Paula Artigas – Pastry Chef at Paula Pastelería Fina
Paula Artigas is pastry chef in her own restaurant. We really wanted to know more about it. Read the exciting article.
Today you work as Pastry Chef at your own Paula Pastelería Fina. How did you culinary career started?
I began my studies in Pastry at the Le Cordon Bleu school in Peru in 2013, graduating in 2015. I live in an urban community in which I began to sell my desserts. People liked them very much, and soon I was selling them through a chain of mini-markets, which allowed me a whole new clientele. Last summer I was in 6 different beach communities in the south and this summer we are in 12 beach communities, as well as 7 stores in Lima.
Where does your fascination for the pastry comes from?
In reality, my passion for pastry started as a child. At 5 years old, I was making desserts for the Sundays in my home. My mother is a wonderful cook and I always accompanied her in the kitchen. In spite of the fact she cooks main dishes, I like pastry much better.
You visited and you are holding a degree of the Le Cordon Bleu, Peru. What made this famous culinary institution so special from your point view?
The Le Cordon Bleu, apart from having all the methodology of the famous institution, has the backing and support of Peruvian cooking, which has now become very well established throughout the world. In the list of deserts and pastries, you will find many of them have their origins in Convents, which date back 300 years. In Le Cordon Bleu there are courses of Peruvian desserts and pastry that you will not find in any other Cordon Bleu in the world.
The Peruvian kitchen became so famous all over the world. What is your explanation for it?
Peruvian cooking is a mix of worldly tastes and flavours. In the main dishes you will find Cantonese influence (which is in itself a mix of various regions of China) as well as the cooking of Peruvian slaves. This mix and great variety of native materials has produced an unequalled kitchen.
What about the Peruvian pastry; how would you describe it best?
Peruvian pastry was born with the Spanish colonization. Prior to the Spanish colonization, the Peruvians consumed a large variety of fruits. With the arrival of the Spaniards and the production of sugar, came the Convents in which the nuns began to produce the pastries but adapting them to local materials, which became our traditional pastry.
With “Paula Pastelería Fina” your opened you own business. What do you offer?
What I wish is to offer to those who purchase my desserts is a happiness of the heart. They are totally “home-made”, made with a lot of dedication and love. They are not “window dressing” pastries, but rather those desserts of very good quality such as we use with our families in our homes.
What are the new developments/ trends at Peruvians pastry scene?
The tendency today throughout the world is to create pastry that is better looking and more appealing, but in the end what is important is the taste and flavour.
How would you describe your culinary line today?
My line of desserts are totally traditional, nothing modern. It is the dessert that you put in your mouth and makes you remember home, that of your grandmother’s or mother’s.
Can you share with us one of your special pastry creation?
My desserts are all traditional. The difference is the quality of filling that I put in them. My most recognizable dessert is the “pionono”, filled with a sugary cream called “Manjar Blanco”, and which is cooked ourselves. The recipe is one that my mother made at home, but with much more sugary cream filling than she put in hers.
And also you very last creation?
I combine two ingredients in order to create the “Bombita de mana”. It is made of sugary paste, and called Mana. This was first created in the original old closed Monastary “ Nuestra Senora de la Encarnacion”. It is a paste made of egg yolks and sugar, cooked for an hour and half. I then fill it with my sugary cream “Manjar Blanco”.
What are some of the less known spices you us for you pastry creations?
In reality, I use traditional items such as vanilla, sugar, milk, nothing sophisticated.
What would you do if you would have to worry about your income for one year?
Travel to the sweetest corners of the world. Testing and tasting new flavours and cultures, and learning the traditional pastry of each place I visit.
Any place in the world you would like to work as pastry chef one day in the future?
I would love to work with Jordi Roca.
Thank you very much Paula.
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