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Callebaut believes in bringing experience through its customers: Deepa Dsouza

Belgian chocolate brand, Callebaut has announced Chef Dean Rodrigues and Chef Mayukh Mazmudar as the finalists from Mumbai who will be contesting at the grand finale of Callebaut Patissier Of The Year, 2019 (CPY). The Mumbai boot camp witnessed a range of participants from pastry chefs to chocolate professionals who were competing for the title in the city.

Speaking about CPY 2019 on the sidelines of the Mumbai boot camp, Deepa Dsouza, Director – Gourmet Sales (India & sub-continents), Barry Callebaut, told Express Food & Hospitality, “This is the first in the boot camp series of CPY 2019, which would continue to Delhi and Bengaluru. The finale of the contest will be held on 3,4 May. We want this contest to be recognised as a national platform. We want people to be proud of being a part of CPY. The winner at the contest will go to our academy in Wieze, Belgium and will learn from and work with international chefs for a 3-day course, organised by the company. Furthermore. we will keep them as a face of the brand and will popularise them and moreover organise their master classes for the aspiring individuals in the F&B space.”

The panel for the Mumbai boot camp included Chef Avijit Ghosh, corporate pastry chef, Hotel LeelaVenture Ltd; Chef Prashant Sabne, pastry chef, The Oberoi & Trident Nariman Point Mumbai, and Chef Sanjana Patel, executive pastry chef, LaFolie. The first of the boot camp series held in Mumbai offered the participating chefs a creative quest in the line of CPY’s 2019 theme – ‘Future of Chocolate’.

The participants had to showcase their talent by creating new sensations in the world of chocolate; in either designs or experiment with new forms of desserts, pastries and confectionery. The contestants created a mélange of decadent flavours that kept in mind futuristic tastes, textures and innovation while taking chocolate to the next level.

Talking about the previously held and the first India edition of CPY in 2017, Dsouza informed it was the first edition year for the Callebaut Patissier of the Year. “Callebaut is our major brand. Worldwide we have chocolate masters and it is a prestigious contest in which many countries participate. So we thought in 2017 why not have a national-level contest where we provide the professional chefs like the pastry chefs in hotels and institutes with a platform to showcase their talents,” she added.

Throwing light on the themes for both the years’ contests, she told that in 2017, the theme was all about heritage. “It was all about creating a fusion between Indian flavours with European formats in the 2017 challenge. This year with a lot of digitalisation and VR coming into play, we thought to prick the chefs’ brains to come up with something that could be the ‘Future of Chocolate’ in their own perception. I think when you say the future of chocolates, we see sustainability, for which we work very closely with our Cocoa farmers on our sustainability formats, and we also have the programme – Cocoa Horizons under the Callebaut brand in which we hail that by 2025, 100 per cent of our products, ingredients, and processes will be sustainable. So sustainability is in terms of natural, organic, and the chocolates that will be enjoyed by the generations to come. We would also see gadgetry in our showcase. And of course, we will also see for the clean exotic rawness because that is where everyone is going i.e. into more rustic, natural, cleaner flavours,” she added.

When asked about the potential of India for Cocoa production, Dsouza replied, “Yes, in India brands like Mondelez have been working with many Cocoa farmers in Kerala and Mangalore, since the last 15-20 years to bring up the production of Cocoa, but at this moment the production of Cocoa is not sufficient for self-sustenance. If you see the chocolate consuming market in India, it is growing double-digit Y-o-Y. But, India could be the next Cocoa-growing nation, provided all brains and brands are working in harmony to further increase the production. Since Cocoa consumes a longer gestation period to yield, and farmers here being in need of quick monies, they likely shy away from investing in growing Cocoa. For this, we as brands need to work with them. We at Callebaut do that in Indonesia and in the African belt of Ghana and Ivory Coast, where we work very closely with the farmers to teach them the use of technology; how to increase the production, etc., we also teach them different programmes of sustainability.”

Callebaut had sourced the Cocoa for India’s first Ruby Gianduja chocolate introduced by ITC’s gourmet chocolate brand Fabelle. Talking about the natural colour and bringing the experiential element for chocolate aficionados in India, Dsouza said, “Ruby is a naturally coloured fourth type of chocolate which comes after dark, milk, and white. The colour is developed naturally after processing and fermenting the Gianduja Cocoa beans. Fabelle was the first brand to launch the Ruby Gianduja in India. We have also launched it with gourmet customers like Smoor, Chocolate Philosophy, etc.” Furthermore adding to the experiential element, she said that they are introducing sustainable chocolates which are demanded by many companies these days. “Under the Callebaut brand we have launched Eclipse – milk chocolate with one per cent added sugar which is gaining popularity. We also have the Power 80 which is 80 per cent dark chocolate, so there are lots in the experiential market. And, although being a B2B company, we believe in bringing experience through the customers that we work with,” she concluded.

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