RE­FINE YOUR TASTE BUDS

In­ter­na­tional culi­nary schools like Le Cor­don Bleu and City & Guilds Lon­don are ready to set up shop in In­dia

India Today - - COVER STORY - With Aditi Pai

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

in Ban­ga­lore

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