Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the road less travelled by, and that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost
This is pretty much what our alumnus, Jayshree Borpatra did, except, after having traversed the path more frequently treaded on, she went back to the fork in the road and took up the path less travelled by and she vouches that it has made all the difference!
A lawyer by training and profession, Jayshree gave up a lucrative career to study the art and science of baking and patisserie at Lavonne. Interestingly, during her stint at Lavonne, she participated in the Food Hospitality World, Bangalore competition (fondant category) and won the competition. Currently working as a pastry chef in a French patisserie, Kavanah, in Hyderabad, Jayshree informs us that her job allows her to be creative and come up with new desserts for the retail as well as their signature menu. Incidentally, one of the key lessons she learnt at Lavonne was to have one’s basics in place and then explore a myriad of flavours, textures, and techniques, to create something amazing.
Here’s our brief chat with her:
- What made you want to take up the Diploma course at Lavonne?
To apply for the diploma course at Lavonne was something I always considered. By education I’m a lawyer and have worked for multiple companies. It’s difficult to leave your job and give up on the years of experience that you invested in but when the passion for baking came calling, I had to give in. I’ve taken hobby classes at Lavonne prior to joining the Diploma course and knew that they were really good at what they did. So when I finally called in last year for admission, I gave up my career as a lawyer to start afresh. It’s never too late to follow your heart and to be honest to yourself. It’s been the best decision ever.
- How would you describe your experience at Lavonne?
It was an exhilarating experience, to say the very least. Each day was a challenge and I loved every bit of it (including the burns from the oven). The chefs would push us into making perfect products and also teach us the science behind it. I still remember the day we had to make something as simple as chocolate curd and yet we had to make it quite a number of times till we got it perfect. I’ve never met such passionate chefs who would go the extra mile if you are willing to learn. All you need is to ask them to explain or teach you something again. We also had the bake sale which was an absolute success! It was all about teamwork and surviving under pressure at the end of it.
- How has Lavonne helped in your professional pursuit as a pastry chef?
I am what and where I am because of Lavonne and the chefs there. I never imagined that I would learn so much in the span of 5 months. Lavonne has given me a strong foundation and that has immensely helped me in my current job as pastry chef.
- Do you any advice that you might like to give current and future students of Lavonne?
If you are serious about pursuing a career like this, go for it! Just make sure that you do it with all your heart because it’ll reflect in your work. One thing I can assure you, if you want to learn, the chefs at Lavonne will teach you everything and will go out of the way to make sure you understand the science behind it. It’s a rigorous program so give your best because the academy will give you the best in return.
- What plans do you have for the future?
As of now, it’s thrilling to work in the kitchen at Kavannah. In the future I plan on owning my own small French cafe in Guwahati, Assam. It will specialize in pastries and fondant cakes.