- By Akhileshwari Anand Raj
Rumana Jaseel is India's one of the top cake artists from Kochi. She runs "Incredible Art" cake studio in Kochi, and conducts workshops and diploma courses, alongside taking custom orders. She also travels within India and even abroad to conduct workshops. In 2015, she has represented India at the Cake Oscars in Birmingham and stood as a finalist in the wedding cake category. Her niche is in working with sugar dough to make breathtakingly beautiful and life-like flowers and other decorations for her cakes. We had the chance to speak to her about her baking journey, and here is what we found out!
What Inspired you to take up baking as a profession?
I have always been passionate about pastry making since childhood. My passion for pastry making started off at the age of 13. Being an avid pastry and chocolate lover, my problem wasn’t that I had a sweet tooth, but it’s that I had several of them. I found that I loved the craft, the precision, attention to detail, the science behind all the balancing and all the technical aspects of it. What interests me is that although there are a set of rules to apply, there are no boundaries or limitations as to what one can accomplish.
What would you describe as the hardest part of becoming a baker?
It definitely wasn’t easy for me to take this big leap into being a chef and entrepreneur, or more so a chef, entrepreneur and mother who has to manage both family and work hand in hand; but my journey has definitely been worth it. More than being a good baker or a good Chef, it’s getting business and clients that was a big task for me as I am a quiet person by nature. But my work spoke for itself and it had no boundaries.
What would you consider your biggest achievement during your entire career?
I have always dreamt of having a small space of my own which would scream my love for pastry making, a place where all your senses can be challenged, a place that would bring smiles to many in this city and a place where people would want to see their loved ones happy through celebration. "Incredible Art" has been my baby and is a world of its own right in the heart of beautiful Kochi. Sustaining myself in this business is what I consider as one of my biggest achievements.
How important is solid support system, friends and family for any baker to take off well?
I solely manage everything at Incredible Art and head my team as an Executive Pastry Chef and Academic Dean. None of my children is currently involved in the culinary journey but I do wish that in the future, one of my 3 children can take this forward. There's no compulsion, but I am sure If they have the passion for it, they would definitely be there for Incredible Art! My husband, my Dad and Mom have been the wind beneath my wings - from showering with their unconditional love to being there when I needed them, and to all the moral support given.
Have you had any role models or mentors in the baking circle who has helped you get where you are today?
I have been an avid follower of many world-renowned chefs and it would be difficult to name just a few, but to start with I would mention an Indian Pastry Chef, Chef Vikas Bagul. He has inspired many with his love for Pastry and Chocolate and he has a cutting edge style of his own. Chef Stephane Glacier, MOF, is one who makes you realize that one can have umpteen number of recipes but the roots lie in the techniques one has to master. These chefs have taught us to arrive at a style of our own without copying people’s work and to be original. Chef Vikas Bagul and Chef Peter have both been my mentors for the 2-day live Pastry Competition better known as Pastry Queen in 2017.
What are a few tips that you would give to the newcomers in the field?
Be passionate about what you do with all your heart and aim to ace It with the three Ps - Practice, Practice and Practice. The journey ahead is truly fun if you have the passion and drive for it. I'm not telling you that it's gonna be easy, but I'm telling you that it's definitely going to be worth It.
That was Rumana Jaseel, all uncut for you lovely bakers and fans out there. She is a true inspiration and her ideas and patience make her stand out.
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