There was never really a plan B for chef Tejasvi Chandela who was always gravitated towards baking. During her undergrad in London, she spent most of her time making food for her friends. “After university everyone else was applying for masters, I on the other hand was applying to pastry schools,” she remembers by adding that she has learnt pastry techniques from schools like Leith school of food & Wine, Le Cordon Bleu Paris. She also did a masters in chocolate making and opened her own patisserie Dzurt in Jaipur when she was just 21. Read what she has to say on her baking journey:
We have seen that the patisserie scene in India has changed in last 4-5 years and not just metro cities but cities like Pune, Jaipur, Indore also has lots to offer. What has brought this change?
The bigger cities developed the patisserie culture long before the tier two cities. Jaipur didn’t have a standalone patisserie until Dzurt and people would have to go to five star hotels and pick up pastries from there. The lack of accessibility & affordability for all made me realise that my city needed a patisserie that could serve modern and classic pastries to everyone. The biggest shift in people’s perception for patisseries started a couple of years ago. People are well travelled now and understand the difference between a bakery & a patisserie. They try out pastries from around the world, hence crave it once they return home. The people of Jaipur have been amazingly open towards my creations at Dzurt.
How unique is Dzurt from other patisseries/bakery/cafes in Jaipur? What is the USP?
I suppose our ability & passion to constantly create something new. We introduce 10-15 new pastries every year and use ingredients from the season to play with. And I put my heart and soul into creating them. We keep reinventing ourselves from the interiors to our menu. The overall ambience plays a huge role. Dzurt has the ability to transport you to a beautiful patisserie in France for a moment. It does that for me too. It’s peaceful and aesthetically pleasing. You can enjoy a cup of coffee with a slice of opera by your side while reading a book. Dzurt is my first baby and I treat it like that too. As I’ve evolved as a person so has the menu and the interiors at Dzurt.
I was going through your few interviews and found that you love playing with local ingredients and flavor. But there is a baking myth that top patisserie ingredients is imported. What is your say?
Yes and no both. There has to be a balance between using both local and imported ingredients. For eg: if I am making puff pastry I use good quality dry butter from president because there aren’t a lot of local brands making it but at the same time the flavour pairings can be local. The fruits and spices or even chocolate are generally local. I am a chocolate maker too and at All Things we make bean to bar chocolate using Indian Cacao. It tastes great in desserts. These days there are amazing local cheese brands that are thriving so I’ll experiment with them in my kitchen.
Also, artisan products, sour dough has become so revolutionised especially we saw new players, restaurateurs experimenting with sourdough. What has brought this revolution?
I saw a lot of people getting into artisan breads during Covid times. Sourdoughs were and still are trending. I feel with more people travelling and exploring food from different origins, their palete is also developing and evolving. People are understanding the value of artisanal produce. Sourdough is just one such thing.
What all new innovation can we see in this segment?
I am not a bread maker and I don’t have the patience to nurture starters. I have great friends in my city who are creating next level sourdoughs and I love picking up my weekly stash from them. I am a pastry chef and a chocolate maker and I enjoy experimenting & innovating within my space. However, never say never. As a creative person I may just wake up one day with the urge of learning the art of bread making in depth.
How many outlets you are running as of now? What’s your expansion plan?
Currently there’s just one and might I say it’s a handful. I’ve been juggling with two full time brands both Dzurt and All Things Chocolates need my constant attention. However I am looking to hopefully open one more outlet by next year. I’ve honestly been very satisfied with the way things are currently and I choose to concentrate on one and give it my best. Quality control is a lot more manageable but since Dzurt is almost on auto mode now and we’ve established a brilliant team, I think we can start thinking of opening one Dzurt soon. Fingers crossed.
How about delivery because going forward we see delivery taking over dine-in?
We have an in-house delivery team and they take care of logistics really well. We’ve also tied up with third party delivery channels such as Swiggy and Zomato. So far things are in control from all ends and yes there’s definitely way more traction coming in from the delivery side.
What’s your expansion plan?
Currently I am working on a non-edible gifting range for Dzurt. I’m working on creating a stunning collection. Which will hopefully launch before September. There are talks of opening another outlet too.
Food trend you foresee.
It’s hard to predict food trends. Hopefully zero waste will start trending in the pastry world too. I see more and more vegan patisseries opening in the future.
What is your view on the growth of restaurant and food culture in Jaipur? How is it changing?
It’s changing rapidly but sadly every year there are more than 10 cafés opening but not more 2 survive in the market. That has a lot to do with quality control and lack of innovation. But there are a few really interesting eating options in Jaipur now. People are becoming more and more experimental. They want something new every month. The challenge level has definitely gone up in the last few years. I am currently enjoying the food scene in Jaipur and I look forward to seeing new and specialised places opening. Jaipur food scene has a lot of potential and there are Lots of talented chefs coming out to showcase their best work.