I often come across interesting and inspiring women with every story, every interview and media briefings that I attend. So this time around, I looked closer and found an amazingly talented friend to feature in MixedBox. A fun loving, spirited and energetic Chef Manooshi Chandy, Pastry Chef and part of the faculty at Lavonne Academy of Baking Science and Pastry Art, is discovering newer levels in baking science and stunning edible art. Her FB posts on gorgeous looking desserts makes me go ‘I Want That In My Tummy!’ every time.
But her journey towards baking or the culinary world was an unpredicted one. We thought Manooshi or Maana as we all call her, would be rescuing endangered species or busy in wildlife conservation. Despite pursuing a Post Graduate degree in Conservation Biology from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Manooshi was always drawn to baking which is why she took up the Diplome in Patisserie at Lavonne Academy. “I’ve always loved baking and cooking right from when I was a child. I have a post graduation degree in conservation, but I found myself always coming back to food. I happened to come across the Lavonne website while having lunch with my best friend. From there, it’s just been an amazing ride. From being a student here, to training at ITC Grand Central – Mumbai, to working at Lavonne. It’s been fantastic. My family was very supportive. There have been a lot of very encouraging people pushing me along,” Manooshi shares.
But this switch in her career was no cake walk as she pursued her diploma at Lavonne, along with her full-time job. “Times were hard when I was doing my diploma. So, I would come for class and then go to work for the night shift. The course was beautiful, but it pushes you,” Manooshi explains. She adds that while the course was tough and came with long hours, it involved wonderful ingredients and great teachers.
Science and Baking, or the science in baking is what Manooshi enjoys most while whipping up her scrumptious baked goodies. “I love figuring out why what goes where, I love playing with flavours and I’m always keen to experiment. This is why I love chocolate and confectionery so much,” she says, while adding that she loves the fact that she can go crazy with the flavours and create something that one can eat with all their senses.
Manooshi recently held a Chocolate & Confectionery Masterclass at Lavonne, which showcased a very nouveau-style of making and presenting chocolate and also included important techniques in confectionery. She plans to conduct a course on traditional French desserts in the next few months. And with Christmas approaching, Manooshi will be holding a festive baking course as well.
BESIDES WORK: When she is away from the bakery, Manooshi loves to ride and is a big bullet fanatic.
You can visit http://lavonne.in to know more about the baking classes and course conducted at Lavonne Academy.