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Chef Sanjay Kumar Pastry Chef, Radisson Blu MBD Hotel Noida

Friday, December 13, 2019, 10:40 Hrs  [IST]

Chef Sanjay Kumar is a specialist Pastry Chef with a hospitality industry career spanning almost two decades having experience of working both within the country and overseas. Currently, he oversees the dessert and bakery operation at Radisson Blu MBD Hotel Noida. Prior to it, he worked with the InterContinental Hotels Group, The Eros Hotel, New Delhi, One & Only Royal Mirage Hotel, Dubai, The Imperial Hotel, New Delhi, The Oberoi, New Delhi and ITC Classic Golf Resort, Manesar in varying roles. In Chef's Corner, Chef Sanjay Kumar shares his passion for creativity and innovation…

Q What made you specialise in Bakery as a Chef ?
An innate sense of creativity to discover new and exciting dishes and knowledge of ingredients made me specialise in Bakery as a Chef. I believe that the implementation of creative ideas not only please a customer's palate but also help in earning recognition and respect in the culinary industry. Secondly, I always remain calm and focus on details which are the traits of a good pastry chef.

Q What according to you are the extra qualities that one requires to qualify to be a good Pastry Chef ?
A good Pastry Chef should possess creativity and flair of creating new and interesting dishes. Secondly, he should be detail-oriented and should be able to notice and correct flaws before the item go to the customers. Thirdly, he should be a quick thinker and being able to think quickly and multitask which is an important quality to keep the chef from falling behind on the timing.

Q What are your accomplishments so far as a Pastry Chef ?
Under my guidance, The Chocolate Box has won several accolades such as Times Food Guide Award for The Best Confectionary 2017; HT Hall Of Fame; 'Best Patisserie' by 'T+L Delicious Food Award 2019.

Q Do you think presentation is more important than the taste/flavour in Pastry? Your views?
According to me, both taste and presentation are important. Presentation is as essential to the success of a dish as its taste and flavour. Food presentation is a vital component in today's competitive and modern-day living as creative and thoughtful food presentation not only enhances the interest in the food but also enhances the aesthetic appeal of the dish. The presentation leaves an impression, but what gives the impact is taste as taste is the factor that gives us food memories. Therefore, both aspects play a crucial role in the bakery department.

Q With consumers getting more and more aware of the health aspects of the food, what are the key challenges that Chefs like you are facing?
With a change in lifestyles, increasing health consciousness and consumers' food and beverages product choices, chefs are focusing on creating a healthy menu. The quality of ingredients used while preparing the dish plays a critical role in maintaining the healthy feature of a dish. Therefore, assuring the quality of raw materials and keeping up with innovative ideas and requirements of the customers and giving them quality products is important. A chef has to cons tant l y think of new and innovative dishes and presentation options to deliver a unique experience to its guests all the time.

Q What are the latest trends when it comes to desserts in hotel f&b?
The consumer demand for innovative, convenience and authenticity is driving significant growth in the bakery segment. As a result, chefs are innovating all the time to deliver more diverse and enticing desserts to meet consumer expectations. As consumers are becoming more health-conscious, desserts which have a healthy spin attached are more in demand such as 'gluten-free and superfoods'.

Secondly, the demand for fusion desserts is on rise as consumers look for innovative and presentable dishes. Even, spicing up the dessert with exotic fruits such as dragon fruit, avocado, kiwi and nuts such as hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, etc is in demand. This also complements the insistence for a healthy shift towards desserts.

Q What are your signature offerings to your customers?
My signature offerings comprise of designers cakes for special occasions, Macaroons, Tiramisu Cake, Chocolate Mud Cake and Designer chocolates.

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