When hobbies become passion, one can achieve almost anything they want. The 28 year old Chef Zareen Shaikh has turned her biggest hobby of baking into her passion that drove her to accomplish something she could call her own. She initially started off with baking cakes, treats and goodies for her close family and friends. After receiving a positive response from everyone, she started taking multiple orders. That was the start to her journey in becoming a professional pastry chef. She then moved to Le Cordon Bleu (London) in order to pursue a patisserie course. After returning in 2014, she decided to open her own professional venture ‘Cake Me Out’ and it has been growing since then.
Here’s getting to know the very young and talented Pastry Chef in her story here.
Experiences That Defined Chef Zareen
Working and collaborating with skilled chefs from across the globe has been the highlight of her experiences studying abroad. Besides that, the ingredients and the equipments she has worked with along with the advanced technology that they use in their creations, all made it a lot more fun. Also, not to forget the thought process and creations they came up with – the most unique, exotic and unheard of combinations of ingredients led to the creation of such palatable desserts and that really helped define her as a chef, as she tends to channel those learnings into her creations.
Chef Zareen feels that earlier, people were very unaware of French pastries. Their minds were set to the classic chocolate and black forest cakes and were wary of experimenting with new flavors and paying for expensive ingredients. So, she had to, for the first year, only create cakes and desserts with basic flavors. Slowly, she started recommending French desserts to her close friends and family. Thanks to their word of mouth and recommendations, more and more people started coming in to order unique combinations for their cakes. She plans to keep expanding, growing and experimenting with new flavors and creations.
Role Models That Inspire Chef Zareen In The Pastry World
Chef Zareen says that International chefs like Antonio Bachour, Andrey Dubovik, Nina Tarasova are a few names that come to her mind when she thinks of awe-inspiring chefs. Apart from that, in recent times, she has been following the work of Chef Vikas Bagul and Chef Rumaana Jaseel as she finds their work quite interesting.
Signature Must Try – Recommended By Chef Zareen
When Chef Zareen was working at Theobroma, she was called the “Queen of Opera” so she feels, that could be her signature pastry. She says that she would really love for her customers to try her Blueberry Yogurt Mousse with raspberry and frangipani sponge. That definitely is her personal favorite and a sure hit with everyone.
The Best Experience So Far
Chef Zareen talks of her very first masterclass – French Entremets and Tarts. It was the very first workshop she conducted and it was a sheer success. That resulted in many happy students across India. This has led her to taking a lot of successful masterclasses and private workshops in popular locations such as Delhi, Ahmadabad, Bangalore and Chennai. She says, “It is also a great feeling when students travel from distant locations such as Chandigarh, Ludhiana, and Calcutta just to attend my workshop. And their response fuels my drive to take more and more such classes, like my Chocolate Bonbon workshop and many more to come”
Chef Zareen’s Thoughts On Her Favorite Pastry
She says, “This is basically like a mother being asked to choose her favorite child. They are all my favorite. It is very difficult to choose one single favorite.”
The One Advice For Aspiring Pastry Chefs
Follow your passion, do not ever compromise on the quality of your ingredients and please refrain from copying others’ work. Also, please do not undercharge. The time and efforts invested in creating a dessert are phenomenal. You deserve to be paid for it, regardless of your number of years of experience.
Chef Zareen’s thoughts on yourchefstory.com
It is a very good platform to feature new and unheard chefs who need that recognition, considering how talented they are. This is especially true for the chefs who are working in the big, fancy hotels – they are the faceless and nameless messiahs that run the fanciest dessert bars in the country.
Wish to place an order from some of these exciting pastries?
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