In an exclusive interview with Restaurant India, Executive Chef Amit Sinha, L’Opéra shares how he ended up serving hospitality.
Chef Sinha is a pastry and bakery expert with experience working in hotels, Patisseries and fine dining establishments across Australia and India. Amit attended the Academy of Pastry Arts, one of Asia’s best pastry and bakery schools, between 2015 and 2016. He was awarded the Best chocolate display at the Asian Pastry Cup 2016, at which the team he had put together won the bronze medal. He holds a Diploma in Hospitality from the William Angliss Institute of TAFE of Melbourne, Australia. Here are the excerpts from the interview:
What made you pursue a Chef’s career?
This is not something which I always wanted to be, I was aspiring to be a Doctor. The very first year for my medical entrance exams I didn’t get through, so the following year I also applied for the all-India level entrance exam conducted by the National Council for Hotel Management. The selection process was successful and I secured a spot at IHM, Bhopal. I guess I was not meant to serve at a Hospital, but ended up serving in Hospitality.
How did your journey start in bakery and how has the ride been so far?
It was not till I moved to Australia in the year 2005 that I developed my interest in the pastry & baking field. While I was in Melbourne, working with some of the finest chefs, who are so passionate about their work, I gained the vision and the working style along with the skill sets. The journey was full of long and hard-working hours, from early morning start to late night shifts. I think proficiency in any field requires immense passion, hard work and creativity. In this particular field one must also be very passionate and pay a lot of attention to small intricate and alluring details. Tailoring to the customers’ needs is also very important as the product must be what they wanted and MORE. This is even truer in a sprawling and competitive Food and Beverage environment like Delhi-NCR.
What are your accomplishments as a Head Pastry Chef so far?
Being an Executive Chef doesn’t mean your career journey stops there. You need to keep pushing boundaries and have the passion to keep on going. One must stay true to one’s aspirations and focus on one’s own goal. If you’re not cooking to impress yourself, then what’s the point in being a chef?But at the same time, external acknowledgements can often be a source of motivation, as they reassure me that others also appreciate the fruits of my endeavours. I have acknowledgements as Best Bakery/Pastry Chef and few more to keep motivating me.
How do you think bakery trend in India has changed over the past few years?
I think the industry is getting better and better. Now we have accesses to the best raw materials from around the world which was not the case earlier.This is a growing phase of the F&B industry in India and people are getting a better understanding of the basics and skills development with increasingly popular masterclasses that can be seen on television or online or undertaking short courses or Diplomas that are now more numerous and accessible than before.
What do you like to bake the most?
Modern European Patisserie and Boulangerie.
What’s your signature recipe?
There are some recipes which are feather to my hat. I’m known for baking pretty ambrosial Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Almond Sponge and Cocoa Spray.
What’s your upcoming project?
L’Opéra is in the process of a large pan-India expansion, which began with the opening of our outlet in Dehradun earlier this year. We are planning to have around 60 points of sale within five years, including in cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, amongst others. I am delighted to continue providing culinary excellence to this unique, award-winning and world-class institution.