Slurrp Exclusive: Chef Balendra Shares His Love For Artisanal Breads And Desserts
Image Credit: Chef Balendra Singh

A journey that began as a chef in Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, slowly becoming Sous to Pastry Chef, showcasing his incredible skills centre and front across several five-star properties. He showcased his skills in the pastry scene from New Delhi to Mumbai, JW Marriott to The Grand. Chef Balendra Singh considers having functioned as a part of the pre-opening groups with significant inn networks worldwide as his most prominent accomplishment. His travels too helped him earn a wealth of experience and knowledge in understanding the precise preparation of artisanal bread and the most delicate desserts. After finessing his skills as a Best Chocolatier and pastry chef and relishing 18+ years with the industry, he returned to culinary education. An attempt to impart this understanding of his ‘Excellence’ program has been introduced, consisting of a mélange of Pastry, Chocolate and Entrepreneurship. He started his Institute Of Bakery & Culinary Arts, New Delhi, in June 2003 and created (BBC) “Balendra’s Baking Classes” every month in different five-star hotels all over India.

Share some current trends of the Indian Bakery industry

From the year of experience that l have gained while working with the British and Germans, my biggest takeaway has been that innovation and staying on top of the current trends are vital in the industry. The current trends in the Indian Bakery industry are the utilization of millets and sourdough. When combined with other gluten-free flour, Millet flour creates a versatile all-purpose flour-like texture. Sourdough bread is an excellent option in contrast to regular bread and, with its lower phytate levels, is loaded with supplements and simpler to process. Indian pastry tended to look the west for motivation, and we are presently doing parcels of popular things ourselves. Some of the trends are the use of different ingredients, especially in bread presentation, how the item looks, it's important to impress with the finish, focus on occasional and limited release treats. COVID times implies zeroing in a great deal on hygiene, sterilization, wellbeing, including bundling lastly, conveying excellent taste.

How did you become a Pastry Chef?

To be a pastry chef was not my goal. Nobody in my family is a professional chef. However, since my childhood, I have been keen on fine art, and I before long learned that cake or pastry making is likewise a thing of beauty which has driven me to where I am.

What is your working philosophy?

Innovation, make top quality items and utilize sustainable ingredients generally. However, at the centre of it all, things considered, lies discipline, something that might be difficult to accomplish but important to keep up with. I find down my tranquillity and peacefulness while making my desserts, whether innovation or a classic.

What inspires you the most? And what is your favourite tool?

My ingredients are my greatest motivation in every situation. Moreover, the shortfall of ingredients is certifiably not a restricting element for me, and it is a chance to think to make a new thing. My apparatuses are essential to me, and I respect them all. Each has an exceptional part to play in my kitchen.

What challenges does a bakery chef face in his job?

  1. Quality and consistency of Ingredients: While working in the pastry and bakery area, the characteristics and texture of ingredients are essential. We generally make an honest effort to bamboozle the best, whether from India or abroad. However, getting and obtaining ingredients can be difficult and very expensive. This additionally implies we need to guarantee practical items on the board to keep away from wastage.
  2. The hiring of Skilled Chef: The recent past has seen many hotel properties launching, which has opened up many job opportunities for chefs. Thus, it is challenging to retain chefs, making it very difficult to hire new chefs and train them to a level of perfection. 
  3. Expectation: Visitors are unhappy with essential baked goods and sweets despite diet limitations. They need inventiveness, visual allure, and taste to stay unhindered by constraints.

What do you like about your jobs? And how does your team prepare your students for industry challenges?

They need to see how to convey, compromise and offer credit to contribute to projects. The institute can instruct this by empowering cooperation on certain ventures and tasks. Also, today's students need new skills for the coming century that will prepare them to work together with others worldwide. Whatever they do, we can anticipate their work should incorporate tracking down intelligent fixes to emerging challenges. We designed our students for tough times how to work under pressure.

What is your strength as a bakery chef?

My Strength is Patience, Passion and Creativity.

How do you like to de-stress? And what is your mantra for success?

Whenever I need to de-stress, I take a couple of deep, quiet breaths, which help me build up productive thinking. Concerning my mantra- Whatever you do, try to give your best and keep updating your knowledge and skills.