The very mention of “pâtissier” always takes us back to a happy place, an image of a pretty kitchen with all the pastel hues, churning out happiness at a go, dainty heaven for all the sweet-tooth out there.
But becoming a pâtissier or a pastry chef takes a lot more than only passion to create. It takes hard work, resilience and determination to deliver a perfect plate no matter what the odds are.
In a conversation with Vidushi Sharma, an Indian Pastry Chef, we learn what goes behind the kitchen of happiness, the number of hours that it takes to detail the sweet nothings.
“It seems very glamorous to be a pastry chef but the kind of blood, sweat, and tears that go in, I genuinely mean blood, sweat, and tears when I say it.”
Vidushi Sharma is not just a pastry chef, she is an avid traveler, a fellow-foodie and a connoisseur of everything aesthetic. Vidsushi shares with Feministaa, her journey as an Indian Pastry Chef, her call for passion and what it takes to nail the art of creating bites of happiness.
Vidushi took the big step of becoming a pastry chef when she joined Le Cordon Bleu London to acquire diplome de patisserie. While talking about her initial experience in LCB, Vidushi shared,
“Lots of excitement stars in my eyes, London city, walked into my first day, and they take three hours to teach us, how to make a fruit salad. They are keeping a ruler to show you. You are supposed to be that precise. And you are like, cakewalk, we just have to cut fruit, what is the big deal. And then you are put in the kitchen, you are given these beautiful berries, nectarines, and apples and you know all the beautiful fruits of the world and it was the worst looking fruit salad that you can ever imagine that I produced.
Why? Because I have never chopped in my entire life, I had six different cuts in my hands and knicked myself, while understanding all the knives, without realizing one nail went and there was a big gassier.
It was a reality check, and it told me, Vidushi you have a lot to learn and the next one year is going to be all about learning, honing your skills.”
But how necessary is it to have a fancy college degree to become a pastry chef?
“You need some kind of training, It can be a culinary school, it can be under a mentor.”
She said, “Being privileged in India means you have enough people to wash for you, chop for you, and after all that, and you are just supposed to come and yes tada, I got that, It’s a fact, we all do it.”
But to make it big as a pâtissier, passion is only but the first step.
Along with, “passion undying, unrelenting, you need support from all the people around you, it’s important, that gives you confidence, So along with passion, you need confidence because if you are shaky and you are nervous while baking, it’s gonna show in your final product. And the third is hard work, you need to be very very hardworking, it’s laborious work, You need to be very on point about it.”
The 26-year-old globetrotter who has successfully managed to visit 250 cities, shares how traveling has helped evolving her palette.
“Travel has opened my palette up, my brain up, it’s about getting out of your comfort zone, and trying something you aren’t aware of, it’s where your learning comes from. So my palette with all the traveling is a little more evolved, it is because of these experiences which help in my work.
When I try something, I say why can’t I make this, why can’t I pick up this flavor?”
As a chef, Vidushi puts her faith in three senses, she believes that exploring for a chef means believing in sight, smell, and taste.
“Exploring for a chef means, you explore with your eyes, visually what you are eating, is it aesthetic, is it appealing, would you want to go back to it. Is it attracting you? Are your all factories senses understanding what’s in front of you? Sometimes I can shut my eyes and I can tell if there’s a warm chocolate cake in front of me or freshly baked bread, it has its own smell. And finally taste, it’s the most important. Explore with your taste buds, understand what the layers are, delve into the complexities of the flavors .”
For 2019, Vidushi plans to travel as much as possible, explore as much as possible, and write about it. She aims to document her experiences, and get them out to the world!
Pursuing a creative career in India, especially at the food industry is anything but a “cakewalk.” Vidushi speaks about the misconceptions which are attached to it.
“It’s not a very conventional doctor, lawyer or engineer profession,
It’s a creative profession, So you automatically get slotted into that “creative” type category. People try and slot you into this “stereotypes”, which you don’t like to be slotted.”
But in the end, Vidushi reminds you,
“You are your own person
You are making your own journey,
And you are doing what gives you happiness, and that should be it.”