Deepali Sawant is the founder of Cook and Bake with Deepali Culinary and Patisserie Institute in Bangalore. It offers workshops and training sessions for both cooking and baking, as well as a City and Guilds certification for both, in collaboration with Manipal Global. She is based out of Bangalore, and has over the past few years trained hundreds of aspiring chefs and bakers from the city and beyond. We had a chance to chat with her about her passion for this endeavour and her thoughts on the baking industry.
by Akhileshwari Anand Raj
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you start teaching baking and cooking?
I am Chef Deepali Sawant, founder of Cook and Bake with Deepali Culinary and Patisserie Institute, based in Bangalore. I have been teaching baking and cooking for close to a decade now. As a kid, I was heavily inspired by my mother’s culinary skills and I believe that it was her passion for creating culinary magic that influenced me to pursue a career in this field. At a very young age, I knew I wanted to make a difference and contribute to making a real change in people’s lives. Years later, I quit my 6 year-long IT career at Infosys to fulfil that dream. I had just had my twins when I decided it was time to take the plunge and start my dream venture and do more than sit behind a computer screen all day.
2. What were the initial difficulties that you faced, and how has it helped you reach where you are today?
Firstly, I was an engineer who fell in love with the idea of home baking. Coming from a different background was a huge challenge in itself. With undying love for baking and the hunger to make it big, I trained to get a City and Guilds Dual Diploma in Culinary and Patisserie Arts. The journey somehow made me realize that new home bakers have the passion to pursue their dream but sometimes passion just isn’t enough. I wanted to equip them with the technical knowledge and professional skills to take their dream to the next level.
When you cook, you have your mother or grandmother tell you where you tend to make mistakes and correct them, but with baking, the guidance is not there. I personally explored, experimented and self-studied my way to becoming a home baker and that experience has been my biggest strength in reaching where I am today. The struggles I faced make it very personal for me when I train home bakers to make that shift and overcome their biggest challenges with flying colours.
3. What is your signature dish and why do you love baking or cooking it?
I have two personal favourites. When it comes to cooking, I love cooking up an aromatic Thai red curry. It is simple, yet magical. I also love baking the lemon coconut pound cake. It has a nostalgic touch to it as I grew up bingeing on pound cakes. It is a treat that takes me right back to my childhood.
4. You now offer a certificate course in collaboration with City and Guilds! How did this come about, and how has this helped in expanding your work?
The affiliation with the City and Guilds, UK came about as a result of wanting a more professional and technical approach towards the subject. A prestigious affiliation tends to get home bakers recognition and also helps them better understand important aspects like food standards, food safety, equipment, set-up and more.
As more people continue to pursue home baking, the industry is witnessing a compromise in the quality standards. This training equips home bakers to match industry standards and seamlessly transition from home cooks to professional chefs. Our affiliation with the City and Guilds, UK has helped home bakers garner the confidence and technical knowledge to give wings to their dreams. As for me, the affiliation has helped me put together a structured course that gives the students ample knowledge without overwhelming them, of course. The course also equips potential bakers with the confidence to deal with the reality of the industry and help them decide the course of their career.
5. How does it feel to be a teacher? What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your students?
It feels beyond great to be equipped with the power to inspire through teaching. I believe in giving personal attention and end-to-end support to my students for them to better navigate through their entrepreneurial journey.
My students have always brought out the best in me and inspired me to inspire them. In fact, they have helped me push my boundaries and take steady steps to make this institute what it is today.
6. Do you have any upcoming workshops that our readers could take part in?
We are launching our next batch of Patisserie and Culinary short course in affiliation with the City and Guilds, UK on the 27th of November. The one and a half month course is excellent if you want to pursue home baking. You can check out the course details on http://www.deepalisawant.com/. We also have a number of workshops and events happening later in November. Do keep an eye for updates.
7. Is there any discount for our readers on your upcoming workshops?
We're happy to offer 5000/- discount on Certification course registrations through https://HomeBakers.co.in. Click here to register and benefit from the discount.
8. Do you only conduct workshops in Bangalore, or do you visit other cities as well? Why or why not?
Bangalore is bustling with potential bakers and I am currently focused on nurturing this talent and helping then turn into professional home bakers. However, in the future, I would love to conduct these workshops and courses in other cities as well. It’s on the cards.
9. What are your top three tips for any aspiring baker?
Get your baking basics right - The science of baking is as important as your zest for baking. Getting the ABC of baking right is the first step to success.
Patience and consistency are key - Rome wasn’t built in a day. Practice, be consistent and have patience.
Value your work - It takes time and skill to turn flour, butter, and sugar into edible art. Respect the time and passion that goes into it so the customer can too. Be selective with tasks and take up challenges that compensate for your time and devotion.
10. We are conducting a Top 100 Home Bakers and Best Baking Brands Awards. How do you think this will impact and influence home bakers across the country?
I believe that the Top 100 Home Bakers and Best Baking Brands Awards give home bakers and brands much-deserved recognition and open up avenues for new opportunities. We have so many talented home bakers who strive to put together some excellent work and match international standards and that is commendable. The home baker industry is growing and it is great to see brands up their game to fulfil the industry needs with products and equipment. I also think that this will inspire many more home bakers to follow their passion and take on challenges.
11. What do you think of homebakers.co.in as a platform which brings bakers and customers together? What effect do you think it will have on the industry?
The growth of home bakers as an industry in the past 6 years has been massive and homebakers.co.in is providing a healthy ecosystem where the growth of both the local bakers and industry continues at a rapid pace. Homebakers.co.in is doing an excellent job of bringing together bakers and customers on a unified platform. I personally love the fact that it makes the experience so hassle-free both for customers and bakers.
That was Deepali Sawant, the founder of Cook and Bake with Deepali Culinary and Patisserie Institute in Bangalore. It's a truly inspiring story for the entire home baking and chef industry.
To keep getting inspired, do not miss out to get the latest updates on our events, blogs and newsletters on https://homebakers.co.in
India's 100 Top Home Bakers & The Best Baking Brands
It's about time that INDIA'S TOP 100 BAKERS & BAKING SUPPLY BRANDS from North to South, East to West are recognised. 15 industry stalwarts (Top cake artists, cake makers and chefs) from across the country with varying skills and background will find these bakers and brands through a detailed well defined and rigorous evaluation process, as we are certainly looking for nothing but the BEST.
The nomination process is now open and will remain open until 31st October 2019, 11:59 pm. No entries after the last date will be accepted. This is a self-nomination form that needs to be completed by home bakers who wish to be part of the study. The person nominated must be – at least 18 years of age, a resident of India, and a home baker with no commercial bakery store. To apply, go to http://bit.ly/india_top_bakers_brands