These Two Girls Are Giving Mumbaikars Sweet Reasons To Smile
25-year-old Nayantara Thomas, and 29-year-old Farah Shroff set up their own baking studio, Parisserie, in Mumbai’s Marine Lines earlier this year. They speak to SheThePeople.TV about introducing Mumbaikars to the delicious world of French pastry.
Both girls met while interning at a popular pastry brand a few years ago. Nayantara had been a mass media student, with a voracious sweet tooth. After graduating from Sophia College, she studied at Le Cordon Bleu. “That’s where I picked up the idea of pastry as an art,” she says. Farah was a CA who also loved baking.
“I started baking when I was 15, and continued throughout college. I would do small courses while pursuing my CA course.”
She knew she wanted to switch professions fairly soon, and quit her corporate job when she was 25 years old. Farah then studied at a French pastry school, after which she interned at a few pastry shops in the South of France. She even worked at a three-star Michelin restaurant in Paris. Last year, she decided to return to India, with the mission of introducing the delights of French pastries to people here.
Parisserie is already creating waves, after only six months of its operations. “We concentrate on French pastry, textures and layers, and multi-sensory experiences. We focus on finesse and make sure our pastries look gorgeous,” says Nayantara.
The two girls want to make the popular French deserts such as vanilla and fruit mille feuille (translates to a 1000 layers of flaky pastry), framboisee which is a raspberry and chocolate desert, and noisette which is a hazelnut pastry, popular in India.
But making and delivering such complicated and beautiful pastries comes with its own challenges. “People are wary of this kind of pastry, and introducing them to something different is difficult,” says Nayantara. People sometimes like to gravitate towards a simple cake. Both girls are confident that these are just teething problems, and that they will soon find their way around them.
They aim to start a retail outlet soon. For now, their days are spent creating products, getting their packaging in place, and delivering their pastries around the area.
Nayantara has spoken to some of New York’s best pastry chefs for advice. She has interviewed Dominique Ansel, the man behind the ‘cronut’, and has met Bobbie Lloyd, chief baking officer at Magnolia Bakery. “All of them advocated for a balanced life,” remarks Nayantara. “Which makes sense, given that the industry is difficult, and our hours are different. We are in the kitchen when everyone else is on holiday.”