Chocolate is undoubtedly one of the most commonly used ingredients in desserts. And it's not surprising, considering that everyone and anyone loves chocolate. Whether its a hot cup of chocolate, a cold chocolate popsicle, a warm slice of chocolate cake; there is guaranteed deliciousness in anything made out of chocolate.
Our featured story is about Dania Baik, a Saudi female chocolatier. Dania is a pastry chef and chocolatier who works as a consultant chef. She comes from the city of Makkah and is currently based in Jeddah.
Much like Charlie in the chocolate factory, Dania was mesmerized by the world of chocolate.
We asked her how she got to be a pastry chef and a chocolatier among everything.
“My love and passion for chocolate made me become a chocolatier and I enjoy being a chef”.
She received her culinary training from ICCA Dubai. After which she gained experience in the pastry kitchen. Dania trained under the tutelage of chef Ronny Keyrouz, a pastry chef from Lebanon. “I was lucky and grateful to have chef Ronny mentoring me” she says.
Dania had an interesting journey as she established her career as a female chocolatier.
“Being a female chef in Saudi in the beginning, no one expected much from me but their attitude changed by time. It involved fun and hard work all the way”.
Dania worked at Le Concheur for a long time where she gained experience and expertise to sharpen her skills. Le Concheur is a cafe and chocolate store that has its own chocolate studio. It is a popular spot among many chocolate lovers.
She says “Le concheur was an excellent place for me to learn and become a better chef”. While at Le Concheur, Dania was the head chef for bakery, pastry, chocolate and making gelato.
Her position helped her gain immense knowledge about her craft.
With many years of experience of working as a pastry chef under her belt, she is now working on starting her own business. She plans to start her establishment as a pastry shop at the beginning and then develop it into a place that makes chocolates and other products.
Dania advises young aspirants looking to make a career in the world of chocolate, desserts and pastry.
“For anyone who wants to become a chef. Just enjoy it. It's a hard job that needs strength and passion. And always keep in mind that there is always something new to learn”.