Never in a million year I would’ve thought that I could be switching my careers from being an animator to a baker and loving every second of it. I graduated with a degree in Bsc. Animation and was very happy with the assignments I was given to work on but since I was in the animation industry at a time when it was at a very initial stage of flourishing and due to some personal reasons, I was loosing interest in what I was doing. My peers who had chosen a different and more financially strong career pathsdidn’t really support me and always in a way tried to pull me down by stating that it’s not a profession I should be putting my heart and soul into. I was deeply hurt by these comments and started working at a news firm as a graphic designer but the inside me was never satisfied with the work I was doing. I went into depression and couldn’t see the light at the end of that tunnel.
I was spending my days and nights watching ‘Zumbo’s Just Dessert’ which was telecasted on TLC channel and the women who appeared on the show mesmerized me with their life changing stories. Their life changing stories had a great impact on my life, which is why I decided to take up some of the available baking classes in the city, and that was one life- changing experience for me. I loved baking so much that I wanted to pursue it not as a hobby or thing that one does when all the option for profession closes, but as a respected profession and with the support of my parents, I earned my degree in Diploma in Bakery and Patisserie and started working professionally.
I was offered a job at Westin Pune where I was a trainee chef under renowned chefs and learnt some of the best tips and techniques of my profession for which I’ll always be grateful for. The work at a five star hotel is never easy; it may look like it’s all easy peasy but it is not. I had to work almost 12-13 hours a day, help the chefs prepare meals, desserts, plating and entertain the guests during my work. A lot of my colleagues who joined with me gave in the pressure and left for something easier but I wasn’t ready to give up. I had worked late night shifts and early morning shifts too but all of the grilling sessions at the hotel made my focus stronger and determined that these months will be the months I look back and pat my shoulder to see myself walk a mile. (I do now)
After six months of working as a trainee chef, I switched to a more specialized job, as a head chef at ‘Rosarte’ in New Delhi and the environment of the bakery was the best I could ask for. I learned so much under the head chocolatier and the team that helped me to a better baker and a human being. We use to sit and brainstorm ideas for new desserts and try them on and sometimes failed to execute it the way it is suppose to but I wasn’t ready to give up.
Due to the pandemic, I had to return back to the home city and the days without work was driving me crazy. I had absolute no idea when I will be going back to my job so; I decided to quit my job and start my own venture. I’ll be honest, starting up one’s own venture in a pandemic is not at all easy but the people who believed in me kept me going and here I am, after three months of baking and making people happy, I have finally found a way to my peace. I finally found something that makes me, ME and I am really proud of it.
It is never easy to start something from scratch because the people who haven’t known you won’t believe in the things you believe in or might even trust you with their food preferences but by the grace of god, I have received a good response and I’d love to serve my favorite desserts to each and every citizen of the capital city. There was a time, where I felt that since I had been living out for a really long time, people won’t be very accepting towards my work but they did; it’s still a struggle to ask people to be supportive but baby steps makes one reach the Everest right?
Author: Harneet Ahluwalia