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.
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.