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Tell us about yourself Mrudula, where you are from and what you were doing prior to joining Lavonne.
I grew up in Hyderabad and like every other Telugu person I knew, I finished my engineering, and then flew straight to US for a Masters! Once I finished my Masters, I worked as a telecom engineer with an MNC for a couple of years.
When and why did you apply for the Diploma program at Lavonne?
Being from a very typical South-Indian family, French patisserie was really not something I had experienced. Living abroad was the first time I had the chance to taste some really good food from other cultures. I always liked cooking but that’s when I first tried my hand at baking and really enjoyed it.
In 2013 I moved back to India and for a few months I was between jobs. On a whim I decided to Google for pastry schools in Bangalore (I was in Bangalore then) and the first result was Lavonne! I immediately enquired about their next batch and decided to take a leap of faith. I just thought if I enjoyed it, I could change my career completely, and if I didn’t I could always go back to a corporate job.
What was your experience like at Lavonne?
It was out of this world. The first couple of weeks were the hardest, but then we all got a hang of it and I personally had a blast. The kind of practical knowledge and information that a student comes out with is unparalleled. Even students with BHM degrees from the best schools in India do not have the kind of expertise Lavonne students have at the end of the course.
What are you doing post your education at Lavonne?
I interned with Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, Bangalore, immediately after my course. I moved to Mumbai after that and worked with Theobroma as a Commis I in their central kitchen. I had to quit that job due to health issues but since then I have been running a home bakery called The Humble Pie.
How has the education you received at Lavonne helped in your professional pursuit as a pastry chef?
When doing the course I thought it was normal for all culinary students to have this kind of in depth knowledge about all things pastry, but once I started working, I realized that’s almost exclusive to Lavonne.
Lavonne has given me the confidence to try out the most intricate or traditional French desserts and know that I am doing it right even though I have never even set foot in France! The course was exhaustive, covered every nook and cranny, including things that are not taken seriously elsewhere, like personal hygiene and costing. Knowledge of these two has proved immensely helpful when running my own business, however small. Even today, every single time I do my costing for a new recipe, I think of the chefs’ costing classes and thank them for teaching me something so basic yet important.
Advice/recommendations that you might like to give future students.
The course is difficult but a lot of fun. Ask a lot of questions, practice a lot, listen to the chefs.
What plans for the future as far as your career goes?
I am working on opening a small bakery/cafe soon. But for now I am going to continue operating my home bakery.