New Delhi: Chefs from India won three awards at the Asian Pastry Cup 2016, held recently in Singapore, and is a run up to the international World Pastry Cup contest, that takes place once every two years in Lyon, France.
The victory has been unexpected for India, which has so far not excelled in the competition where pastry chefs from 11 major Asian countries vie for the top spot, which this year was bagged by host country Singapore, followed by Malaysia.
The team from India was represented by Chef Mukesh Rawat and Chef Amit Sinha who won three awards in total - the bronze medal, and most promising talent for Mukesh Rawat, and best chocolate sculpture.
Each of the competing teams had to prepare a cake, a plated dessert, artistic pieces in sugar and a showpiece sculpture made out of chocolate -all of which had to be prepared from scratch in front of a live audience within a time limit of eight hours.
The chefs say that they underwent a 7-month rigorous training session under the guidance of Chef Manjit Singh Gill, President Indian Federation of Culinary Association (IFCA).
"It was a good seven months of extensive training plan executed very well under the guidance of Chef Manjit Singh Gill, President IFCA. The selection of the team was in done in September through the 'India Pastry Cup' Further there was a 10 day training in Malaysia."
According to the chefs, evaluation was done on the basis of food taste, flavour, texture and innovative presentation ideas.
The winners said the award will bring a change in the way people perceive pastry chefs in India and would encourage the more people to take it up as a profession.
"This will bring a change in the way we perceive pastry chefs in India. As third best pastry chefs team of Asia, this will encourage the young pastry chefs more and more and also motivate them to improve their skill set for international competitions in future," chef Rawat said.
Singh said the win will play a part in opening up a world of new trends and techniques in the world of pastries.
"This would also help us to start using world class ingredients and equipments and finally lead to availability of these in India," chef Singh said. The two-day competition, held on April 12 and April 13 was judged by member of a judging panel helmed by Gabriel Paillasson, the founder of World Pastry Cup.
The winning chefs are now gearing up for the upcoming competition of 'World Pastry Cup 2017' to be held in France in January next year and have made a 9 month training plan for the team in different stages.
"The 9 stages would include working on the designs and taste of the products in first stage. After careful study and trials, the final menu will decided. We will start working on the time management. This may take two months. We will be roping in international pastry chefs who have competed in this competition before who can help and train us further.
"After July in second stage, we are looking forward for the team practice so that we can get together as team according to the actual space and time. By November we expect to be ready with the final product line which will be presented to a jury of international visiting guest chefs in Malaysia. After the feedback from them, we will go for the final changes and again go for the trails accordingly," Rawat said.