Sunday, August 21, 2011

Why I want to be a Pastry chef...

As a child I have grown up in a family of agriculturists, eaters and travellers which has led me to have a broad horizon. The women in my family have always been fantastic cooks and baking was seen as a way of bringing the family together. Be it birthdays or just tea time there always was a chocolate cake or decadent dessert to mark the event. My grandmother actually made 16 cakes for her own wedding by baking them in a trench lined with burning wood!
I believe that the food people eat is a very important aspect of history and culture. Two years ago I represented India as an ‘International Farm Youth Exchange’ delegate for two weeks and presented a paper on the agricultural standing of our country. Because all the participants were from South Asian countries it was fascinating to see the many similarities and inherent differences in food and eating habits.
My two years of high school study at a J. Krishnamurthy Institute taught me to be open minded and to accept the world around me while questioning the reasons behind it. This enabled me to pursue my hobbies and to consider a life outside the regular professions. During my undergraduate studies, I did a certificate course in Baking and Confectionary which fascinated me with the sheer variety of dishes which can be produced from a few simple ingredients.
My hobbies include reading voraciously, experimenting with different cuisines and dancing. Two years ago my friends and I started a cooking club called the “Gastronauts” which translates into food explorers. We try meeting once a month to cook dishes from a specific country and to discuss the various processes that were involved in making the feast. I also go to cooking classes and watching Masterchef to learn new techniques and ideas.
I want to pursue a career in the food industry as I know this is something that I can excel at and which I thoroughly enjoy doing.
This May, a friend and I set up a baking stall at a local festival called” Kitsch Mandi”. We spent a whole month planning the menu and the logistics. Our stall was so popular that we sold out in just three hours! The sheer satisfaction of dealing with customers and having them want to eat my food was heart-warming. I have been baking since I was ten but this occasion sealed the deal that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
I want to be a chef as I enjoy baking and seeing the enjoyment on a person’s face when they eat and appreciate something that I have made. I also love the way food appeals to all the senses, be it the smell of freshly baked bread, the sight of a beautifully plated dessert, the heat of a hot oven, the crunch of a brandy snap and of course the taste of a chocolate ├ęclair!