In A Bakers’ Paradise
The Academy of Pastry Arts India is inspired by the ‘Make in India’ campaign with a focus on providing a well-designed pastry programme which aims at nurture budding pastry chefs and entrepreneurs.
Niklesh Sharma, Managing Director & Executive Pastry Chef, Academy of Pastry Arts, India.
THE ACADEMY of Pastry Arts India is a pastry school of international repute with schools in Delhi/NCR, Bangalore, Malaysia and Philippines. Inspired by the ‘Make in India’ campaign, the Academy is focused on providing an exceptionally hands on and well-designed pastry programme which aims at churning out budding pastry chefs and entrepreneurs.
“Till recently, students used to go to Europe for such training programmes, but with expert faculty from Europe and the US, the students are not only trained at par with foreign institutes but also save about 60% of their cost,” says Chef Niklesh Sharma, Managing Director & Executive Pastry Chef, who has procured the best of ingredients, latest technology equipment and guidance of skilled chefs like Jean-Michel Perruchon, Otto Tay, Jean-Francois Arnaud and others to start this unique initiative in India.
With kitchens dedicated to teaching the skill in hands-on mode rather than a classroom setting thus enhancing the skill level of the students, Sharma’s academy boasts of a team of pastry chefs - students, homemakers, professionals, who have represented India at the “World Pastry Cup 2017” in France as well as Bronze medalists in “Asian Pastry Cup 2016” in Singapore.
“The academy has made a good start in the field. It has not only churned out some competitive chefs in India but also from the other neighbouring countries. The additional culinary courses in Bangalore and Delhi/NCR centre have provided a good platform to students interested to learn various international cuisines,” feels Chef.
Sharma did his hotel management way back in 1996 and started as Commis in The Oberoi Rajvilas Jaipur, Hotel Nikko and The Taj in Delhi. In 2005, when he went to Singapore to attend a forum, he decided to start his academy which could offer a rare opportunity to learn the art of pastry in an intimate setting, being personally mentored by masters in their field. “Most culinary schools have an old style of teaching which does not match the kind of innovation the industry has today. What we learn in these schools are fundamentals and there is no experimentation. So I designed a programme where the skills are finely honed through practical approach or design and repeated exposure to the best pastry techniques, tools, and ingredients,” says Sharma who opened the flagship school in Malaysia, followed by Delhi and Bangalore, along with his two friends-cum-partners.
With a formal training in The Taj and The Oberoi, Chef Sharma’s culinary path became a sort of ‘earn while you learn’ apprenticeship, under a handful of chefs that he still considers his early mentors. He has indeed come a long way from becoming a chef to an entrepreneur and has bigger plans in expansion of the culinary school in other parts of the globe.
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