Monday, June 1, 2015

Developing Young Chefs In Sugar Artistry

Ten years back when we started getting trained to be chefs, the practical skills we gained were only through the practical sessions under skilled Chef Trainers or through books. Even with such minimum resources available we could still learn culinary skills which helped us to grow strong in the industry. In the present era of 'Internet', everything is available to make anything and this availability of technology and know-how has become a boon for the budding chefs to gain substantial knowledge and skills.
With so many talented  culinary professionals  in the industry, easy access to the online resources and the state of art culinary infrastructure in the leading hotels  in our  country we still have a long way  to make it to Culinary Olympics in general and in  Pastry & Confectionery arts in particular. Being a Chef Trainer and specialising in confectionery arts and mentoring the students hands on with various confectionery mediums like Sugar Chocolate, Nougatine, , Pastillage, Marzipan, etc. I feel that we need to raise our bar of performance to meet the international standards in creating these artistic showpieces.

In my experience 'Sugar' is the best and the most challenging confectionery medium to work with in Indian conditions. Many Pastry Chefs consider sugar work the pinnacle of their decorative work. One reason is surely the sheer beauty of skillfully made pulled, poured and blown sugar pieces, which can be elaborate constructions of multi coloured sugar flowers in blown sugar vases or sugar baskets filled with sugar fruit, and sugar pedestals wrapped with sugar ribbons & bows. A showpiece created entirely from sugar is truly a work of art, and it takes an eye for design and strong pastry skills to work with this delicate medium and are composed of several different types of sugar elements. 

Dedication , passion, practice, eye for design and well disciplined approach towards this skill when getting trained can make oneself proficient. Chefs who have mastered this skill practiced for hours, even years and have earned the respect that this accomplishment brings them. Students are often irresistibly drawn to the challenge of learning these techniques when they see what results are possible.
Being associated with an institute which is probably the only culinary school in India that has the infrastructure like a full-fledged sugar studio with all the basic and advanced sugar equipment's and tools , imported silicon set of sugar mats and moulds, blow pipes, etc.We are able to bring out sugar master-pieces and also teach sugar work to the students in the third year as part of their curriculum with as  subject titled Advanced Pastry & Confectionery Arts. Students practically make sugar showpieces in their lab sessions and the availability of infrastructure makes this work of art doable even if the medium is sensitive to handle. Our team of Confectionery trainers impart skills to the students because of which they are able to create intricate Sugar  Showpieces while at the same time displaying their acquired technical skills. The most difficult and advanced techniques like pulled sugar & blown sugar work challenges even our credibility, but the passion towards the art  keeps inspiring us to perform better.
This confectionery art work is challenging & one who develops these skills perfectly will always get the higher applauds in the culinary world, we always aim to sculpt a well trained budding chefs from our academy before they land in the industry which is our greatest contribution. Now it is such a situation that our alumni has already made their mark in the Culinary world. It will not be an exaggeration if we come across one of them representing the  nation in the upcoming Culinary Olympics and showcase the Sugar confectionery art.
The presence of endless opportunities & possibility to perform any kind of Culinary art these days, it's time that Indian chefs should showcase the artistic skills to the world at International Culinary Competitions.



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