Chef with heart on his sleeve

Jun 09, 2014, 07:21 IST | Swapnal Tilekar

Three questions with Gerwin D'souza, Chef de Partie, at MoMo 2 Go Bakery, Courtyard by Marriott, Pune

Q. The concept of healthy desserts is picking up lately. What is your take on it?
A. Yes, I have been observing this trend too. Many people are not only demanding healthy food but also healthy desserts. Especially women. They want their dessert to be sugar-free or with the least amount of calories. Thus, making healthy cookies and fat-free pastries is in demand. I think this trend is caused by overexposure of media. Constant showering of healthy-eating benefits and weight loss articles has put people on an alert mode. They think before eating now. Every calorie is counted by health-conscious people. Whenever I get such demands by my patrons, I prefer to keep the basic ingredients the same and make it free of sugar. But sometimes, we cannot cut off all ingredients because some of them are really important for the cuisine and it cannot be replaced.

Chef D’Souza recently conducted a masterclass on baking and is an expert on European and Middle Eastern breads

Q. People have taken a liking to baked desserts than the traditional sweet dishes. What is your take on it?
A. Often, we are influenced by international trends. Of late, diners have become more experimental. Also, there is a nice range of products available for every type of taste. Baked Cheese Cake and the Australian pastry are highly preferred over desserts. Children love chocolate cake and colourful candy because of the attractiveness.

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Q. Please dole out some tips on pastry baking.
A. No one can be a master; no matter how many years you have spent in the kitchen. Give 100% attention while cooking. Even if it is a regular recipe, make it with complete focus and in a happy environment. Firstly, use proper tools. Thus, setting your oven on the right temperature is most important but often overlooked. This simple ignorance can spoil your whole recipe. Also, it will sound clichéd, but always cook with your heart. This actually works. Even I can sometimes feel the difference in my recipes when cooked for my family and friends than at work!

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