'I Am My Own Competition'

After having spent most of his life in Paris, Sahil Mehta is determined to make the NCR taste what authentic French pattiserie is all about.

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SHARING IS a part of learning, the more you share the more you learn", says Sahil Mehta, the chef and entrepreneur behind Patisserie and Bakery, where he holds the position of Culinary Director. Mehta, is a native of New York, and the culinary mind behind it all.

"I had the privilege to travel alone at 13. I reached Charles de Gaulle Airport (in Paris) on June 5th, 1993 all alone, to find myself in a place where at that point, almost no one spoke a word of English," Mehta reminisces about how his fascination with French patisserie began.

"I remember how the restaurants on the Champs Elysee would fascinate me. To see beautiful women in typical French aprons serve food, wine to their guests." he remembered.

Mehta, grew up in Paris, where his parents have lived for almost 27 years and this is where he developed a liking for French cuisine.

He has worked at the Ritz, the Bristol, Salon Wilson, Travelers Club, Hotel Baltimore, Potel et Chabot, Roland Gaross and Unesco, all in Paris.

He is a graduate in Hotel Management from Santos Dumont Ecole Hotelier in Saint Cloud, Paris, France and trained in Decoupage de Fruits de Mer et Fromage, Flambage, Bar Management, Restaurant Management, Patisserie Management a hardcore Food and Beverage course.

Mehta returned to India in 2000 and opened his own restaurant within three years of his return, in 2003, Cravity. "I was supposed to buy a cake for a birthday and went to a popular hotel's bakery shop to buy an opera cake, having had the best and being used to that quality, I was shocked at what I ate and served my guests that too from such a prestigious group," he said.

That particular incident made him realise the need of good bakery and pastry products in India. He decided to go to Ecole Lenotre and till date, he is the only certified Indian expert to have been to the so-called Harvard of bakery and pastry schools.

Today, Mehta also works as a consultant and has worked for various hotels, chefs and stand alone bakeries in the NCR and Punjab. He has been associated with many patisserie brands such as Choco Diva, Renaissance, L’opera, Bread and More.

"I am my own competition, I want to excel from each brand that I have created and do something different the next time. The next brand should always have something different to offer be it a different flavor or style of presentation." Mehta concluded.


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