Not a cake walk

Participants and judges at the event

Participants and judges at the event   | Photo Credit: 30dmcpastry


Emerging pastry chefs showed their skills at the Pastry Queen India Championship-2015 in Gurgaon

When we think of bakery products, we know sugar as an important ingredient in them. But who knew, sugar, in itself, could be made into such wonderful artistic displays!

At the Pastry Queen India Championship, 2015 sugar came alive, quite literally. The Academy of Pastry Arts, Gurgaon hosted the championship this past weekend and this happens to be the first time that the event was conducted in India.

After a rigorous process of filtering profiles of pastry chefs across the country, eight participants were selected who, over the course of two days, worked extremely hard to reach the top. These participants were all practising pastry chefs from across the country - each participant was required to make five things – a sugar display, a chocolate cake, a tart-based dessert, a mini bijou pastry and a dessert in glass. The theme for the competition was ‘The Art of Dance’.

The participants were given one preparation day to set up their stations and were allowed to bring one assistant, who would help them with basic chores. They were also provided with the basic ingredients by the academy.

The first day of the event was all about the participants making their products from 9 am to 6 pm. On the second day, the participants finished making their displays and products by 5 pm, after which the products were judged. The judges said they were looking at different aspects of patisserie. “In the sugar display, we are looking for the interpretation of the theme, technicalities employed, colour combination and the texture. While in the rest of the desserts, the focus is on the flavour and the texture,” said judge Chef Dinesh Rawat, who is the director of the Academy of Pastry Arts, Gurgaon. “We are looking for somebody who can handle both the aspects of the championship-- the sugar display and its décor and the confectioneries. We assessed the participants keeping international standards in mind – we want novel textures and new use of ingredients in the confectionery products. Whereas in the sugar display work, we are looking for the maximum use of techniques within one display,” said Chef Thomas Lionel, Corporate Chef with Dabon International Pvt. Ltd.

After the judgement, the products were made available for everyone present to taste and dive in the amazing works of the best women pastry chefs across the country.

Chef Sanjana Patel’s Café Verrine Tiramisu, Chef Trisha Singh’s raspberry cheesecake, Chef Sanah Vohra’s Ferrero Rocher chocolate cake and Chef Bani Nanda’s rich chocolate cake were among people’s favourites. Chef Neelam Sinha Sircar’s Indian-touch to the interpretation of the theme stood out from the rest of the participants’ work. The intense two-day affair came to an end with Chef Sanjana Patel being crowned the Pastry Queen of India and Chef Arpitha Harish as the runner-up. Sanjana, originally from Mumbai, runs the two successful branches of La Folie Patisserie there. Sanjana’s menu included a contemporary Yuri Tart, Madagascar Petit Gateaux, Caffe Verrine Tiramisu, and a Chocolate Mousse ring cake. Her sugar display was appreciated by many, and her win was predicted by many during the tasting.

“I have been strenuously practising sugar since the past one year. I also assisted a Chef in France while I was studying there. I learnt that the assistant needs to be as prepared as the Chef. And when the opportunity came, I really wanted to plunge in!” said Sanjana after her win. The winner and the runner-up will now be trained by experienced pastry chefs at the Academy and after six months, one of them will be representing India at the Sigep World Pastry Championship which happens every year in January. Both of them feel that this is a big leap for pastry chefs across India. “I think it is a great opportunity and it feels great to be the first pastry chef to be representing the country internationally,” said Sanjana. “From here, I see us taking it to the next level. It will be a great thing to be featured in the world market because in our country, pastry arts have been recognised only recently,” said Arpita.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 7:38:25 PM |

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