Slurrp Exclusive: Chef Gauri Varma Opens Up About Her Journey To Confect
Image Credit: Slurrp Exclusive Interview With Chef Gauri Varma

Chef Gauri Varma, Founder and Owner at G’s Patisserie and Confect, is a marketeer turned food innovator. Do you know that food accidentally befell Gauri when back in 2013 she had a terrifying personal experience? Despite perceiving all the steps and measures, Gauri didn't get the final product she needed. This huge failure made her think that this business had a large void between what she required and what she began to add. Extracts from the conversation: 

What is your childhood memory of baking? 

I didn't come from a typical home where my mother cooked meals for us. For me, it was quite the opposite – it’s my father who fascinated me at a young age - he mostly only cooked eggs and had a knack for coming up with the yummiest recipes - it was there my interest got me going wherein one main ingredient was so versatile. 

What made you proceed with baking as a career? 

It was a comedy of horrors – I ordered a cake for my wedding reception - worked hard and did my research on a baker - met the person, drew sketches and did everything to ensure that my expectations were managed - sadly, that was not what I got on the day of my reception, and it hit a nerve, got me thinking - long story short – I thought of a better way to do this, and that’s how this incredible adventure began. 

Tell us about the journey to Confect and G’s Patisserie, the roadblocks and the success. 

  • As any entrepreneur will tell you - the roadblocks are endless—my top favourite being - high barrier to entry into the industry. Sadly, the bakery industry is run by traders & importers and not manufactured. Being taken seriously was one issue I had, and I worked over 100 times more demanding to prove I just wasn't a 'Madam Ji doing this for a 'hobby'. One must know it’s a largely male-dominated sector, extremely unorganized & suffering from a vast education gap. 
  • The success - The validation from my peers, from real consumers, with genuine issues with getting products – I solve a big problem - sustainable products for your young ones and loved ones - easy to get, good to eat, reliable and good quality. Many of my clients initially were home chefs and home bakers - this segment of the industry was the hardest to test with and the best - they have educated bakers with no compromise on quality - this set the foundation of my company. 

What is your favourite comfort food that you often love to cook? 

Chicken curry rice has been my time fav go-to for as long as I can remember - any form of preparation makes me happy. I love cooking Italian! Traditional Lasagne, Bolognese, Pizza made from scratch - dough and sauce - bread & garlic sticks - butter, cream, cheese & garlic - how can you go wrong :) 

The pandemic hugely affected the F&B industry. How did it affect you personally? 

The pandemic instilled newfound respect and understanding for the bakery and confectionary industry. In my opinion - with each mom baking basic cookies/muffins and bread at home - it really sped up the education process and also differentiated between the gimmicks & the authentic quality brands - for me, it worked in my favour - we stood firm, delivered and remained consistent in our quality. 

The pandemic also led to many food trends. Did you try any and see any of them becoming big shortly? 

Not a fan of trends - to be honest, many of them make me cringe - from dalgona coffee, to pull me up cakes to the new trend of non-edibles on cakes, fault line cakes, the latest bomb cake – I have seen so many - but honestly I feel these are gimmicks that take away with the beauty that is pastry - the art, the balance is all messed up. 

What would you like to tell aspiring chefs? 

Don't let anyone tell you what something 'should' taste like- everyone processes flavours differently - stick to what you like and what you are doing, what you want to work with and how it should look. Work on balance, taste & precision. A deep understanding of the ingredients you work with. These are the core fundamentals.