How This Chef has Turned Her Childhood Dream into Reality
How This Chef has Turned Her Childhood Dream into Reality

As a child, Deeksha Shetty used to accompany her father to his restaurants and the presentation of each plate always caught her attention. The way each dessert looked to the eye of a 10 year old Deeksha was simply fascinating. Back then the young girl made up her mind that she wanted to do something related to food when she grow what she has to say:.

Tell us something about your journey.

As a teenager I use to bake for my family and friends for special occasions. They encouraged me to take this up professionally. I then went ahead and enrolled for a craft bakery course at Sophia College in Mumbai. I interned and worked in a few place in Mumbai. I was really fascinated by the classy French dessert and knew I wanted to learn more about it. I went ahead and enrolled myself at Le Cordon bleu Paris.

What’s the story behind CocoaMaya. You could have joined the family biz as they were already into the hospitality industry?

I was always interested in baking. I love to create new desserts and incorporate different flavours in it. I love spending time in the kitchen. The exposure I got in Paris regarding French pastries urged me to start Cocoamaya.My Family was very supportive about it and they helped me pursue my dreams. Also, my love for chocolate as a flavour, as an ingredient gave birth to the name CocoaMaya which means love for chocolates.

How do you see bakery as a trend growing in India?

In India a lot of them still buy breads that have been made weeks before from the local “kirana” shops. A few of them who have tasted freshly baked bread are now opening up to whole new concept of buying these sorts of breads. I see an increase in the number of people preferring breads from boulangeries than a local kirana.

How do you see the trend of f&b industry changing with time?

The good thing is that in India people are ready to experiment with their food. They are very accepting towards new tends and flavours. This has given the f&b industry scope to experiment and grow with time. F&B industry has changed a lot since the last decade in terms of working style, food etc.

The menu looks as if it has a variety of things to offer. Tell us something about it.

We have a wide range of pastries, breads, cookies and shakes. We make about 20-25 types of breads which is freshly baked every day. The pastries that we have at Cocoamaya are all very different from each other in terms of flavours.

What is your take on introducing freshness and local ingredients in the menu?

According to me fresh and local produce if maintained well are the best ingredients to use to make any dessert. We use a lot of fresh ingredient in our pastries. We have a seasonally tart in the menu in which we use fresh and local seasonal fruit depending on the season. In the winters we had a strawberry tart which we source locally.

What are the design elements that popped up in your mind while setting up your venture?

I always knew I wanted my dessert and ambience to go hand in hand. Like the dessert I wanted the design also to be very classy and minimal. And that is exactly what you will see at CocoaMaya.

What are the various kinds of challenges you face while being in this industry?

One of the challenges I faced was to get high and good quality ingredients.To get a good pastry your ingredient quality had to be very good.

What are the expansion plans?

We have plans to open more cafes and dessert bars in Mumbai especially in prime areas like Juhu, Bandra etc.

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