While our Chef Vinesh is usually busy teaching his students and inspiring them to take the Indian baking scenario to the next level, he draws his own inspiration from a number of chefs, who are world famous for their expertise and unique approach to the culinary craft. In no particular order, here are his top five-
Chef Antonio Bachour- The Plating Perfectionist
Named one of the ten best pastry chefs in America in 2011, Chef Bachour is widely regarded as a confection master- a master in creating innovative dessert combinations and plating. For him, it is all about the presentation, and he uses a wide variety of products to make his desserts look as gorgeous as they do.
Chef Bachour won the Zest Award for Baking & Pastry Innovator in 2012, and has appeared on the judging panel of renowned pastry competitions. He also published his first ever book ‘Bachour’ in 2013, which is a collection of his signature recipes and cooking techniques.
The book is a representation of the next level of pastry making and also features some stunning photography by Alan Batt.
His work highlights the fact that it’s not just about great recipes and great tasting dessert, but also about how the final step, which is great presentation, makes the product truly complete.
What our Chef loves
Chef Vinesh particularly loves Chef Bachour’s innovative plating skills and his use of vibrant colours in his presentations. But more importantly, the fact that he is very open and is always sharing the knowledge that he has gained over many years of experience, with others interested in the field.
Chef Pierre Hermé- Master of Macarons
The youngest person ever to be named France’s ‘Pastry Chef of the Year’, this baking genius started his career at the young age of 14. Coming from four generations of pastry making, Chef Hermé began his journey as an apprentice to Chef Gaston Lenôtre, and by the age of 20, had established himself in the patisserie world. He was awarded the ‘Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur’ in 2007 by the then President, Jacques Chirac.
He founded Pierre Hermé Paris in 1996, which today, is regarded as an iconic pastry shop and a landmark in Paris. In 2004, he opened a second shop in Paris, that featured innovative interior design, and established a training workshop in cooperation with the reputed Ecole Fer- randi run by the Paris Chamber of Commerce.
Chef Hermé is as well known for his delicate work with chocolate as he is known for his iconic macarons. A prodigy in the field, he has also written multiple books on chocolate and desserts. Any baker worth his salt is familiar with this chef’s astounding work.
What our Chef loves
For Chef Vinesh, this man is the God of Macarons. There’s really no explanation required for why he would be one of the top five on a pastry chef’s list. Chef Vinesh is particularly inspired by and relates to the fact that this chef started out very young, and through his unique approach, established himself as one of the most radical pastry chefs of all time.
Chef Heston Blumenthal- The Mad Scientist
Best described as a crazy genius of the culinary world, Chef Heston Blumenthal is one of the most innovative and revolutionary chefs in the field. Owner of the hugely successful, three Michelin-starred restaurant, The Fat Duck, Chef Heston is widely known as the pioneer of the multi-sensory cooking style.
He started his award winning restaurant back in 1995, and took the experience of eating to a whole new level for customers by engaging all the five of their senses. This unorthodox style he followed, both in terms of cooking and presentation, quickly propelled his restaurant to top status internationally and cemented his position as one of the greats in the field.
Apart from The Fat Duck, he also owns a pub called ‘The Hinds Head’ in Bray, which was voted by the Michelin Pub Guide as ‘Pub of the Year’ in 2013, and another restaurant called ‘Dinner by Heston’, which is two-Michelin starred and has been featured among the ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ by the British magazine, ‘Restaurant’.
Needless to say, Chef Blumenthal has made many television appearances, on shows like ‘Heston Bluementhal: In Search of Perfection’ based exclusively on his work, and has also featured as a guest on other shows like Masterchef Australia.
Respected by chefs all over the world for his revolutionary approach and boldness, Heston’s work is the product of ingenuity and perfectionism.
What our Chef loves
Chef Vinesh loves him for being the Mad Scientist of the culinary world. He popularised molecular gastronomy and has taken the experience of cooking to the next level, engaging customers in completely new and never-before-attempted ways, by activating multiple senses, and completely changing the way people perceived the otherwise routine task of eating.
Chef Stephane Treand- The Sugar Specialist
A true veteran of the baking industry, Chef Treand is perhaps the greatest example of sheer determination and excellence. He began his journey in the field of baking with an apprenticeship in Northern France. With the experience and knowledge he gained from this stint, he opened ‘Patisserie Treand’ in 1989, where he offered creative representations of classic products. As a result of excelling at his apprenticeship, he won the ‘Meilleur Apprenti de France’ title. From then onwards, he became a well-recognised figure, featuring on television shows on channels.
But being a true visionary, Chef Treand had set his sights on achieving the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France, the highest honour a professional in an individual trade can achieve, bestowed by the President of France himself. And in 2004, he turned this dream into a reality.
After this, he went on to win a range of awards and visited top culinary institutions as a guest chef. But not being one to rest on past laurels, he realised yet another dream of his when he founded the Art of Pastry Academy.
What our Chef loves
Apart from the fact the he holds the esteemed title of ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de France’, Chef Vinesh loves the detail and incredible intricacy of Chef Treand’s displays and sugar sculptures. And the fact that after establishing himself as one of the best in his field, he decided to share the knowledge of his craft with others through his Art of Pastry Academy.
Chef Kirsten Tibballs- The Champion of Chocolate
One of Australia’s most celebrated pastry chefs, Chef Tibballs is a force to reckon with in the field of chocolate. Part of the Australian Pastry Team, she has won a gold in the Pastry Olympics in Germany in 2004, and is also part of the Australian Pastry Team. She has represented her country at the world pastry championships and is widely recognised as the best in the field for her hand-made chocolates.
A celebrity in her own right, she has made multiple appearances on the hit TV-show Masterchef Australia, for the show’s chocolate related challenges. Little wonder then that she is one of only twenty four ambassadors of the esteemed chocolate manufacturer Callebaut, in the world.
But the success story doesn’t just stop there. She is also the Director of the Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School, an Academy through which she imparts her decades worth of knowledge and experience to other chocolate enthusiasts.
What our Chef loves
Having started The Lavonne Academy here in our very own Bangalore, Chef Vinesh admires Chef Tibballs for being one of the most recognised faces in the field of chocolate making and for setting the standards for how a world-class Academy should be handled and run.
Time to make an inspiring list of your own and take on the culinary world!