There is a shortage of baking-related phrases to accurately describe Rebecca Disini.
Her career was not a “piece of cake.”
She was never satisfied with “bread and water,” nor accepted to herself, “that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”
Moreso, her brand of artisanal mirror cakes known as “Ooh La La!” would not have grown to its commercial success today if she had settled for “half-baked” and “cookie-cutter.”
Disini has been told all her life by all sorts of people that she cannot do things. That her life plans were just “pie in the sky” for someone like herself. Too young, too old, too female, too anything.
She is unapologetically all of those things. And a “smart cookie,” to boot.
The key for Disini was that everyone has to start somewhere. From scratch, definitely, but at least enough to get the pin rolling.
Ooh La La! By Rebecca Disini, now based in Makati, actually had more modest beginnings. All its founder had back then was a dream to share her passion for French pâtisserie.
“[And] so, I started my homemade-to-order mirror cake business in November 2016. We work out of a relatively small kitchen, but I feel that it actually lets us focus a lot of love and care on every cake we make,” Disini said.
From there, her line of entremets (mirror cakes) were born. These consist of six regular varieties as well as seasonal offerings.
The mainstay mirror cakes are Les Trois Chocholat (Three Chocolate), L’Amour Rouge (Strawberry and Raspberry), Le Mimosa (Champagne Bergamot), Le Matcha (Green Tea Matcha), Le Café Noisette (Hazelnut Coffee), and Obsession du Chocolat Noir (Dark Chocolate Tiramisu).
The common ingredient in all of these is the grit it took for Disini to get to where she is today.
Before coming home to the Philippines in 2016, Disini had worked and studied worldwide—which she admitted was not as fun as it sounds.
She earned Grand Diplomas at Le Cordon Bleu in both Paris and London, studied Food Styling at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and then took Marketing Management at De La Salle University.
Disini cooked for dignitaries and heads of state as executive chef at the British High Commission in Singapore, developed multimillion-euro food service products as regional chef for Unilever in Malaysia, and created award-winning products for leading fast food chains and supermarkets on behalf of Newly Weds Food Asia Pacific.
At all stages, she never stopped hearing about the things she supposedly cannot do. Thus, her mirror cake business reflected the image of a woman who dared to resist her doubters. She persisted with her passion, authentically and undeviatingly.
Of course, her entremets needed more literal ingredients, as well.
“We pride ourselves on [using] top-caliber ingredients, and the pandemic really had a huge impact on my business plans, as sourcing became practically impossible. It made me realize what matters most to me—providing a stable income for my staff and never compromising on quality for our customers,” Disini said.
This realization has brought her to new adventures in unfamiliar places, sacrificing convenience in pursuit of culinary excellence.
“Sometimes, ingredients take me—and my family—to places we’ve never imagined going to,” Disini posted.
Her journey might take her to Belgium today and the Philippines later, but who knows what tomorrow will bring? If life was anything like her prized cakes, it would reflect a future that is, at once, clear and enticing.
To order, email with complete details (including first and last name, mobile number, and the date you need the cake) at [email protected]. For more information, visit RebeccaDisini.com or Rebecca Disini’s social media pages (@rebpepperflakes).
Photos by JV Rabano.