"Life Is for Sure Not a Cakewalk but If You Don't Take a Walk How You'd Know?" - Mandar Khair

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1. Tell us about your background and journey.

Hi, my name is Mandar Khair and currently I am running a cloud kitchen under the name of Delicioso Pastel in Mumbai.

I am from Sheila Raheja Institute of Hotel Management. I love cooking and that’s when I decided to join this college. The state of the art infrastructure with facilities, faculties is what drew me towards this college and now I can proudly say that I do not regret my decision!My college has shaped my personality to more of a responsible one!I am studying B.Sc in Hospitality Studies.

I chose this course as I wanted to keep my options open and widen my spectrum. Studying different aspects of hospitality gave me a better view of where I stand en general and where I want to be for the rest of my life. Bakery it was.I trained at Trident Nariman Point and it was amazing. Being honest it wasn’t easy but “ NOTHING WORTH COMES EASY” read that again. I was going through hard time but I survived. 

I felt a lot better when I got transferred to bakery, I spent about half of my training there. It was the best phase of my training. I got a lot of exposure and my mentors were so amazing.I bagged a Gold medal at intercollegiate competition for my dessert and that boosted up my confidence.I came 1st runner up in all Mumbai Amul culinary competition in December 2019 and won Gold in inter collegiate competition.In lockdown I spent a lot of time with my parents and finally made up my mind to rebrand my cloud kitchen. We named it as Delicioso Pastel (named by my best friend), focusing on desserts which are vegetarian and vegan!

2. What led you to take up this career path? 

I come from a family of businessmen and intellectuals. I took up science as a career after 10th grade to become an architect but my heart and mind wasn’t feeling the way it should’ve been, it was a bit challenging at the start and later it became like a big problem. I wasn’t feeling energetic, I thought I was losing something in my life because my heart and soul was always in making food, specially desserts.

My life diverted towards food in grade 5 when I used to watch baking videos. I had a salad making competition in grade 9.and Winning that competition intrigued to come Pastry chef. Hospitality Industry being unconventional to my family, it was very hard to convince my parents. Finally they agreed after a year and that’s how I joined Sheila Raheja Institute Of Hotel Management.

3. What does your typical day looks like? 

Most of my the time used to go in my college. Shopping is the major part of my life and apart  from that I love eating out as every restaurant offers different gastronomic experience. On weekends I try out new desserts recipes, perfecting some old ones. Baking on weekend acts like a therapy from my hectic weekly schedule. So as I have  recently started my cloud my day usually start at 9 am and goes till 9 to 10 pm or sometimes all-nighter. If not that then I spend time making You Tube vlogs, cooking tutorials.

4. Does one's approach change when cooking professionally and at home?

Yes I think it does! Working in professional kitchen is different than working at home. At home the kitchen is made every single day while professional kitchens are built and there is different beauty and vibe of home kitchen but while working at home those professional qualities help you to function much better.

5. Is there a dish you particularly associate yourself with?

I love pizza! I associate my self with margherita because its simple, packed with flavors and loved by everyone. You can never go wrong with margherita and if you want to amp up try some truffle oil on top.
There is another dish which is extremely close to my heart -“Deconstructed Depths of Tropical Paradise.This dessert of mine got me a gold. This same dish gives you a taste of life-its sweet, its sour, its fresh, its cold, its jazzy but humble just like our lives.

6. Can cooking be learnt at culinary school or natural talent is required

I believe cooking can be learnt at culinary school from scratch. A person can acquire those skills and become professional. Having a natural talent acts like an upper hand but one can be the best of the chef even if they learn from scratch. DETERMINATION!

7. Which is your favorite book and why? 

Its been ages that I have read a book but if I can mention a genre then its speculative fiction(sci-fi). Reading booking and understanding is like creating a movie in your mind and when you read sci-fi it is like one day you are in space while other day you are on some planet and the imagination is wild and totally yours, explore it. 

My favorite book is time machine by H.G. Wells.

When  it comes to pastry world Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish and French Pâtisserie by Ferrandi Paris.   

 - Mandar Khair
Interview by - Mayuresh Sangale
"Life Is for Sure Not a Cakewalk but If You Don't Take a Walk How You'd Know?" - Mandar Khair "Life Is for Sure Not a Cakewalk but If You Don't Take a Walk How You'd Know?" - Mandar Khair Reviewed by Mayuresh D Sangale on June 27, 2020 Rating: 5

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* The views expressed in the above article are of the writer and not Eat My News.
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