Winters bring forth Kolkata’s love for bakery. The latest trend in the segment is organic bakery. The Westin Hotel is one of the newest entrants among the luxury hotels in Kolkata. It has an eye-catching line up of confectioneries in the menu. Many of them are organic.
BE’s Anustup Roy Barman spoke to Saikat Sarkar, Sous Chef in pastry, Westin Hotel, Kolkata, regarding their organic baking line ups and the emerging trends.
Q. What is organic bakery?
A. Organic bakery does not only mean using organic ingredients. It starts from scratch. From the very beginning, we have to be careful so as not to use ingredients that have artificial fertilizers and pesticides. Only then the food becomes organic.
Q. How is the bakery segment in Westin Hotel?
A. Previously the concept of the food of a hotel was different. Nowadays, people do not prefer oily, fattening or sweet food. The consumer preferences are changing rapidly. Westin Hotel is also changing with the changing needs of the customers, not always from a profitability angle but also from the point of loyalty. People are of the opinion that Westin serves baked food that is healthy and we definitely do not compromise with taste.
Q. Do you have specialised staff for the bakery section?
A. Yes, we definitely have specialised staff for the bakery section. But one thing that needs to be mentioned here that cross training happens in our hotel. People from Spanish cuisine go to the Italian section, people from the Italian goes to French section and so on. But bakery is a section where you have to remain constant. The bakery staff is specially trained for trained for bakery.
Q. Is Westin more into organic baking? What do people prefer the most?
A. It is a mixture of organic and non-organic baking. Everyone has different points of view. People who are on the move most of times prefer organic and healthy food. But others who come for dine outs or for holidays like to indulge themselves.
Q. What is the specialty of Westin in the bakery section?
A. We use multi grain breads, flower bread, beta flower etc. for breads. In pastries, we have dark chocolate. It is the healthiest food. In Westin we use 12% cocoa filled Venezuelan chocolate tart. Making organic food is always not possible. But we have super foods. Those are enabled with ingredients of single origin and are similar in all the Westin hotels around the world.
Q. What are the emerging trends?
A. Molecular bakery is on the rise. People love good and organic items. We use lecithin, xanthium, etc. For example, if it is difficult to find caviar then it can be made artificially. Nowadays people like something new. If the same old chicken tikka is served in a new attire, people will love it. Westin uses mint foam chutney in place of regular mint chutney. This is old food in new attire throws a surprise.
Q. Which is the most famous recipe of Westin?
A. It is the Opera. It is a type of pastries that can also be served as a cake. I believe some things are best kept in their traditional versions. We try to do the same with our recipe of the Opera.