Monday, December 30, 2013

Bye bye 2013. Of year ends and to looking forward.


Hey you guys!

I know I haven't written here in a long time and I'm not sure if anyone is even reading this. But, it feels like my year will be incomplete if I don't do my yearly closing report with you guys.

The previous years I spoke about not being able to keep resolutions and some changes in 2012.

2012 was a terrible personal year for me. My life seemed to be paused and I was going through a lot of things. In that respect, 2013 was a lovely year. Not to say that it wasn't hard or challenging. But, I feel like it was a year of positive growth. A year of meeting many of my goals. I finally got the store in bandra, wrote a book (!!) and opened my culinary centre. My brother got married and that was the highlight of my year.
I managed to meet some amazing people this year who taught me a lot. I let go of things from my past and I think I'm finally learning how to love who I am (more on that next year). 


My brother and his beautiful bride



If you are reading this, thank you. Thank you for supporting me and staying with me through my journey.

I have bigger dreams and goals for me, Le15 and Studio Fifteen for next year. I hope 2014 is kind to us all and we all get a little bit closer to what we set out to achieve. I wish you the happiest year end and hope the new year brings you love and joy. 

Lots of love,

Pooja

Thursday, September 5, 2013

September classes at Studio Fifteen!


Hello!

Here is a look at all the amazing classes we have lined up for september. I'm looking forward to learning so much from all these amazing chefs and collaborators. Some classes are already full, so I recommend calling or signing up online asap to reserve your spot :) 

For more details and to make a reservation check www.studiofifteen.in, call +91 8454046544 or e-mail us support@studiofifteen.in

Hope to see you at the Studio soon! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Say hello to Studio Fifteen!


For all those of you that have been waiting for our class schedule, wait no more!! Macarons, eggless baking, pies, cocktails, regional food...phew! We've got it all covered :) 

Check the Studio Fifteen website: http://www.studiofifteen.in
 Twitter: https://twitter.com/AtStudioFifteen
 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StudioFifteenCulinaryCentre
And sign up for classes, people! 
PS: If you do as Mumbai Boss tells you, you could score a free class:

http://mumbaiboss.com/2013/09/02/le15-patisseries-pooja-dhingra-has-launched-a-new-culinary-studio/

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Of Birthdays, Life Lessons and a New Blog


Hey you guys! 


I promise I haven't been missing, I've just been blogging from a new location. From now on my Tumblr blog is the one i'll be using. Here is the link

In other news, there are a lot of exciting (and stressful) things happening in my life right now. I recently signed my very first book deal with Penguin India (woohoo!), my dream of a culinary studio in Bombay is finally happening and Studio Fifteen should be up and running in a few weeks (so many amazing chefs and classes! I can't wait for you to see the first month's schedule)... and I turned 27 yesterday.
Birthdays are important to me. Obviously, I'm in the business of birthdays but personally, I see them as a benchmark. If you follow this blog then you must know that every year on my birthday I have this ritual of assessing the year that went by. This year, I thought i'd just write 27things that I've learnt along the way.  Thank you for all your support and love. Hope to see you on Tumblr now!













27 Random musings from a 27 year old 

1. It is not easy.

2. Every day brings a new challenge.

3. Running your own business is 24/7 job. You can never turn off

4. It is important to set goals - both short term and long term. Seeing things being ticked off is the biggest motivator to work harder.

5. Dance. It makes everything better.

6. Leave your ego at home.

7. Pick your battles. Sometimes it's ok to give up on the small ones as long as it doesn't affect the bigger picture

8. Nothing clears the mind like a good run with very LOUD music (don't do it every day though please)

9. Smile. Laugh. A lot. Yes, even when you can't.

10. Make a vision board and keep it in your bedroom. Let it be the first thing you see when you wake up.

11. Trust yourself.

12. Never compare yourself to anyone. Nope. Never.

13. Compliment people who are doing a good job. Be firm with the ones that are not.

14. Appreciate things people do for you.

15. Do small thoughtful things for people.

16. Never stop believing that true love exists. I know it does.

17. Ladies - you deserve to be with someone who truly values you.

18. Don't be afraid to take risks! I know it's scary. But even if it doesn't work you'll be better prepared for the next time.

19. Wear red lipstick.

20. The more you give to any relationship, the more you'll get from it. True story.

21. You never have to criticize someone to make yourself feel better. Never. (see point 12)

22. Hugs are the answer to everything. Hug it out.

23. Don't quit. Sometimes all it takes is just another try. 

24. If you do quit, don't be too hard on yourself. Sometimes, things have a way of working out.

25. Be kind. 

26.  Learn to accept your mistakes. We're human and I don't believe we're supposed to be perfect. 

27.  Everything happens for a reason. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Good Crane Weekend and a Crane making workshop!



A few weeks ago I got a twitter message from @acraneday about participating in a community project. I met Ria and Divya who handle the account and found out about this amazing project that they're working on! 
On the weekend of the 21st of June several restaurants and cafes in the city will hand out paper cranes to customers. Each crane will have a small deed on it. You get a crane, do the deed, try and capture it and post it on twitter, instagram or facebook. The girls will choose 5 of the most creative pictures and the winners get a sweet hamper from Le15. Easy right?

The deeds are simple and range from 'open the door for someone' to 'say hello to your watchman today'. The idea of this project is just to make you aware of the people around you, take a moment out of your busy life and do something for the greater good.

We liked the idea of this project so much that the entire Le15 Kitchen team helped making these origami cranes. It took me a while to get it right but I think I'm addicted to making cranes now. The team loved making them too and every minute that our hands were not in chocolate, we were making cranes.
Ria and Divya have volunteered to show you how it's done! So come by Le15 Bandra tomorrow from 4pm and 7pm. You can meet these lovely ladies, learn about their project and help us make some cranes. If you need more motivation - here are some benefits of Origami. See you there :) 

What- Origami Crane Making Workshop
When - Friday, 7th June. 

Where- Le15 Bandra
Time - 4pm to 7pm










Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Brother's Birthday and a Nutella Cake.



A day before my brother Vaarun's birthday, I got a text from him saying, ''Dude, can you make me a Nutella cake''. This is obviously in addition to the cakes we had already baked for him at Le15 - a mixed fruit cake, a salted carmel chocolate cake and a macaron cake.
I wanted to make something completely different from what he's had before (he's my guinea pig, so he's had EVERYTHING on the menu, before it went on the menu). So I started looking for Nutella Cake recipes online and this Nigella recipe caught my attention. The technique was a bit different from what I usually bake. The recipe used egg yolks and whites separately, which I rarely do. I decided to give it a go. Here is the recipe, slightly modified by me. The cake is for his party tonight, and I hope he likes it!


Note: The recipe has no flour and is perfect for people with gluten allergies.

Vaarun's Birthday Cake
Ingredients
3 eggs (separated)
65g butter (I used amul)
200g Nutella
1 teaspoon water
50 g hazelnut powder (grind hazelnuts in a food processor)
50g dark chocolate (I used 53% Callebaut)


Method
-Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk softened butter and nutella together till smooth.
- Add the water and eggyolks to the above. Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave and allow it to cool. Once cool, add to the mixture.
- Whisk the eggwhites with a slight pinch of salt till it forms soft peaks.
- Gently fold the eggwhites to the chocolate batter.
- Pour in a 7 inch cake tin and bake at 180 degrees for 20-25 minutes or till the cake starts to leave the sides.

Once the cake cooled, I covered it with a dark chocolate ganache and tossed some roasted hazelnuts on it. You could even use Nutella on top of the cake (but I felt it would get too heavy).











Sunday, May 19, 2013

7 Things to Try in Paris


If you follow me on instagram you'll know that I managed to escape my kitchen and finally take a short vacation. Planning holidays is my biggest motivation to work hard and when it came to this holiday I knew it had to be Paris. I ached to smell spring in the air and hear the crackling of a warm baguette. It was time to pack my bags and go to a place I like to call home. 

I planned a ten day break and managed to get my closest friends to visit at the same time. 8 people from 8 different countries led to an amazing mix of food (and wine). I also got to try some new restaurants and bakeries, this is a list of my favourite things from my vacation. Other Paris lists can be found here






1. Lemon meringue pie at Le Loir dans la Théière 
(3, Rue des Rosiers, 75004 )


The mother of all meringue pies! 

2. Seafood Ramen at Higuma
( 32 bis Rue Sainte-Anne, 75001)


Reasonably priced and SO flavorful 

3. Scallops baked in white wine, butter, garlic and herbs at Huîtres et Saumons de Passy
(17 rue de l'annonciation, 75016)

I finished an entire baguette soaking that buttery sauce. Drool. 

4. Vanilla and nougat eclair at L'eclair de genie
(14 Rue Pavée 75004)
Beautiful textures and oh so pretty.

5. Nutella Madeleine at Brioche Doree
(http://www.briochedoree.com/)

You had me at Nutella. 


6. Brunch at Twinkie Breakfasts
(167, rue Saint Denis, 75002) 

Norwegian Brunch


7. Chicken Burger and Cheesecake at Blend Hamburgers
(44 Rue d'Argout 75002)





One of the best cheesecakes I've had.