Gurgaon baker clinches the title of Pastry Queen, will represent India in Italy
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Gurgaon baker clinches the title of Pastry Queen, will represent India in Italy

Pastry Queen India 2017, a competition recently held in Gurgaon, saw participation of women pastry chefs from across India battle it out.

more lifestyle Updated: Sep 12, 2017 19:49 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
Pastry Queen India,Gurgaon,Italy
Gurgaon-based pastry chef, Eureka Araujio, won the title of Pastry Queen India 2017. She will now represent India in Ladies World Pastry Championship, in Italy in January 2018.(Manoj Verma/HT)

It was indeed a eureka moment for Gurgaon-based pastry chef Eureka Araujio from the Academy of Pastry Arts, Gurgaon who went on to win the title of Pastry Queen India 2017. The second edition of the event was organised with an aim to provide a platform to women pastry makers. The two-day event, held on September 8 and 9, at the Academy of Pastry Arts in Gurgaon, witnessed nail-biting moments between participanting professional chefs — Reema Gupta from The Oberoi (Mumbai), chef Radhika Kulkarni from Mumbai’s Taj Lands End, chef Rumana Jaseel, Incredible Art (Kochi), chef Eureka Araujo and chef Riya Arora, The Leela Palace(Bengaluru) gave their best to win the coveted title.

Organised by Hammer and Italian Exhibition group, the theme of the competition this year was Astrology, which had to be illustrated through sugar displays (including pastillage), chocolate cakes and desserts (including the ones based on tart, mini pastries in the shape of rings) in just 18 hours.

“I found my passion in baking. I’m really excited and nervous at the same time. But, I’m glad to finish everything that I was expected to make. The most difficult part was finishing the sugar showpiece. A lot of planning, creativity and teamwork went into it. I choose the Scorpio, from the 12 sun signs in astrology, because I have a lot of people in my life who are Scorpions. Last year, I went [to Italy] for the Junior Pastry Cup as a trainer. The experience was wonderful and I was convince that I have to take part in the competition — Pastry Queen India,” says Eureka.

Contestant Rumana Jaseel shows her final creations at the competition. (Manoj Verma/HT)

The participants were judged by a jury comprising prominent chefs — Parvinder Singh Bali (from the Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development), Avijit Ghosh (corporate pastry chef at Hotel Leela Venture Ltd), Manisha Bhasin (senior executive chef at ITC Maurya Delhi), and Gordon Galea (pastry chef at Hotel Andaz in Delhi).

Judges amid the tasting session. (Manoj Verma/HT)

“Patience, passion, and perseverance make a pastry queen! It was a difficult decision for us to choose one winner, as they represented different aspects of pastry-making. Apart from the theme and presentation, contestants were also judged on taste and texture. They were also marked on hygiene and set-up,” says chef Bali.

“It has been a wonderful experience. This was just the start of my journey. I learnt how to professionally compete with people,” says Radhika Kulkarni, a participant, whose display was inspired by constellations.

Eureka (the winner) will now represent India in Ladies World Pastry Championship, SIGEP, Italy that will be held from January 20 to 24 in 2018. (SIGEP is a specialist trade fair held in Rimini, Italy since 1979.) What started as her mother’s passion, became hers too, said the Gurgaon-based baker after winnign the title. Her display included a chocolate cake, glass dessert of Mandarin and Bailey’s milk chocolate ice-cream, Vanilla ganache tart, an edible ring made of rose champagne jelly and raspberry rose ganache, and a sugar sculpture.

Anyone who saw the creations of these participants, was left in awe!

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First Published: Sep 12, 2017 19:49 IST