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Working as a churros maker for a day

working-at-chulop-churros

JobsFoodF & B

I was caught off-guard at how much effort was needed to make the perfect churro.

Churros are a relatively popular dessert in Singapore. Unlike cakes or cookies however, how many of us can proudly say we've made our own churros?

Last week, I had that chance at Chulop! By The Syarifs, a churros snack bar established in May 2015. Located at East Village Mall, Chulop! is owned by local celebrities Malaque Mahdaly and Syarif.

Chulop!'s large social media following is a testament to their success and flair for customer satisfaction, and it took them two years to conceptualise the business entirely. During this time, boss lady Malaque perfected Chulop!'s churro recipe from scratch!

The main task of an employee is to make the churros to order for each Chulop! sale. As a dessert-making novice, I was pretty nervous. I knew that working in an F&B wasn't going to be easy, but I wasn't aware of the number of steps and the precision required to make a perfect churro!

kneading-dough-chulop
Tip: Utilise your body weight while kneading instead of depending solely on your hand muscles to conserve energy
PHOTO CREDIT: JIREH 

My first task was arguably the most crucial. The dough is the foundation of the churro, so I was determined to get the technique right. I was guided by the general manager of Chulop!, Khalis, who broke down the steps for me.

The kneading technique was easy to follow, so I didn't make any mistakes. Nevertheless, it soon dawned on me how much physical strength was required for this task. I could feel my energy slowly deteriorating after a few minutes.

Kneading the dough reminded me of the times I had made chapati (an Indian flatbread), and the familiarity instantly made me relax. This task was one of my favourites of the day as I found the dough's texture extremely therapeutic to touch.

I severely underestimated the difficulty of the next step: churning out the churros. The churro extruder required a great deal of coordination to use, which I've since realised I do not possess.

churning-churros-chulop
Churros at Chulop! are deliberately made bite-sized (13cm) for easier consumption.
PHOTO CREDIT: JIREH

With my left hand, I had to control the speed and the force I was using on the extruder. As my right hand received the churro, I had to spread my fingers wide enough to ensure the dough remains straight as it oozes out.

With so many things to take note of, I was overwhelmed at first and my churros turned out crooked, undefined, and not up to Chulop!'s standards. I did, however, get the length right in my first attempt, which gave me some comfort for my #failedattempt. This turned out to be the most challenging task I faced that day.

deep-frying-churros-chulop
I struggled slightly with lifting the deep-fryer.
PHOTO CREDIT: JIREH 

After churning, I was to submerge the churros in the deep-fryer for around three minutes. 

Although it was my first time using a deep-fryer, this was a pretty easy step to get right. The deep-fryer was doing the job, not me. But I did appreciate the mini break before moving on to my next task: coating the churros in cinnamon sugar!

coating-churros-chulop
Cinnamon sugar is my guilty pleasure.
PHOTO CREDIT: JIREH 

I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I falter when it comes to cinnamon sugar. I usually want loads of it.

When I was done coating however, Khalis asked: "Are you done?" and I panicked for a second. I wondered if I had missed anything out. I just had to coat the churros evenly and I'm done, right? Wrong. Khalis took a look at my coated churros and reminded me that diabetes existed. I still had to toss the excess sugar off each churro.

But if you're like me and don't mind risking your health for more cinnamon sugar, you can always request for more!

serving-customers-churros-chulop
I'm used to being a customer – standing behind the counter was a new experience for me.
PHOTO CREDIT: JIREH

After preparing their best-selling Spanish Caramel and Mexican Chocolate dips, my final task was to serve Chulop!'s customers.

My workload wasn't anything close to what a regular Chulop! employee deals with. However, I still felt a sense of satisfaction handing over the customer's orders, having helped prepare them from start to end.

chulop-churros-east-village
Now I can finally say I've made my own churros.
PHOTO CREDIT: JIREH

Thinking back, I had certainly misjudged the amount of effort and thoroughness required to do the job. It is evident that quality food and service is of paramount importance at Chulop!.

Whenever my craving for churros decides to make a comeback— you know where you can find me: Chulop!

Only this time, as a happy customer.

TEASER AND BANNER CREDIT: JIREH  

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  • Tags: Jobs Food F & B