Competition Winner: From Taiwan to Scotland

Lesley Lai – A Cake Journey


A cake journey like no other – To celebrate the launch of our new online magazine Cake Life back in October. We offered readers an opportunity to win a private one to one class with Paul Bradford.

This was an opportunity for one of our readers to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Scotland to meet Paul and learn from him in an intimate setting.

After well over 4,000 entries the lucky winner was an enthusiastic cake decorator from Taiwan. And we couldn’t have asked for a better student.

Lesley’s passion and talent for cake decorating was absolutely incredible. Made more even so due to the fact that fondant is like gold dust in Taiwan where sweet cakes aren’t popular and neither is cake decorating!

We decided to catch up with Lesley during her time at the PBSS studio to get a bit more insight into her life and how she found cake decorating…

Lesley Lai – Q and A

Hi Lesley, how did you find about the Cake Life competition and why did you decide to enter?

I followed the Paul Bradford Sugarcraft School Facebook page and saw the competition on there so I decided to enter. But never thought for a minute that I would win though.

Where you shocked when you found out that you had won?

I actually missed the first email I received telling me that I was the winner.¬†I only realised I had won after seeing David’s follow up email asking me to confirm my details. Even then, my family thought it was a scam. They couldn’t believe someone was paying for me to travel from Taiwan to Scotland for FREE!

Imagine if you had missed out?

I’d have been so upset. Luckily I saw that second email.

***friendly reminder to add [email protected] to your email contacts so you don’t miss out on competitions and freebies***

Can you tell us a little about where you are from?

I live in Taiwan now but I’m originally from the Philippines. I accidentally got a job in Taiwan and then met my now husband over there so stayed.

You accidentally got a job?

Haha yes. I was accompanying my friend in the Philippines to apply for a job in Taiwan. Whilst I was there they asked me if I would also like to apply and then gave me an interview straight away. Initially I wasn’t interested, however, when they offered me a job a few weeks later my parents thought it would be a good opportunity for me so I went. I then met my husband over there and settled down.


And what is cake decorating like in Taiwan? Is it popular?

it’s definitely not popular in Taiwan. I have a few acquaintances¬†who work with fondant but in general sweet cakes are not popular. The ingredients that I need to make the cakes I like are so expensive over here as well.

So how do you manage?

I go back to the Philippines every year for a holiday. Luckily they absolutely love sweets so I can stock up on all the ingredients I need. Each year I take a huge suitcase with hardly anything in it and just fill it full of cake supplies.

Was it the Philippines where you learned how to make cakes?

No, I’m self taught. I started off by teaching myself the basics on Youtube and then discovered Paul Bradford and started using his tutorials.

And finally, what do you think of Scotland?

It’s cold.

Well, we can’t argue with that.


Lesley was in touch after her mammoth trip back to Taiwan and she was delighted to report that the cake she made with Paul made it all the way back in one piece.

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