Twelve aspiring pastry chefs from the GCC, including four from the UAE, are to be treated to a patisserie Masterclass by Fonterra in Dubai this week. The three day workshop of culinary art, craft and design, is part of Fonterra's drive to further increase the passion for pastries and raise the standards of chefs around the region.
Jean-François Arnaud, a certified Meilleur Ouvrier de France (awarded to only 113 French pastry chefs around the world), will coach senior pastry chefs from some of the region's most exclusive hotels.
Fonterra Brands Middle East will also bring three hand-picked pastry chefs from Bahrain, two from Kuwait and Oman and one from Qatar. On the final day, the UAE Junior Culinary Team will receive a day of specialized training in the art of chocolate from this world-class pastry chef.
The talented four chefs from the UAE are Desmond Clemente, Chef de Partie at the Mina A’Salam; Nanna Supriantna, Executive Pastry Chef at Le Royal Meridian; Wissam Ataya, Pastry Chef de Partie at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi and Irshad Patel from Emirates Flight Catering.
The objective of the hands-on workshop is to provide delegates with the opportunity to experience the latest trends as well as classical pastry techniques. The second part of the workshop will focus on artistic sugar work, encouraging the chefs to create basic designs out of sugar.
The workshop will be conducted at Fonterra's state-of-the-art Culinarium – their brand new innovation kitchen in Al Quoz – Dubai.
As one of the most experienced and celebrated pastry chefs and coaches in his native France, the home of fine patisserie, Chef Arnaud is a role model and an inspiration for those attending the workshop. He has been named "Best French Chef for Pastry and Confectionary" and after ten years service with Christian Lacoste in Toulouse, managed the operation of a world famous museum of sugar artwork. For him, pastry is food's finest art.
"You simply don't have the scope to enjoy this level of creativity in many other kitchen disciplines and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to show these young chefs the tremendous sense of achievement you can reach through this work. I like to think of it as a unique blend of experience and experiments and I want to enhance their current skills and teach new techniques.” he said.
The third day of the workshop is reserved for the chefs from the Junior Culinary Team, who are eight of the best young culinary talents in the UAE – Zin Maw Win (Atlantis Palm Jumeirah Hotel, Dubai), Akila Fernando (Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek), Rumesh Fernando (Radisson SAS Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek), Sunil Poulose (Hilton Dubai Jumeirah), Heru Purwanto (Fire and Ice Raffles Cellar and Grill Restaurant, Raffles Dubai) and Leander Gonsalves, Victor Mondal and Xavier Biswas (Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai).
Chef Peter Hallmanns, Advisory Chef for Fonterra, who has organised the event in association with The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, said this is a great learning opportunity for the chefs, and for the profession to which they belong.
"The standard of our pastry chefs in the Middle East and the GCC is extremely high," he said. "This region has some of the finest hotels and restaurants in the world and we need to have the finest talent to service them. What we must not do is fall into the trap of complacency, and at Fonterra, we realize the importance of working with, and more importantly, supporting the industry to enhance the skills of chefs throughout the GCC.
“Pastry is a speciality sector that needs to be constantly aware of changes in styles, methods and techniques, and so on, and this is one way to move our pastry chefs forwards.
“The higher the quality, the bigger the impression. Through workshops like this we draw focus on the high quality of our products. It’s this consistent, non-negotiable, quality conscious focus that makes world-class chefs, pastry chefs and bakers insist on Fonterra Brands.” Peter says.
While the chefs will learn the practical side of pastry, classic techniques and modern trends, there is also plenty of theory.
"It's impossible to work so closely with a medium and not understanding the basics and history about it," said Chef Arnaud. "To be able to truly create you must have some sort of bond with your materials."
One of the highlights of the event, which runs from 17 – 19 March, will be the chefs' own sugar showpieces.
Recipes that will form the basis of the workshop include:
Plaisir Orange, Lemon & Red Fruit Charlotte, Exotic Velvet, Almond Short Crust, Coffee Cream-cheese Mousse, Caribbean Tears Supreme, Macaroons, Raspberry & Violet Gift,
Chestnut & Red Fruit Log, Crystalline Sugar, Sacher Torte and Cocoa Glazing.
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