With the unequalled palate of sight, taste and touch, Eureka Araujo from Ribandar won the coveted ‘Pastry Queen India’ title at the recently held contest in Delhi; the winner of the contest also stands a chance to represent India at the ‘Ladies World Pastry Championship’ to be held in Italy in 2018. Sharing her ‘wow’ moment with NT BUZZ Eureka gives us an insight into her culinary venture
VENITA GOMES| NT BUZZ
From ‘The Astral Loop’ to ‘She said yes!’ to ‘The fallen trone’ to ‘The Seductress’ her innovative range of pastries have made the judges fall in love with her baking; the 25-year-old, Eureka Araujo thus won the coveted ‘Pastry Queen India’ title at the recently held competition in Delhi. The Pastry Queen India contest provides a platform to women pastry bakers from all over India to showcase their artistic creativity.
Battling against the top women chefs in the country, Eureka gave her best and secured the first position. Speaking about the experience, she says that the level of competition was quite high: “It was a strenuous competition spread over two-days and nine hours with no breaks. The competition was of high intensity and I had to battle alongside some of the best lady pastry chefs in the country.”
The event was not only about producing a pastry but there was much more that went into the making of the winning piece. “We did not have to just produce a pastry but also ensure that the layering, serving temperature, texture, weight and final presentation was executed as per international standards and competition rules,” adds the pastry chef at The Academy of Pastry Arts, India based in Gurgaon.
The final outcome was a result of two months of rigorous preparations – from brainstorming for ideas, travelling to get things done, late nights working and a lot of practice, Eureka had to do repeated time trials in order to ensure that she used her time optimally. Her pastries: The Astral Loop under the category ‘glass dessert’, was made of crunchy salted streusel served with creamy Baileys milk chocolate ice cream; She said Yes! under the category ‘mini pastry finger ring’ was a Rose and Raspberry ganache topping the cake; The Fallen Trone under the category ‘chocolate cake’ was a cake nestled in a crispy streusel base; and The Seductress under the category of ‘tart’ was a delicate, crisp sugar almond crust filled with a rich and nutty pistachio cream had helped her win laurels at the event.
Eureka recalls the moment when she first discovered her passion for cooking saying: “My mom was a home baker and out of three sisters I used to be the one helping her in the kitchen. I was happy there. One day my mom came home with the brochure of the hotel management college, and after I joined I realised that the kitchen was where my passion lay and I can proudly say that it was the best decision of my life!”
She graduated from the Institute of Hotel Management, Goa in the year 2012. Thereafter, she undertook an intensive training program called the Taj Management Training Program through the Taj Group of hotels. She worked as a Senior Chef de Partie at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur and then joined the Academy of Pastry Arts, Gurgaon as a pastry chef.
As a pastry chef she holds great expertise in various aspects of pastry including modern French pastries, tarts, sugar art, chocolates and chocolate sculptures. She was also the trainer cum mentor for the junior team that participated at the Juniors World Pastry Championship in SIGEP, Rimini, Italy 2017. Sharing her experience, she says: “I was the chef trainer and mentor for the junior team that competed at the International level in Italy in January 2017. It was all about team work and dedication that gave us an opportunity to participate at the International level.”
Pastry being her main forte she always looked up to world class pastry chefs, and the 25-year-old Goan dreams of working alongside them and wishes to inspire the young and upcoming pastry chefs in India. Eureka wants to leave an impression on young minds who wish to pursue a career in pastry. She says: “Goa as compared to other metropolitan cities has a long way to go when it comes to French pastry. Being a Goan, I hope to inspire passionate Goan chefs to pursue their career.”