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I’m a Game Changer within the Indian Patisserie Scene: Sanjana Patel

(Last Updated On: June 14, 2019)

The executive patisserie chef behind La Folie Patisserie talks about her journey, inspirations, and what she’d advise budding chefs.

What do you think has made La Folie Patisserie such a resounding success?
“My journey as a pastry chef has been pretty exciting, and I think taking up certain quick and wise decisions earlier in my career have led me to become a more technically sound and driven chef. I realised early on that my interest lay in designing new menus with unique flavour concoctions and playing with ingredients. I wanted to delve deeper in this creative side, which is why I took up a Master’s program in Ferrandi (a traditional French culinary school in Paris).”

La Folie Patisserie is known for its innovative take on desserts. How did you decide to go down that route?
“In my former years, I took up food science and management with a major in confectionery, with a part time diploma, at Le Cordon Bleu. After doing internships in some food companies and night shifts in small patisseries, I clearly knew that my interest lay in playing with ingredients and designing new menus with unique flavour combinations.

I wanted to delve deeper into the creative side of this field, which is why I took up a Master’s program at Ferrandi (a traditional French culinary school in Paris). I started my career by doing internships at famous patisseries and heading production departments at some of France’s best Michelin-star restaurants and top-notch hotels.”

What have all these opportunities taught you?
“These opportunities have been an integral part of shaping me and my career as a chef. I feel La Folie’s success lies in me being patient and going through the grind of working in challenging environments.

When I was setting up La Folie, a lot of people thought I was crazy to use such expensive ingredients and charge such a hefty price tag for it. I responded by saying that I am educating Indian customers about unusual ingredients and flavours, and they are paying for that experience.

Fast forward 4-5 years, and everybody is trying to jump onto the bandwagon of European pastries. So, I am happy to be a game changer within the Indian patisserie scene.”

Any advice you’d like to give budding chefs?
“Most young chefs don’t want to get industry experience; they all rush into starting their own venture. I urge aspiring chefs to get at least 5 years of work experience before they start something of their own. That experience is an investment in your future, and will help you find your niche and confidence.”

Lastly, do you use Scootsy? 
“Yes, I order from Scootsy quite often. The Nutcracker, Pizzaexpress, Bombay Canteen, Soi 69, and Umame are my all-time favourites. I especially love the California Rolls and Veg Thai Green Curry from Umame.”

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