France is internationally recognized for its gastronomy and way of life. Since 2010, the French gastronomic meal and its rituals have been recognized as an intangible UNESCO cultural heritage. The special attention paid to the pleasures of the table can also be found in everyday life. The French are very attached to the three-meal day.

In France, the art of living is first and foremost about eating well. Ranked as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage, the fame of French cuisine comes from the many chefs who have been able to demonstrate their expertise abroad. Pastries, baked goods, traditional recipes, exceptional wines and culinary curiosities: each region has its own specialities.

Join us for a special session on 07/10 at 6:00 PM on the Art of French Cooking with renowned Chef Sahil Mehta, who will take us through his journey and give us an insight into his kitchen.

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Well, where do I start from about my journey and love for France?

I was all 13 years when my stepdad and mom decided to tell us at home that we were moving to Paris, where stands the headquarters of UNESCO, where my stepdad was getting posted.

I must admit, I was a tough nut to crack for this moving deal, however when I did the initial few months were a struggle till I moved into schooling in September 1993, all of 13 years with my long hair ( which is far from the current hairdo ), long story short moving to September, I was privileged enough to study at one of the finest schools in Paris L’ecole bilingue de serves , instantly I made some great friends from all across the world friendships that I carry forward till date almost two decades plus.

While growing up, wed often have the privilege to be going out as I was lucky enough to be born in a family with fine taste, the sound of the kitchen from restaurants cafes always pleased me to hear pretty waitresses say Qui excited me to join this beautiful profession.

At school, we had a full-fledged cafeteria serving some great meals. The restaurants on champs would fascinate me at times when we get bored from the school meals we’d hop to the boulangerie infant of the school and buy the sandwich Jambon beurre or sandwich poulet.

In the morning we would have this young lady come outside our school gate and serve us hot and fresh-baked Pain au Chocolat’s and Croissants. I guess that is where I developed my love for food and decided after school I would
specialize in this wonderful profession.

I would also visit Delhi every 6 months for my vacation and miss the smell of fresh early morning baked bread, as at that point of time people here hardly spoke about such products.

This as a young teenager made my decision even stronger and in ’96 after my school, I forced my dad to take me to Santos Dumont Ecole hotelier in Saint Cloud, Paris, France.

Where I arrived the first day in jeans to which my School’s Dean said” no jeans young man”.

The kitchen and state of art equipment fascinated me but least did I know that I was in for a surprise.

I was not joining a hotel school but a military school. However, today when I look back, it has made me a much more disciplined and organized person and has also made me realize my vast knowledge of Wines, Cheese and Several Dishes.

I was trained in Decoupage de Fruits de Mer et Fromage, Flambage, Bar Management, Restaurant Management, a hard core Food and Beverage course.

Not only did I learn, but got an opportunity to work in Hotels and organizations like the Ritz, Bristol, Salon Wilson, Travellers Club, Hotel Baltimore, Potel et Chabot, Roland Gaross and Unesco.

Then I came back to India to seek opportunities.

In the year 2008, I was supposed to buy a cake for a friend’s birthday and went to a popular hotel’s bakery shop to buy an opera cake, having had the best and being used to that quality I was shocked at what I ate and served my guests that to form such a big group.

This incident made me realize the need for good Bakery and Pastry products in our country, so I decided to fly back to Paris and study again at Ecole Lenotre, (the Mecca, the Harvard) of bakery and pastry schools.

I did an extensive course specializing in Bread, Viennoiserie, Chocolate and Confectionery and specialized in setting up bakeries and pastry shops.

I also, ensure to go back every year to upgrade my skills to institutes like Ducasse.

Came Back and the rest like they say is history.

If I have to sum, France made me a very disciplined person, it also made me realize my abilities as a human and taught me le savoir-faire francais, off it wasn’t for my education and studying the profession I am in at the Mecca I wouldn’t have reached so far in life. So like I say India has my soul but France has my heart.