge risk to change it. [00:13:00] But yeah, it pans out working well.

Amardeep Parmar: It's really interesting you said that as well, because being a researcher who necessarily think, oh, that's gonna help you become a winner on a show, or it's gonna help me become a better baker.

Amardeep Parmar: Mm-hmm. And I think a lot of people may necessarily don't realize that all these skills you learn throughout your life, how much it can help you in other areas. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar: And it's like if you don't enjoy it or like you're stressed out about what you're currently doing 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:That skills you've learned there can be done somewhere else.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Yes.

Amardeep Parmar:. Which I think is like really inspiring, right? So you can have a life in research which enabled you because of the skills you learned there. To win the bake off because you knew, oh, this is a research, this is how I can do this, I can do that. So I think that's really cool that like what are the ways you think your like background really helped you on bake off as well?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mm-hmm. So that's what people call it as a transferable skills. Sometimes,  I mean, not only in a bake off situation is also in your job situation in uh, any kind of. Yeah. Any job situation you're trying to apply. Sometimes when you look at the job description, oh, I can't do that. I [00:14:00] can't, but hold on. Looking back, what needs to be done to achieve the task that they have specified?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: On the, on the job description, you actually have the skills. So what you need to do is convince them that you can achieve the task based on the skills that you had. So that's what happened with me and the bake off. I don't have a lot of skills to be a good baker, even a winner of the show at that time.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: But what I do is I accept that I have the transferable skills, I have my research skill, I have my experimental skills. So all of that actually contribute to what you've going to become. So it's just a lot of perspectives, basically, rather than one-to-one or something like that.

Amardeep Parmar: And when you won the Bake off, right, because it's like, obviously it's so happy to win it,

Amardeep Parmar: but then what did you think? Like, what am I gonna do now? Like, what was that? Was it the, like a moment after you did the celebrations, what were you thinking? Like, what's my life now? Like what? I'm now the winner of this show. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:Millions of [00:15:00] people have seen me on TV.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:What was going through your head? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Um, so when they announced that I was the winner on the show, it's happened in in June, so it's still very secretive. You were so tired because the bake off is very intense. 

Amardeep Parmar:Mm-hmm. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff :When, uh, when they, uh, When they announced me as a winner of the show, I feel so numb.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I was just react based on the reaction of people around me. Yeah. But I still feel like, keep on repeating the same word. I feel it's like a jackpot. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. So all the words that I've been saying for all throughout the afternoon is thank you so much. Thank you so much. Thank you so much.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: And then even after the real thing. When, uh, they announce the bakeoff winner on the TV. So I celebrate with a little friends and family, very intimate without doing anything crazy. And then I still don't know what to do with it ‘cause it's very new things to me. But you check with other previous bakers and you also learn what is happening because you have [00:16:00] about 13 season of bakers, you can see the pattern and how other people achieve so far.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: And what you really want out of this, because for me, I think at that point I want to be relevant longer than the popularity rather than the overnight popularity. So going the same way as other people did is slightly repeat the pattern that I don't really want to be in. So the only way to go out and make myself more relevant

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: and using the bake of winning as a stepping stone is what I'm trying to do at the moment. I approach Yhangry and thinking to work with them to do Malaysian afternoon tea and see how well it goes, see how if people really likes it, and then approach another, another people to work with me and see it.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: It is just how normal people start. But for me, it's been, uh, it's advantage for me is I'm the, the winner of the British Bake off, so people would love, want to work with [00:17:00] me. So I hope by that, going through the process and being myself as an entrepreneur make a big impact I hope. So that in future, maybe two years or three years later, after I'm established, and then I'll think about any book, deal, anything, so that it'll be more success.

Amardeep Parmar: So obviously it was at the Malaysian afternoon tea in the Citizen M Hotel, wasn't it?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar:And that was Thursday, so it was less than a week ago now. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar: And it's obviously organized with Yhangry, like you said, said Siddhi and Heinin have also

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar: Been on air too. And it was really interesting to see, right?

Amardeep Parmar: Because, so I went to one with obviously PR. There's lots of other people who've in different industries 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:That are coming there to like learn about your food. And so the one I remember the most was the watermelon. This like the dessert. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar: Obviously I remember the dessert, but because you, what did you make it out of again?

Amardeep Parmar: So I remember it was three different parts of it. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:And then it wasn't actually watermelon, it was 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:  No. 

Amardeep Parmar: Other fruits that you made, right?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Yeah. So it's. When I was on Bake off, people know me as a flavor queen, so I [00:18:00] like to put different flavors together to come out with different flavor. And um, this watermelon cake has been deep sparks a lot of debate on the launch night and then further coming down the three days of the afternoon tea, which is quite interesting.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I can see people try the cake and they're just like thinking what the flavor it could be. Try it another bite. So until the end of the bite, they still wondering and still like can, I guess, can I guess so I think the watermelon cake flavor profile is a success because what I did was I combined three different flavor, which is the Pandan flavor.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: It brings out the aroma, the freshness to it. It got a little bit of nice, um, aroma aroma taste after you eat the watermelon. I know it sounds very different, but when you combine it with the lychee, or people call it lee-chie, it brings out the melon taste. And then for some reason, when you combine it with a syrup, it just brings all the flavor together.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Like you bite a watermelon cake and the good part of it, [00:19:00] when you make it look like a watermelon, people will start believe it. That is the power of perception and how you make people believe what they were eating is actually watermelon. So yeah, it is a success. People agree with me. It tastes like watermelon and not everyone could guess a three flavor, but everyone got, I don't know, not many got.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: The profile, all of them. But yeah, it's kind of really interesting to see.

Amardeep Parmar:  The day that I went to, there's a few more days as well open to the public. Right. How was that overall experiment? Did you enjoy doing things in that way? Like what did you learn from it? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So in the whole three days, what I've learned from it, ‘cause you, you were very busy in the kitchen and you, you, you were just thinking, okay, I have to make sure everything comes up really nicely, but you forget.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: That the thing that I've learned from the launch event night, I was so busy in the kitchen, I don't have time to really greet everyone upstairs. So the next day of it, I tried to be more organized, knowing better what I could do. So we managed to get [00:20:00] people and all hands on deck. Get everything on time.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I could go there, I could go to the floor personally, greet everyone and personally explain every single dish to everyone. So at the end of the day, I got a very good feedback. They feel, they feel very personalized. They feel very, they appreciate the effort that me going and greet them and explain the menu, it makes them experience

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: more enhanced, they say. 

Amardeep Parmar:Yeah.

 Dr. Syabira Yusoff:And what I've learned from it is people come to see you and you know the, the food has to be delicious, but after you prep the food, you can trust other people and delegate the task to do something else and get the food out there. And it's my responsibility to go and meet people.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So yeah, I got a very good message, positive message that everybody enjoyed. So one thing to learn is I just need to make sure that I'm more organized next time, but so far I really enjoy it. It was such a great experience. Yes. 

Amardeep Parmar: And if you remind the moment as well, [00:21:00] because remember you saying how initially you were trying to do both the baking and the research after.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Mm-hmm.

Amardeep Parmar: You want the bake off, right?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Mm-hmm.

Amardeep Parmar: And obviously, I guess it's difficult in that bit in between the announced results because you know that you've won, but you can't use it yet. Right? You can't tell people you've won. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar:And then you can't go out and do shows and things like that in the same way.

Dr. Syabira YusoffMm-hmm.

Amardeep Parmar: But then what made you decide, okay, I'm now gonna go full-time into baking and give my all? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I honestly don't know. I just use all of the decision that I've had so far. It's just based on my instinct. When people said to me, you shouldn't resign, you should stick to your job and build up your baking career until you get into something and then you can resign.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I think that is one of the fact like, yeah, I'm going to resign. It is just, 

Amardeep Parmar:I'm sensing a pattern.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: It's just like when you tell me something not to do, I'll think about it. I'll consider the  options. But I think it's just take one, split second for me to make a decision and just go for it. In life, for me, in life, you [00:22:00] cannot wait the opportunities to come.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: And for me in life, you cannot just wandering too long. If it's gonna work. If it's not gonna work, because there's a proof in the pudding. I give my old for the village bake off a hundred percent. I can see the output. If you give 50 and 50 this, this is gonna take longer time and you can't see any output and you're gonna be dis, you might regret and you might think it's not gonna work.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I think based on the experience, based on the judgment, I'll just take the plunge and just resign and focus in a hundred percent and I can see the fruit of the, um, of my result right now ‘cause um, you do more networking and that's the thing in my mentality that I have to switch from winning the bake off to what I am right now is accepting the fact that when you win any show, not everybody watching you.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: And if you approach anyone, not everybody know who you really are. So you have to introduce yourself, be proud of yourself. Which [00:23:00] previously I was like, oh yeah. Um, yeah, I'm Syabira rather than, hi, I'm Syabira and the winner of the great British Bake off. 

Amardeep Parmar:Yeah. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:So right now I'm proudly announcing it. You are not trying to brag.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: You're telling them the facts. 

Amardeep Parmar:Yes. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So you make people aware that your presence. So I think, um, that's one of the key factor that you switch your mentality. You can be humble, but at the same time you have to promote yourself. That's how I think by accepting fact being, being what I'm trying to do now is just actually worth it.Yes. 

Amardeep Parmar: Now, like you said, cause you're transitioning from being like working in a research role to now being your own boss and like owning that and also deciding the different steps, right? Because you've got to make different decisions about what should the future holds. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:And you said before we started talking about how you're experimenting a lot of the moon.

Amardeep Parmar: And is it almost like a research background there of like, let's do different things and find out what's best, or how's that mentality going for you at the moment? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: You can't just put your eggs in one [00:24:00] basket. So based on this mentality, you have to try and add different options that would actually. Make you feel less disheartened when something's not working.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I just hold on on onto that principle and no matter how tired I am at the moment, I'm still trying to figure out my feet in this industry. 

Amardeep Parmar:Mm-hmm. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:And if you are trying to achieve what you wanna achieve, if you dream something big, but you would not willing to work hard, you will never achieve it. So, All hands on deck.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mind, passion, try and error, all of that. Speak to anyone. Speak to any successful people that you ever met. They all been through that road, and they all have to go through. You cannot get 100% knowledge about. Every trick and tricks without have to learn them in a hard way. So that's how I think I'm in the right direction, even though it's a failure, even though if it's a success, they're all still a learning curve that people has to [00:25:00] go through.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I think, yeah. Being a researcher, I think just being realistic and just considering all other options without having the bias of, oh, I'm gonna tie it. I'm gonna be, no, I'm not gonna be that popular. No, no, there's no such thing when you try to do uh, weigh up different options, you just have to go for it.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: You don't want to re, you don't want to regret in 10 years time. Oh, what if, oh, what if it's too late? 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And  I said, if people don't like it, then if, if you don't try, then it doesn't matter anyway. Right. It's best a try. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar:If people don't like it, if it doesn't work out, then you know.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Mm. Mmh. 

Amardeep Parmar:  But like I said, if in 10 years time you never tried, people might have loved it.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Yes. 

Amardeep Parmar:Like, you never got to find out. What do you enjoy the most about like your, like life now of like, doing what you're doing?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: What I love about my life now, first of all, I don't have any more migraine, and I wake up, I know what I have to do exactly, and I'm my own boss. I can work as hard as I want. I can take half day off as I, as as I [00:26:00] wanted to, as long as I achieve the same task.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So yeah, I. I kind of like the flexibility and the networking part, and this is a new, this is what excites me. I've learned a lot every single day. I've learned how to communicate with people ‘cause one of the reasons I learn computation biology because I don't really like to speak to people, ‘cause for me it's hard to speak to people, hard to coordinate.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: But now I'm learning how to coordinate with people. Now I understand you don't have to like anyone you work with, you just have to be professional to make it work. So it's, it's very interesting takes of life that I'm learning at the moment and quite enjoying it. It makes me feel, even though if you are really angry, you just have to be calm.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I don't understand what that means, but now I understand you can be fuming. Boiling inside, but you still have to keep your calm and composure because you are in a professional environment.. 

Amardeep Parmar:Yeah. So it is Glad to, I'm happy to hear how [00:27:00] much you're enjoying the, what you're doing now and like your new life as well.

Amardeep Parmar: We're gonna need to move on to the quick fire questions now for time. Okay. So the first one is, who are three British Asians that you think the audience should be paying attention to and you think are inspiring figures?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I'm inspired by , the winner of the master chef. She, she's one of my idol. I like the way she's very charismatic.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: She's very, how she brings herself, how she introduced the food, and how much passionate she's been doing it. It's just mesmerizing. I love her so much. The second one is the owner of the Restaurant of Med Salleh Kopitiam

 is nearby Basewater. He's one of the friend that I just met recently. But he gave me a lot of advice in terms of the business, which is what I'm learning as well from him.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: And it's, he's just amazing. He's done a lot of different business. You can hear some of the faith stories, some of the success stories. So he's really resilient people and I want to be like him one day. And the third one is Sambal Shiok. I just met [00:28:00] Mandy, so she, she got a restaurant in London. And it sell a lot of Malaysian food as well.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So go and check out Sambal Shiok as well some ‘cause uhm, I like that place. 

Amardeep Parmar:Awesome. So the next quick fire question is, if people listening right now could reach out to you for help or guidance, what could you maybe help them with?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: If people wants to come and reach out to me, I can share any part of my experience ‘cause you can come to me as a student because a lot of students come to me and asking for advice, what to do and what not to do.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So if you need baking tips, I'm here if you need any advice for your PhD. I'm here if you need a support system. How hard is it to learn by informatics? I'm here. 

Amardeep Parmar: Then on the other side? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:What's something that you need help with right now? What could maybe the audience help you with? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: What do I need right now is a support or advice that how to be a good entrepreneur.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: How to be successful because I am entering as an entrepreneur not to be a [00:29:00] mediocre. I want to be a success. I want to be not as far, maybe nearly as Gordon Ramsay. I know it's not possible, but I always dream high. 

Amardeep Parmar:You never know. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:You will never know what you could achieve. Always dream high because it's free, but it will put you up for any challenge because if you want the biggest price, you have to be willing to work for it.

Amardeep Parmar: So thank you so much for coming on today. Me, have you got any me final words to the audience? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Final words to the audience. I hope you enjoy this podcast, and if you have any questions, just reach out to me.

Amardeep Parmar: Hello. Hello everyone. Thank you so much for listening. It meets a huge amount to us and we don't think you realize how important you are. Because if you subscribe to our YouTube channel, if you leave us a five star review, it makes the world of difference. And if you believe in what we're trying to do here to inspire, connect, and guide the next next generation of British Asians, if you do those things, you can help us achieve that mission and you can help us make a bigger impact.[00:30:00] 

Amardeep Parmar: And by doing that, it means we can get bigger guests, we can host more events, we can do more for the community. So you can play a huge part. So thank you so much for supporting us.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: [00:00:00] I'm the type of person when people say, oh, that's really difficult, you shouldn't do it. That is when I do it. I found my new hidden talent of baking. Those Baking session is like a therapy session for me. I don't have a lot of skills to be a good baker, even a winner of the show at that time. But what I do is I accept that I have the transferable skills.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I have my research skill, I have my experimental skills, so all of that actually contribute to what you're going to become. Always dream high because it's free.

Amardeep Parmar: and we're live today. I'm with Syabira Yusoff who's the winner of the Great British Bakeoff 2022. If you're joining us for the first time, we're The BAE HQ, and we're all about inspiring the next generation of British Asians. If you enjoy this episode, make sure you give us a five star review on Apple and Spotify and subscribe us on YouTube.

Amardeep Parmar: So I wanna dive in straight away with you when you're growing up. What did you wanna be? What was your dream? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: When I was growing up, you know, in the classes when teachers asking, oh, what you want to [00:01:00] do, I normally end up once to be a Doctor. So whatever I'm doing, I just trying to get the best of the best each in the classes.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: But I normally end up to be the most mediocre students in a class. I never be the first or the top least. So that's how I started my education from Primary school up until University, until I finished my degree, I'm still mediocre. So what I normally do is I work really hard, but I hate exam. Exam for me, the question is so complicated I normally don't understand, and I end up answering different things.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So, When I went to the university, I chat to my dad. I say, I want to be a doctor. And then he said to me, well, I'm growing up in a very conventional family. He said, if you become a doctor, you're gonna be very busy. You will not have time for your family. You will not have time for your kids. Why don't you change it to become a person who work in the agriculture sector, where you more into food?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Chain and in this world you are never running out [00:02:00] of food if you are working in a food chain. So that's how I started my journey in university. I learned about agriculture and I put off the dreams to be a doctor aside for a while. And after I finished my Degree, I still feel like I want more. For me, agriculture itself.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: And I do a lot of Plant breeding. I'm alone in the field doing a sweet corn evaluation, looking at the tassel, when is the best time to harvest the sweet corn? And I was wondering what is in the sweet corn, how it happened, how you cross everything. It just happened to be something else. And it's all what we call as genetics, and it's because I'm not normally the best student or the top achieving student.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Some of my friends just said, Genetics is really difficult, so I don't go near to it and I'm the type of person when people say, oh, that's really difficult, you shouldn't do it, that is when I do it. So I decided to apply for a degree and started my PhD six months after in UK and that's how I ended in [00:03:00] last university studying a PhD in genetics and Genome biology.

Amardeep Parmar: How did you find it when you moved to cross club? So you grew up in Malaysia, right? Mm-hmm. How did you find that move from Malaysia to the UK?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: There's couple of funny incidents happening. When I started university, on the first day I came into the leave, I met another person in the department. So he asked me a very simple question.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: How is it going? It sounds so normal. Now you can understand, but at that point, I don't understand what he's trying to say. So from the ground floor to the third floor to the department, it feels so long because he keep on asking me and I say, I don't understand. Can you repeat it again? So I just say, I don't understand you.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Can you ask any other question that could replace that question? And then he said, Are you okay? So I said, yeah, I'm okay, and I just turn around and wait until the leaf open and I would go and straight meeting my supervisor. And then my first meeting with my supervisor, I don't understand as well what she's saying, and then I realized, Okay, this is gonna [00:04:00] be a steep learning curve.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: It's gonna be fun times, you're gonna struggle, but it's fine. I'm here now. There's no turning back. And as a person coming from Asia, we do love our food. Our food is like you eat rice and curry for lunch. You eat a lot of hot food for lunch. But here, people normally eat sandwich and after a week, I eat sandwich every single day.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: It comes to my life. Okay, this is so difficult, and I only eat a sandwich with egg and crest every single day. Hey, I end up crying on the bench. Yeah. So I cannot forget that experience where you cry because you don't have your food. Mm-hmm. So that's when I just accept the fact that. This is my life now I just have to deal with it.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: And that's when I try to go out and explore more around the town. And apparently, let's say it's a very good place. I got a lot of good restaurants there. Yeah, 

Amardeep Parmar: because how, how was the actual studying part of it, right? Because like you said, people said it was gonna be really difficult. Mm-hmm. Which is really mean to say that to you, [00:05:00] but how did you find the studying?

Amardeep Parmar: Did you enjoy the studying part with the research 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: part? So, for the studying part, it doesn't involve exam, which is what I love about it ‘cause I, I'm not really good at exam. But other than that, I'm good at it. So in terms of the lab work on first day I came, I dunno how to use P-pipes, but I learned it's a very, very steep learning curve.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Learning into research got thrown into the deep end of the research, but I don't dunno, for some reason I just pull it through. I, I normally will work really, really hard to get where I wanted to be and. It's because the lab is so full of people. I normally come in at six o'clock and I say goodbye to everyone by 12 o'clock, and at the same time, I have been introduced into very cool computational biology that I'm so obsessed about.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So in that three and a half years of my time, I normally just spend researching the morning, and then in the afternoon I'm just doing coding and that's it. Three and a half years gone really [00:06:00] quick. 

Amardeep Parmar: So what happened next after that? Where did you go to from there? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So after the research and the fun part of doing the coding, now it's time to writing up.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So the writing up is not as easy as I thought it could be ‘cause um, you have to understand the language you need to make it more scientific so it get really stressful. I think, okay, I need to step back. I miss my country now. I just wanna go home, but I can't go home. I have a lot of things to do. So that is when I found my new hidden talent of baking.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: ‘Cause before I came to England, I wasn't born in a very rich family. It's a very normal family. Where my friend brings me to a cafe in Malaysia and they say, when you're in England, you have a lot of this cafe. When you stress or you feel set, you go into the cafe, ask a slice of cake and have a cup of coffee, chill.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Yeah, so every time I enter every single cafe I ask for a slice of cake. It's so full of icing [00:07:00] sugar, and it's quite sickly at the end of it. So I, I want something that really not that sickly sweet. And I remember the red velvet I love the most it. Full with cream cheese rather than icing sugar. So I do research.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I put down all my research work and I do more new research about how to bake a cake. So why we need butter, why we need flour, why it has to be a certain oven of temperature, why I cannot over mix it, why I need to mix this first, not that one, why I cannot throw it all together, because it turned into a mixture.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So at the, at the end of the, after a month, I tried to bake it and it turns out to be really, really good. So, I found my new hidden talent and that's when I start baking. When I feel stressed.

Amardeep Parmar: It's interesting cause like I, I think during the pandemic 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar: Many people that started tried to bake as well. Probably not as good as yours obviously, but. I didn't really think about, like you always wonder in some ways they didn't do the research, but why things work that way that, oh, cause baking obviously is so different to other types [00:08:00] of cooking, right? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar: Or the way that the chemicals react or whatever. Obviously you know this from your research, right? And it's interesting you came with it from that different perspective that many people don't try, and then obviously it has enabled you to like learn very fast mm-hmm. And make it in that way. But even when you started baking, it was a hobby to begin with, right?

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. You didn't, did you ever think, oh, maybe I'll become a baker one day? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: No, when I start baking, I do it for fun ‘cause for me it's an outlet for me to release all my stress. And sometimes, like I said, research is not always flying high. Cloud nine, everything turns out to be really good. Um, I've stuck with the same experiment for six months during my PhD as well.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So the experiment still trying to get to do. It's not done. It's just not the result that you expected it to be. So every time, whenever the research doesn't work in the lab for so many reasons, I would always go back to home and then start looking for something to make. So before that, I always cook, and then, oh, sometimes cooking.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: It's just, oh yeah, I just eat the same thing all the time. I need [00:09:00] something nice, something sweet to fill up the craving. And yeah, so those baking session is like a therapy session for me. So the good thing about baking is. If it's not happening, you can repeat it and then you know what the mistake you've done, it's gonna turn into a cake.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: You it, even if it's non-edible, even though it's a little bit hard, you can still eat them. So that is when I feel I'm in control. You are not feeling hopeless. I like research. If it's not working, you're feeling hopeless. You have to go back and you're hoping that it would work. So it is kind of playing with my mental.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Perception and to channel my stress into different ways so that it's all balanced and I'm not going mad. 

Amardeep Parmar:And then  obviously with the Great British bakeoff from mm-hmm. When you applied, you didn't necessarily think, oh yeah, I'm gonna go on the show and win. How did that come about? What made you decide to even apply? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I just baked cakes before I even watched British bakeoff. I watched British Bakeoff just during the year of pandemic, which is in 2019. And [00:10:00] one of the challenges people make brownies and I was like, oh yeah, this is the great British bakeoff. People make brownies. I can make brownies probably stand a chance to be in there.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I can do that. So that's it for the very, it's just, I didn't try to see the whole challenge of the show. I just see one tiny bit and I decided to go for it and, and that year it's, it's closed already. It's just too late to, to apply for that year and then I have to apply for the year after. So then I didn't even thought I'll be on the bake off.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: The reason why I bake a pie, I never bake a bread. I don't know anything about yeast at that point. It's so many things. I don't know how to bake. I don't even know. Different type of meringue existed until a couple of weeks before I bid on bake off. So my knowledge in terms of baking is very little. But what I do is I did a lot more research and tried to understand them, and all my calculation of the recipe is based on purely calculation convert and volume and size and area.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So, Always [00:11:00] I try the recipe. So when you do the Bake Off show, it has to be scaled up to make it showstopper and something else. But normally when I practice, it's a very small little cupcake or maybe a very like maybe a third or quarter of the portion of what you should make. So I end up just scale it up and hopefully on the day it works.

Amardeep Parmar:Yeah.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So yeah, I never know that I could get that far, ‘cause when I look around on the first week, everybody make a very good cake. But then again, it's because of the instinct, as a researcher and everything, you always sample other people's food. I'm always looking at the judges, what our judges say to other contestants, what they really want to know, want to taste like.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I took all of the input, not only from my cake from. Other people's cake and I go and taste their cake to see why the judges said that. Mm. So the research been done also against my, the bakers in a tent so that I know exactly what the judges said. So that's a episode that is very, very, Put me down [00:12:00] bottom, the three, which is the episode five.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: You have to make lemon meringue pie. Lemon meringue pie is the only thing that I will never eat because it's too hot and then it's too sweet. It's just didn't work for me. I don't know if people will feel offended me saying this, but I have to make it. I have to make it work and I end up the last on the technical and then it didn't work for me.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So that is a week when I think. I want to survive further. I know I'll be happy to stay for the first two episodes when I joined Bakeoff, but as a human, your survival instinct kicks on and you just wanna be to go as further as you can. So, That is when I went home, I changed the strategy completely for my big six until the end of the show.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I just change everything. I tweak it as much as I can, and then I can see the impact of it the week after. So it's all worth it, the research, and I'm taking the huge risk to change it. [00:13:00] But yeah, it pans out working well.

Amardeep Parmar: It's really interesting you said that as well, because being a researcher who necessarily think, oh, that's gonna help you become a winner on a show, or it's gonna help me become a better baker.

Amardeep Parmar: Mm-hmm. And I think a lot of people may necessarily don't realize that all these skills you learn throughout your life, how much it can help you in other areas. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar: And it's like if you don't enjoy it or like you're stressed out about what you're currently doing 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:That skills you've learned there can be done somewhere else.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Yes.

Amardeep Parmar:. Which I think is like really inspiring, right? So you can have a life in research which enabled you because of the skills you learned there. To win the bake off because you knew, oh, this is a research, this is how I can do this, I can do that. So I think that's really cool that like what are the ways you think your like background really helped you on bake off as well?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mm-hmm. So that's what people call it as a transferable skills. Sometimes,  I mean, not only in a bake off situation is also in your job situation in uh, any kind of. Yeah. Any job situation you're trying to apply. Sometimes when you look at the job description, oh, I can't do that. I [00:14:00] can't, but hold on. Looking back, what needs to be done to achieve the task that they have specified?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: On the, on the job description, you actually have the skills. So what you need to do is convince them that you can achieve the task based on the skills that you had. So that's what happened with me and the bake off. I don't have a lot of skills to be a good baker, even a winner of the show at that time.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: But what I do is I accept that I have the transferable skills, I have my research skill, I have my experimental skills. So all of that actually contribute to what you've going to become. So it's just a lot of perspectives, basically, rather than one-to-one or something like that.

Amardeep Parmar: And when you won the Bake off, right, because it's like, obviously it's so happy to win it,

Amardeep Parmar: but then what did you think? Like, what am I gonna do now? Like, what was that? Was it the, like a moment after you did the celebrations, what were you thinking? Like, what's my life now? Like what? I'm now the winner of this show. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:Millions of [00:15:00] people have seen me on TV.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:What was going through your head? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Um, so when they announced that I was the winner on the show, it's happened in in June, so it's still very secretive. You were so tired because the bake off is very intense. 

Amardeep Parmar:Mm-hmm. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff :When, uh, when they, uh, When they announced me as a winner of the show, I feel so numb.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I was just react based on the reaction of people around me. Yeah. But I still feel like, keep on repeating the same word. I feel it's like a jackpot. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. So all the words that I've been saying for all throughout the afternoon is thank you so much. Thank you so much. Thank you so much.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: And then even after the real thing. When, uh, they announce the bakeoff winner on the TV. So I celebrate with a little friends and family, very intimate without doing anything crazy. And then I still don't know what to do with it ‘cause it's very new things to me. But you check with other previous bakers and you also learn what is happening because you have [00:16:00] about 13 season of bakers, you can see the pattern and how other people achieve so far.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: And what you really want out of this, because for me, I think at that point I want to be relevant longer than the popularity rather than the overnight popularity. So going the same way as other people did is slightly repeat the pattern that I don't really want to be in. So the only way to go out and make myself more relevant

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: and using the bake of winning as a stepping stone is what I'm trying to do at the moment. I approach Yhangry and thinking to work with them to do Malaysian afternoon tea and see how well it goes, see how if people really likes it, and then approach another, another people to work with me and see it.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: It is just how normal people start. But for me, it's been, uh, it's advantage for me is I'm the, the winner of the British Bake off, so people would love, want to work with [00:17:00] me. So I hope by that, going through the process and being myself as an entrepreneur make a big impact I hope. So that in future, maybe two years or three years later, after I'm established, and then I'll think about any book, deal, anything, so that it'll be more success.

Amardeep Parmar: So obviously it was at the Malaysian afternoon tea in the Citizen M Hotel, wasn't it?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar:And that was Thursday, so it was less than a week ago now. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar: And it's obviously organized with Yhangry, like you said, said Siddhi and Heinin have also

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar: Been on air too. And it was really interesting to see, right?

Amardeep Parmar: Because, so I went to one with obviously PR. There's lots of other people who've in different industries 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:That are coming there to like learn about your food. And so the one I remember the most was the watermelon. This like the dessert. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar: Obviously I remember the dessert, but because you, what did you make it out of again?

Amardeep Parmar: So I remember it was three different parts of it. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:And then it wasn't actually watermelon, it was 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:  No. 

Amardeep Parmar: Other fruits that you made, right?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Yeah. So it's. When I was on Bake off, people know me as a flavor queen, so I [00:18:00] like to put different flavors together to come out with different flavor. And um, this watermelon cake has been deep sparks a lot of debate on the launch night and then further coming down the three days of the afternoon tea, which is quite interesting.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I can see people try the cake and they're just like thinking what the flavor it could be. Try it another bite. So until the end of the bite, they still wondering and still like can, I guess, can I guess so I think the watermelon cake flavor profile is a success because what I did was I combined three different flavor, which is the Pandan flavor.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: It brings out the aroma, the freshness to it. It got a little bit of nice, um, aroma aroma taste after you eat the watermelon. I know it sounds very different, but when you combine it with the lychee, or people call it lee-chie, it brings out the melon taste. And then for some reason, when you combine it with a syrup, it just brings all the flavor together.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Like you bite a watermelon cake and the good part of it, [00:19:00] when you make it look like a watermelon, people will start believe it. That is the power of perception and how you make people believe what they were eating is actually watermelon. So yeah, it is a success. People agree with me. It tastes like watermelon and not everyone could guess a three flavor, but everyone got, I don't know, not many got.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: The profile, all of them. But yeah, it's kind of really interesting to see.

Amardeep Parmar:  The day that I went to, there's a few more days as well open to the public. Right. How was that overall experiment? Did you enjoy doing things in that way? Like what did you learn from it? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So in the whole three days, what I've learned from it, ‘cause you, you were very busy in the kitchen and you, you, you were just thinking, okay, I have to make sure everything comes up really nicely, but you forget.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: That the thing that I've learned from the launch event night, I was so busy in the kitchen, I don't have time to really greet everyone upstairs. So the next day of it, I tried to be more organized, knowing better what I could do. So we managed to get [00:20:00] people and all hands on deck. Get everything on time.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I could go there, I could go to the floor personally, greet everyone and personally explain every single dish to everyone. So at the end of the day, I got a very good feedback. They feel, they feel very personalized. They feel very, they appreciate the effort that me going and greet them and explain the menu, it makes them experience

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: more enhanced, they say. 

Amardeep Parmar:Yeah.

 Dr. Syabira Yusoff:And what I've learned from it is people come to see you and you know the, the food has to be delicious, but after you prep the food, you can trust other people and delegate the task to do something else and get the food out there. And it's my responsibility to go and meet people.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So yeah, I got a very good message, positive message that everybody enjoyed. So one thing to learn is I just need to make sure that I'm more organized next time, but so far I really enjoy it. It was such a great experience. Yes. 

Amardeep Parmar: And if you remind the moment as well, [00:21:00] because remember you saying how initially you were trying to do both the baking and the research after.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Mm-hmm.

Amardeep Parmar: You want the bake off, right?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Mm-hmm.

Amardeep Parmar: And obviously, I guess it's difficult in that bit in between the announced results because you know that you've won, but you can't use it yet. Right? You can't tell people you've won. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar:And then you can't go out and do shows and things like that in the same way.

Dr. Syabira YusoffMm-hmm.

Amardeep Parmar: But then what made you decide, okay, I'm now gonna go full-time into baking and give my all? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I honestly don't know. I just use all of the decision that I've had so far. It's just based on my instinct. When people said to me, you shouldn't resign, you should stick to your job and build up your baking career until you get into something and then you can resign.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I think that is one of the fact like, yeah, I'm going to resign. It is just, 

Amardeep Parmar:I'm sensing a pattern.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: It's just like when you tell me something not to do, I'll think about it. I'll consider the  options. But I think it's just take one, split second for me to make a decision and just go for it. In life, for me, in life, you [00:22:00] cannot wait the opportunities to come.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: And for me in life, you cannot just wandering too long. If it's gonna work. If it's not gonna work, because there's a proof in the pudding. I give my old for the village bake off a hundred percent. I can see the output. If you give 50 and 50 this, this is gonna take longer time and you can't see any output and you're gonna be dis, you might regret and you might think it's not gonna work.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I think based on the experience, based on the judgment, I'll just take the plunge and just resign and focus in a hundred percent and I can see the fruit of the, um, of my result right now ‘cause um, you do more networking and that's the thing in my mentality that I have to switch from winning the bake off to what I am right now is accepting the fact that when you win any show, not everybody watching you.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: And if you approach anyone, not everybody know who you really are. So you have to introduce yourself, be proud of yourself. Which [00:23:00] previously I was like, oh yeah. Um, yeah, I'm Syabira rather than, hi, I'm Syabira and the winner of the great British Bake off. 

Amardeep Parmar:Yeah. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:So right now I'm proudly announcing it. You are not trying to brag.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: You're telling them the facts. 

Amardeep Parmar:Yes. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So you make people aware that your presence. So I think, um, that's one of the key factor that you switch your mentality. You can be humble, but at the same time you have to promote yourself. That's how I think by accepting fact being, being what I'm trying to do now is just actually worth it.Yes. 

Amardeep Parmar: Now, like you said, cause you're transitioning from being like working in a research role to now being your own boss and like owning that and also deciding the different steps, right? Because you've got to make different decisions about what should the future holds. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:And you said before we started talking about how you're experimenting a lot of the moon.

Amardeep Parmar: And is it almost like a research background there of like, let's do different things and find out what's best, or how's that mentality going for you at the moment? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: You can't just put your eggs in one [00:24:00] basket. So based on this mentality, you have to try and add different options that would actually. Make you feel less disheartened when something's not working.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I just hold on on onto that principle and no matter how tired I am at the moment, I'm still trying to figure out my feet in this industry. 

Amardeep Parmar:Mm-hmm. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:And if you are trying to achieve what you wanna achieve, if you dream something big, but you would not willing to work hard, you will never achieve it. So, All hands on deck.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mind, passion, try and error, all of that. Speak to anyone. Speak to any successful people that you ever met. They all been through that road, and they all have to go through. You cannot get 100% knowledge about. Every trick and tricks without have to learn them in a hard way. So that's how I think I'm in the right direction, even though it's a failure, even though if it's a success, they're all still a learning curve that people has to [00:25:00] go through.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So I think, yeah. Being a researcher, I think just being realistic and just considering all other options without having the bias of, oh, I'm gonna tie it. I'm gonna be, no, I'm not gonna be that popular. No, no, there's no such thing when you try to do uh, weigh up different options, you just have to go for it.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: You don't want to re, you don't want to regret in 10 years time. Oh, what if, oh, what if it's too late? 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And  I said, if people don't like it, then if, if you don't try, then it doesn't matter anyway. Right. It's best a try. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar:If people don't like it, if it doesn't work out, then you know.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:Mm. Mmh. 

Amardeep Parmar:  But like I said, if in 10 years time you never tried, people might have loved it.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Yes. 

Amardeep Parmar:Like, you never got to find out. What do you enjoy the most about like your, like life now of like, doing what you're doing?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: What I love about my life now, first of all, I don't have any more migraine, and I wake up, I know what I have to do exactly, and I'm my own boss. I can work as hard as I want. I can take half day off as I, as as I [00:26:00] wanted to, as long as I achieve the same task.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So yeah, I. I kind of like the flexibility and the networking part, and this is a new, this is what excites me. I've learned a lot every single day. I've learned how to communicate with people ‘cause one of the reasons I learn computation biology because I don't really like to speak to people, ‘cause for me it's hard to speak to people, hard to coordinate.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: But now I'm learning how to coordinate with people. Now I understand you don't have to like anyone you work with, you just have to be professional to make it work. So it's, it's very interesting takes of life that I'm learning at the moment and quite enjoying it. It makes me feel, even though if you are really angry, you just have to be calm.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I don't understand what that means, but now I understand you can be fuming. Boiling inside, but you still have to keep your calm and composure because you are in a professional environment.. 

Amardeep Parmar:Yeah. So it is Glad to, I'm happy to hear how [00:27:00] much you're enjoying the, what you're doing now and like your new life as well.

Amardeep Parmar: We're gonna need to move on to the quick fire questions now for time. Okay. So the first one is, who are three British Asians that you think the audience should be paying attention to and you think are inspiring figures?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: I'm inspired by , the winner of the master chef. She, she's one of my idol. I like the way she's very charismatic.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: She's very, how she brings herself, how she introduced the food, and how much passionate she's been doing it. It's just mesmerizing. I love her so much. The second one is the owner of the Restaurant of Med Salleh Kopitiam

 is nearby Basewater. He's one of the friend that I just met recently. But he gave me a lot of advice in terms of the business, which is what I'm learning as well from him.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: And it's, he's just amazing. He's done a lot of different business. You can hear some of the faith stories, some of the success stories. So he's really resilient people and I want to be like him one day. And the third one is Sambal Shiok. I just met [00:28:00] Mandy, so she, she got a restaurant in London. And it sell a lot of Malaysian food as well.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So go and check out Sambal Shiok as well some ‘cause uhm, I like that place. 

Amardeep Parmar:Awesome. So the next quick fire question is, if people listening right now could reach out to you for help or guidance, what could you maybe help them with?

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: If people wants to come and reach out to me, I can share any part of my experience ‘cause you can come to me as a student because a lot of students come to me and asking for advice, what to do and what not to do.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: So if you need baking tips, I'm here if you need any advice for your PhD. I'm here if you need a support system. How hard is it to learn by informatics? I'm here. 

Amardeep Parmar: Then on the other side? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Mm-hmm. 

Amardeep Parmar:What's something that you need help with right now? What could maybe the audience help you with? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: What do I need right now is a support or advice that how to be a good entrepreneur.

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: How to be successful because I am entering as an entrepreneur not to be a [00:29:00] mediocre. I want to be a success. I want to be not as far, maybe nearly as Gordon Ramsay. I know it's not possible, but I always dream high. 

Amardeep Parmar:You never know. 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff:You will never know what you could achieve. Always dream high because it's free, but it will put you up for any challenge because if you want the biggest price, you have to be willing to work for it.

Amardeep Parmar: So thank you so much for coming on today. Me, have you got any me final words to the audience? 

Dr. Syabira Yusoff: Final words to the audience. I hope you enjoy this podcast, and if you have any questions, just reach out to me.

Amardeep Parmar: Hello. Hello everyone. Thank you so much for listening. It meets a huge amount to us and we don't think you realize how important you are. Because if you subscribe to our YouTube channel, if you leave us a five star review, it makes the world of difference. And if you believe in what we're trying to do here to inspire, connect, and guide the next next generation of British Asians, if you do those things, you can help us achieve that mission and you can help us make a bigger impact.[00:30:00] 

Amardeep Parmar: And by doing that, it means we can get bigger guests, we can host more events, we can do more for the community. So you can play a huge part. So thank you so much for supporting us.

Other episodes you may enjoy: