Authored Article by India’s finest Chef Avin Thaliath
The most common problem with bakery education in India was that it was too preliminary and rudimentary, thus people looked for bakery education internationally. Around 10 years ago, parents didn’t look at it as a great career option for their children unless they could afford to send them abroad for studies. Today, bakery education available in our country is updated with the latest trends and consumer demands and is cost-effective vis-a-vis training abroad. A few game-changing ways education is being moulded.
a) Imparting Education and Experience On The Intricate But Important Differences: There is exhaustive and hands-on experience given in each area of expertise i.e. pâtisserie, boulangerie and viennoiserie. The intricate differences between each of them are taught and given experience in, making the students equipped with the international vocabulary of the industry. Croquembouche, Éclairs, Mille-feuille, Quiche, Tarts and Gâteaux are Pâtisserie items, whereas Viennoiserie includes Croissants, Pain au chocolat, Brioche, Palmier, Vienna bread. Boulangerie examples include Baguette, Pain au levain (Sourdough bread)and Pain de Campagne. Chef Avin comments “It is important for students and aspirants to know the nuances of the industry. Such jargon has rich roots both in the past as well as great applicability in the present and future. Once you understand the trade, you can experiment with it”
b) Healthy and Clean Options: Plant-based, protein-heavy, high fibre, lactose-free, natural, gluten-free, paleo, keto, and sugar-free have moved on from being buzzwords to lifestyles people actively follow. Given the increasing demand for healthy foods and focus on sustainable clean eating, it is imperative the students are trained in how their creations will be impacted, how to offer and fill the consumer demand and use creativity to come up with unique servings. Chef Avin says “ It is important students are given the education to discover local and global sources of alternatives” Locally sourced plant-based produce products are preferred by customers. Customers are also finding delight in artisanal and handmade options, which will soon have to become an education focus.
c) Multi-Sensory Experiences and Visual Delight: Sensory delight is a significant global trend. In order to do it, students are taught the skill of combining different flavours and textures. It can be by visually stunning art or surprising flavours which are unexpected additions. In the age of ‘Instagram’ and social media, the look and presentation of food matter as much, if not more than the taste. Pinterest Predicts wildflowers are going to be a huge aesthetic for cakes and cupcakes in 2023.
Chef Avin says “The eating experience is more than taste. Students are encouraged to innovate at every step and given the requisite aid to do so”. Middle-Eastern, Korean, Indian and other culturally rich flavours are also much sought after. Treating food as art and taking inspiration from seasons, and celebrations to create artistic treats work well. Umami and spicy flavours mixed with sweetness are trends consumers love.
d) Popularity Of Sourdough: In addition to bread, other sourdough products are set to become famous. The sourdough flavor is contributing to the popularity and consumer demand states that it will have to be one of the key styles which will have to gain predominance in education.
e) Croissants Revolution: The slow and steady croissant revolution has turned out massive, leading up to years of reimaginations and experiments by chefs the world over. Croissants come in different colours and shapes, a variety of flavours from sweet to savoury, mostly inspired by local ingredients and understated to over-the-top fillings. There are hybrid formats of croissants like the croffle (croissant and a waffle), cronut (croissant and a doughnut) and cruffin (croissant and muffins) to name a few. Chef Avin who has brought this international phenomenon to his students in India says “It is impossible to stay untouched by the croissant revolution. In India, we have a huge chance to present our own versions to the world given the plethora of flavours and ingredients we have access to”
Keeping up with the latest global trends and imparting knowledge about the rich history and past of the bakery and pastry worlds, the education landscape in India is finally climbing higher on the competency ladder owing to the great contribution of some notable chefs like Chef Avin.