Driven by his fascination for Chocolates, he has evolved in his career and stood as one of the first Indian Chefs to bring India on the world map of the Asia Pacific - World Chocolate Master Championship 2015 where he represented India. Earlier to that, he earned the well-deserved title of the Indian National Chocolate Master 2014 where he participated in a premier culinary competition for chocolate craftsmen from all over the world thus making India proud of him. Here’s delving a little deeper into understanding Chef Vikas Bagul and his success mantra.
A few words describing yourself.
I don’t do too many things …I just do things differently. I love to travel and I like photography. I am extremely passionate about my craft, I love my job and I feel I don’t work, because I enjoy what I do.
What has inspired you to become a Pastry Chef?
My fascination for chocolates and the freedom one gets to express his creativity in this field has inspired me to become a Pastry Chef.
How does it feel to be an award winning Chef?
It’s nice to be recognized. Every one of us likes recognition. But trust me, it is not the most important thing for me. Awards or no awards, the more important aspect is to do your work with passion and sincerity. Always respect your work no matter which field you belong to.
Share some interesting facts that you would want your fellow Chefs to know about your experiences in this journey that could inspire them.
I started my career when there was no or very limited internet access. In today’s world we have internet on our finger tips; we have access to all the social media where we could learn. Today’s pastry chefs cannot imagine life without Google or Facebook or even Instagram. I remember as I started my pastry career, India was nowhere on the international pastry competitions map. It was my dream to represent our country for the pastry competition. And I am happy that I was the first Indian pastry chef to represent our country at the world chocolate masters competition in Taiwan.
What’s the one rule you follow while baking pastries and cakes?
Simplicity is the key. It’s more important to work upon the heart of the dessert.By heart I mean, the flavours,textures, combination and taste of the cake is more important to me than just making a good looking cake which lacks all of this.
What are some of the challenges you have faced in your career and how have you overcome them?
Problems will come…they come in every one’s life. One specific incident I remember was when I was preparing for my international competition is that, those days we did not have any pastry academies. We still do not have a pastry alliance or a pastry forum. We do not have a structured training ground to train an individual who is going to represent our country. We lack sponsorship for the guy who is going to prepare for the competition. HOW DID I OVER COME??? I managed all this by myself!!!
What are your thoughts about breaking the clutter and introducing a new approach to adding spice and variation to your desserts?
It’s a must, as a chef you have to constantly keep on innovating. It’s important to keep moving with time. Adding variety to the dessert and spice is critical as you have to keep up with the guests needs and offer them something new to try.
What are the recent trends in baking that could bring about a change?
Traditional classic French pastry but presented with a novel twist is a current trend.
Petit gateaux and mono portions is the trend.
Would you like to give a message to other aspiring Chefs
To all the young aspiring chefs, please have your basics strong, read and study pastry. Pastry is an art however it is also a lot of science and one must never neglect basics. Do not get carried away with fancy garnishes and fancy presentations. The crux of the pudding is in eating it. I always keep telling the upcoming chefs to focus on the taste, texture and composition of the dessert. Garnish is the last thing to worry about.
What is your Signature Pastry that you would like your fans to try? Do share the location for your fans to visit the venue to try the pastries.
My signature pastry Is Chocolate Feuillant and Portico. It can be tried at our pastry shop at JW MARRIOTT PUNE.
Your thoughts on Your Chef Story.
I would like to Thank you for providing a platform where a chef can share his experience and open a window to the upcoming pastry chefs to learn and interact. I will be looking forward to read about some other chefs too…… will be nice to know about his/her journey and their experiences.