- By Rima Chakraborty
I read something few days back and it goes something like “Dessert is like a feel-good song and the best ones make you dance”. I read that and there’s one person who suddenly popped in my head. I am sure you all know Chef Michelle Karen Peris quite well and her desserts sure do make us dance. She is a Pastry Chef with Academy of Pastry Arts, Bangalore. She started her journey as a Pastry Chef with ITC hotels as a management trainee and worked for 5 years as a Jr. Sous Chef, Pastry. She has experience in plated desserts and menu development for desserts and skilled in wedding cakes and designer cakes. She has a level of composure and poise that people twice his age don't possess. Recently our team of homebakers.co.in had the amazing opportunity to meet her in The Great Chennai Bake Show and we got into a candid conversation with her.
Here are the top highlights of our conversation for you:
Schooled across different countries in Bahrain, Dubai and then Bangalore. Completed my Bachelors in Hotel Management from Christ University in the year 2012. I then went on to join the Management Training programme with ITC hotels.
Why into culinary/ pastry?
Always loved travelling and have been travelling since I have been a kid, my parents took us across Europe, and the Asian countries. Also having grown up in Dubai helped I presume. There is so much to taste and see and fall in love with, and hence falling in love with food came naturally to me.
Must credit my mentor and pastry chef at college who guided me and pushed me and thus, led me to my love for Pastry.
A slight info on your past experiences.
Post completing my bachelors, I got selected for the Management training program with ITC Hotels. Trained for two years, got posted at the iconic ITC Grand Chola in Chennai, worked there for 3 years and curated dessert menus for Asian and a modern South Indian restaurant. The exposure was great, and I also got to handle a team of 16 people which led to great learnings.
What keeps you going?
I absolutely love the world of pastry. It has so much to offer, so much one can learn, it’s like the universe, endless :) ! My passion for art pushes me to do my best every day! Also, the joy when people compliment you on your products and the happiness it brings them, that cannot be matched!
A person you admire and take inspiration from?
Inspiration comes from all around. Although I do admire my mentor and pastry chef from college for the passion he carries and instilled in me too!
Perks of being in this baking and pastry industry...
Working with the Academy for the last 2 years has not only enhanced my own skills but working with pastry & being able to educate students and input the same knowledge is rewarding. Its lovely that we have an institute like the Academy of Pastry Arts that takes pastry art to a new level keeping it in line with pastry trends around the world.
Something unusual/interesting about you...
Avid Traveler, Passionate Dancer, Keen listener! Super empathetic and always love listening to people’s stories or sharing my own! Also, if I wasn’t a pastry chef, I’d be a professional dancer! :)
Your hometown/city or maximum time you spend the city...
Hometown is Mangalore, though lived there for only 2 years as a kid, otherwise based out of Bangalore.
Your hobbies/ timepass :)
Dance ! and I love reading too. also indulging in Tv shows!
Your aim in life...
To never stop learning. No matter what age, what position, I’d love to always believe there is so much more left to learn and explore. Not only in the field of pastry but maybe explore new fields too. Knowledge is power and one must never be satiated!
How can aspiring pastry chefs or home bakers learn from you?
They can join Academy of Pastry Arts, in Bangalore, Gurugram or Mumbai. We are an International culinary & Pastry School with centers at Gurugram, Mumbai & Bangalore within India. We also have schools in Malaysia, Indonesia & Philippines. We specialize on French Patisserie as well as world cuisines to mould young professionals in the country.
The academy uses cutting edge technology, mixed with ingenious techniques, specifically designed to teach the art, science and techniques of creating good food and methods needed to excel in the food industry. Alongside that, the batch size is deliberately kept small so that one-on-one attention can be given to the students. Our visiting faculty consists of the largest number of Master Chefs spanning the level of MOF, World Champions, Master Chocolatiers and Master Bakers. For more details, they can visit https://www.academyofpastryartsindia.com/
That was Chef Michelle K Peris, all uncut for you lovely bakers and fans out there. Home bakers can get a chance to meet her in person in The Great Kochi Bake Show 2019, happening in Kochi on 6th April.
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