It is often said that no matter what you decide, life always has something better planned for you. The same belief applies to the famous Pooja Dhingra, Founder & Pastry Chef at Le15 Petisserie. She initially wanted to become a lawyer, but just in 2 weeks realized that pursuing law wasn’t what she was cut out for.
With a fond memory of making brownies with her aunt at the age of 6, she soon realized that baking was her true calling. After convincing her parents and having their complete support, she moved to Cesar Ritz College in Switzerland to study hospitality management. This was the beginning of her career in baking and there was no looking back.
Here's drawing light into the life and interesting experiences of Pooja Dhingra, the Pastry Queen.
Studying Abroad Has Its Exciting Moments
Pooja studied hospitality from Switzerland and then progressed to one of the most prestigious baking schools, Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Having an absolutely wonderful experience, and loving every minute of it, she got the opportunity to meet some amazing people that helped her evolve as a different person. “My happiest memories were just walking around Paris with my friends and trying different patisseries," says Pooja.
The Journey of Macarons, from Paris to Mumbai
When Pooja was in the culinary school in Paris, she tried her first macaron and it was love at first bite. She then knew that she wanted to move back to India and offer the city of Mumbai a taste of the classic French patisserie. She says, "I had definitely not expected them to become such a big success, but I knew I would make a name for myself with all the hard work and long hours of standing."
Overcoming Challenges And Starting Up Le15 Patisserie
Pooja Dhingra started out with an initial funding from her family 7 years ago and ever since then, she has been on her own. The major challenge was, when initially people did not take her seriously, it was difficult for her to find suppliers and real estate agents who were willing to talk to a 23 year old girl then. She feels that by being patient and keeping faith, one can overcome everything!
The Pastry Queen’s Journey So Far
The pastry queen Pooja Dhingra who first brought macarons to Mumbai has taken the city by storm. With a perfect thought of introducing the city to the yummiest macarons ever, she has not only built a business but also won many hearts. As a pastry connoisseur, Pooja describes her experience to be truly surreal. Starting out as a 23 year old with the intention of popularizing macarons in India to achieving the Forbes 30 under 30 award, she feels the journey has been nothing short of magical.
Delighting Celebrities With Her Love For Baking
One of the special experiences that Pooja has drawn light on, was baking Arpita Khan’s wedding cake. This was a 7-tier 150 kg cake, which she, along with her team, pulled off in 3 days with the end result being nothing but great!
Pooja Dhingra’s Inspiration
Travel is Pooja’s biggest inspiration. She also mentions the Chef from Paris, Jean Charles Rochoux, from whom she learnt what it took to run a business and how to treat her employees.
Pooja Dhingra’s Signature Pastries – A Must Try
The best-selling desserts at Le15 Patisserie are their Dark Chocolate Macarons and Red Velvet Cupcakes. For those of you who have a sweet tooth, these 2 specialties would surely make your day.
As Le15 Patisserie has now spread its wings around the city, you could drop in at any of their outlets and experience these French inspired delights made with love.
You can visit these outlets at:
The Pastry Queen’s Favourite Pastry
Anything with dark chocolate! Well now you know what your favorite pastry chef loves!
The One Advice For Aspiring Pastry Chefs
Her one advice to budding chefs is to first make sure that this is what they want to do – do some research, speak to people, get an internship and then if you’ve decided to go for it, enjoy the ride!
Few Exciting Trends According To Pooja Dhingra That Could Shape The Future Of Baking
There are so many new things happening today. The Indian audience is more open to trying new and innovative desserts, and this is encouraging pastry chefs to experiment with new flavours and textures and offer something entirely new.
Her Thoughts On yourchefstory.com
"I feel it’s a great platform for experienced as well as budding chefs. It’s a great place to showcase your work and for people to get a peek into our lives. Keep up the good work :)" - Pooja Dhingra