“I think a great chef is defined by his ingredients and his team, his ability, his ability to lead, his ability to train, his ability to mentor, his ability to hire, to be able to give his team all the tools that they need to execute at a very high level because, if you have the ingredients and you have the execution, you’re going to be a better chef.”
These culinary artists paint their canvas with sweet and savory ingredients. For me they are artists of their field.
I am considering myself very fortunate that I met a Pastry Chef, who has all qualities mentioned above. He contacted me after reading my recipe of “DATE CUPCAKES”, he gave me a lot of variations and tips related to baking. I requested him to give me and my readers this opportunity to learn from his experiences in my Baking class.
He is such a humble and down to earth boy. He is just 27 years old but I am highly impressed with his culinary skills. One more thing I am grateful to him for giving me so much respect, whenever he calls me Baji, I feel so proud and honored.
As many home cooks, I absolutely love baking – especially baking sweet treats, cakes and tarts. Creating sweet treats that everyone loves definitely seems like a dream job… 🙂
Q. Tell my readers about your journey to becoming the Pastry chef.
Chef Navgeet: I always had my interest in food, especially in pastry & confectionary which took me to start my journey on this path, I graduated in 2007 from the National Council of Hotel Management & Catering Technology, Delhi, India, under which there are over 25 colleges all over India. I got selected for management training for Taj group of Hotels, where I had my 2 years of extensive training, after training I became Chef de Partie (manager level) and I worked in India till Sep 2010.
I came in New Zealand in Sep 2010 for higher education in Culinary (Patisserie). Over the time I worked in very popular Brazilian restaurant in downtown Auckland, and then I worked for Australia’s and New Zealand’s largest bakery chain ” Baker’s Delight ” for 1 year just to get more extensive baking experience, currently I am working at Skycity Hotel , a branch of skycity group of entertainment, in the pastry section which is one of the largest pastry kitchen in NZ.
I am always learning new things, new technique, methods, explore new ingredients which makes a lot of difference to the same product if used in correct method.
Every day is a new learning experience … if u really wants to learn.
Q. What are the most difficult ingredients or recipe you have ever had to work with?
Chef Navgeet: Every ingredient has unique properties which if u knows how to use them you will never face a problem.
For me when I started working I used to get really frustrated while making meringue (egg white with sugar whisked together till desired consistency), because its takes patience to make and over the time u learn how to control it.
Q. What is your favorite ingredient and dish?
Chef Navgeet: My favorite ingredient is Egg, it is so versatile,, that u can use it in many ways:
- to give body in the dessert,. eg chocolate fondant, commonly ( choco lawa)
- provides smooth texture, eg.. Mousse,
- provides volume, eg, sponge cake
- provides moisture, eg macaroon
- used to give nice finish ( egg wash while baking scone , breads or cheese sticks)
- use as a garnish itself. (egg white )
Different consistency of egg whites can be used as secondary ingredient in many delicious recipes.
My favorite recipe is homemade rich fruit cake.
Q. What is your specialty?
Chef Navgeet: There is nothing like specialty, it’s about getting excellence in your product, I make with my heart. I love baking
Q. Describe your pastry style in 3 words.
Chef Navgeet: Clean, flavorful and exciting
Q. What are your top three backing tips?
• Have confidence in yourself.
• Mistakes are the stepping stones to success, so if u make mistake, don’t panic… ask yourself, where it went wrong.
• Judge yourself, if it’s good for you then yes, if it’s ok then it’s a NO….
Be honest with what you are doing.
Thank you Navjeet for giving your precious time to me and my reader.
ASK FROM CHEF NAVGEET
Yes friends! Chef Navgeet will answer all your questions, queries and will give you tips about Baking. Throughout this week.
So be ready because you have a golden chance to learn from a professional Chef. From 14- 19 April 2014.
Leave your question here: firstname.lastname@example.org
He will answer you, thou he is a busy chef but he will reply your mails as soon as he gets time.