Gurgaon, 20-22 Sept 2014
School of Hospitality students at G D Goenka University, Gurgaon got a taste of ‘Le Cordon Bleu’ brand of baking and confectionery in a Live Session with world renowned Chef Olivier Mahut from Le Cordon Bleu Paris on 20th and 22nd Sept, 2014.
The School of Hospitality at G D Goenka University has an academic collaboration with Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. Under the aegis of this esteemed collaboration, faculty from Le Cordon Bleu visits the School from time to time, to impart and share latest developments in the culinary world. Apart from reinforcing traditional methods of cooking and baking that have earned Le Cordon Bleu a reputation that is unmatched anywhere in the world, the visiting chef instructors also instil new-age wisdom and know-how. These sessions not only expose the impressionable students to a wealth of culinary techniques, first hand, but also give them an idea about the finesse and precision aimed at by the maestros of gastronomical world.
|Chef Olivier Mahut|
In these sessions Chef Olivier Mahut demonstrated the making of ‘Mini Choux et Eclairs’ and ‘Tarte aux Fruits’ in his vibrant and exuberant style.
“Clients often give you only one chance. They have a lot of choice these days. You have to make sure that he keeps coming back for more,” Chef Olivier said, emphasising the standards that have to be maintained to get loyal customers.
He further added that every good chef should talk to his clients a lot and know their tastes.
“Adapt your recipes to suit the client’s taste. Ask them a lot of questions. Adapt to the environment and innovate,” is the mantra he gave to all his students.
Laying emphasis on hygiene and balance, Chef Olivier went on to create dishes that were truly exemplary and culinary masterpieces. Alongside the class, he gave many valuable tips on planning, research, focus, improvisation and competence that would be very useful to students in their careers.
Dr Raj Singh, Vice Chancellor, G D Goenka University had his words of appreciation for the visiting chef and words of motivation for the students. At the end of the session, Prof. S K Saluja, officiating Dean, and Prof. Subhadip Majumder, Chef Instructor, SOH gave the formal vote of thanks to the esteemed guest lecturer. Chef Olivier gifted two beautiful books to the School library that would go a long way in providing ready reference to all students for years to come.
Certificates from Le Cordon Bleu were given to all the participants. Shubhendu Chowdhury, Hub Manager, Le Cordon Bleu, India and Snigdha Moitra, Sales & Marketing Manager, Le Cordon Bleu, Delhi also distributed many goodies from Le Cordon Bleu to the enthusiastic students.
The star students who had assisted Chef Olivier Mahut in the demonstration even got autographed Le Cordon Bleu aprons, that are sure to acquire pride of place in their kitchens and their hearts. The students were jubilant after the interaction.
Chef Olivier was very touched by the warmth of people in India, saying," You see a heart to heart connection here. Everyone is smiling."
He gave his dishes an Indian interpretation, at least evident in the presentation. On top of his chocolate eclairs, one could see gold leaf, dry fruits and coloured sugar.
He even made a 'Tarte aux fruit' in a small earthenware vessel called kulhad, generally used to serve rabdi and phirni in India. He is a firm believer that a good chef should know his clients' taste well and adapt. As he prepared the chocolate ganache for a dish, he asked the live class what chocolate Indians preferred, light or dark? When the students said dark, he immediately adapted the recipe to make a darker version. This humility and adaptability would be a great lesson for students of culinary arts.
When asked to give one final principle to follow in their culinary careers, Chef Olivier Mahut spoke like a true Frenchman and said, “I would say one word-‘love’. Cook and bake with love. That is the only principle I follow.” That advice sure got a thunderous applause from the students and faculty of School of Hospitality.The tasting session was enjoyed by all the students and some special guests from the culinary world such as Anamika Singh, Founder Director, Anandini Himalaya Tea who even blended some exotic tea infusions for the occasion, Chef Thomas Blanchard from Elle & Vire, France; Chef Nishant Choubey from Dusit Devrana, Gurgaon, Maneesh Srivastava and Gaurav Dharmwani from food blog Mystic Food Mantra, Rama Paljee Chadha from Sugarama amongst others.