REFINE YOUR TASTE BUDS
International culinary schools like Le Cordon Bleu and City & Guilds London are ready to set up shop in India
Godhuli Ganguram’s childhood memories were filled with images of watching her mother pipe out choux pastry to form chewy éclairs and mould little daisies out of marzipan. So when she discovered Viva Cakes, a neighborhood baking school, the 28- year- old IIM Calcutta graduate from Kolkata enrolled for their weekend patisserie course. Four months later, Ganguram is now set to start her own sugar craft studio. “Five years ago one never had the opportunity to learn the craft of baking in India. With this course I feel that I have discovered my true calling,” says Ganguram, who is putting finishing touches to a 4D Aston Martin made entirely out of sugar.
Zopf, brioche, pies and harlequin bread are fast slipping into the urban lexicon as scores of young people are rediscovering the wonders of baking, digging into global recipe books and enrolling for classes. Whisks, beaters and ovens are the new tools of a generation fed on endless shows of Masterchef who are turning their hobby for baking into a career. Fuelling this demand is the variety of courses in the market, from short- term sessions to international diplomas as returning Indian chefs, neighbourhood bakers and foreign schools are setting up shop in India. From dainty cake decorations to instant party desserts, glutten- free breads and mini cupcakes, you can choose a niche area of baking as a passion or profession. “Customers want specialised courses. They don’t want to learn the everyday chocolate or carrot cake. Instead there is demand for exotic pastry such as Spanish churros, French macaroons, American key lime pies, Goan bebinca or British tea cakes,” explains Rupali Kalra, 38, founder of Rupali’s Cake Craft and Culinary Arts in Gurgaon.
Demand for baking certifications and diplomas have led to many foreign schools venturing into the Indian higher education market. The famed French culinary school Le Cordon Bleu recently launched a course in collaboration with GD Goenka University School of Hospitality in Haryana. “We have certainly noticed a demand from Indians when it comes to training and accreditation,” says Damien Julia, academic director of Le Cordon Bleu Paris.
Similarly Chefs Vinesh Johny, Lijo Eapen and Avin Thaliath decided to bring their international experience in cakes and baking to Bangalore through Lavonne. Started in June 2012, Lavonne provides certification in boulangerie and confectionery education in partnership with City & Guilds London. The school aims not just to teach but to provide endto- end solutions for baking which include educating bakers on equipments, ingredients, tools, and baking accessories. “Baking is as much an art as it is a science. We often invite visiting international faculty to bring in new skills and perspectives to the classroom,” explains Vinesh Johnny, who graduated with an advanced diplome in sugar craft and cake decoration from the Feves de Choco Creation of Pastry Fine Art in Malaysia. And for those looking to earn big bucks, Lavonne also trains students in entrepreneurship and helps them set up their own pastry shops.
Student chefs at Lavonne Academy