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Crafting magical cakes since 16, Theobroma founder Kainaz on why baking is the love of her life

Zoya from the house of Tata celebrates ‘Finely Crafted Journeys’ with pastry chef Kainaz.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 07, 2019, 12.20 PM IST
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Kainaz Messman Harchandrai wearing jewellery from Zoya’s 6299 Hollywood Blvd Collection.
Kainaz Messman Harchandrai wearing jewellery from Zoya’s 6299 Hollywood Blvd Collection.
Zoya, the diamond boutique from the House of Tata, presents ‘Finely Crafted Journeys’ — conversations with women achievers, whose creativity and commitment to their craft have created something distinctive.

This time Zoya’s muse is pastry chef Kainaz Messman Harchandrai, founder and creative director - production and development, Theobroma. The IHM - Mumbai graduate has built a breakthrough food and beverage brand, Theobroma that is loved by everyone and has a presence in Mumbai, Delhi and Pune. Excerpts from an interview:

What inspired you to pursue your craft?

I grew up in a sweet-smelling house. My mom made and sold cakes and desserts from home. Often, my sister and I made those desserts and brownies. At the age of 16, I spent a year in France as a youth exchange student and fell in love with patisserie. I learned to respect ingredients, to keep things simple and make everything well. I spent much of my time in patisseries there; it was just the place that I gravitated to. I truly love bread and pastry and I could not imagine doing anything else.

What does creativity mean to you?

Creativity is thinking differently. Sometimes it is finding simple solutions in difficult situations. At other times, it is combining and creating combinations and products that speak to you. I don’t like innovation for innovation’s sake, though. I like classics, sometimes with a modern twist. Creativity takes a lot of time and effort. Many, if not most attempts, are not successful, but when something works, it makes all the hard graft worthwhile. You must be happy and relaxed to be creative.

What do you enjoy most about your craft?

I love how simple individual ingredients come together and combine to become something special, beautiful and delicious. I get immense satisfaction from people enjoying my dishes. I am proud to be part of everyone’s happy occasions and family gatherings. I love that my cakes and desserts are integral parts of every celebration. I love that food brings people together.

Zoya and you…

Zoya pieces are timeless and elegant. I don’t wear much jewellery, so all my pieces are carefully selected and important to me. I wear my heart on my sleeve quite literally, and Zoya allows me to express myself in a beautiful way. I love the everydayness of Zoya’s understated pieces.

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Express Love With Food

9 Feb, 2019
Valentine's Day is just around the corner and there's so much that you can do to enjoy the perfect, romantic evening with your partner. A dinner date is a sure-shot win on Valentine's. However, this year, pledge to please your loved one with delicious treats prepared at home. Top chefs share their secret recipes to make your celebration special.
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