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Learn the ropes of being a pastry chef

19.09.2018

Just a few hours are enough to master the art of making eclairs, macaroons and local hits Napoleons cake (similar to the French millefeuille), Cielaviņa cake (egg biscuit with nuts and chocolate), honey cake and zefīrs (along the lines of marshmallows). A team of talented pastry chefs lead the classes at the tasteful, contemporary and well-equipped Gastronomy Institute next to Ziedoņdārzs Park in central Riga.

The cooking classes are a popular choice for celebrations and teambuilding. Three to four hours fly by as the pastry chefs keep every participant busy with weighing and measuring ingredients, learning and practicing kitchen techniques, and decorating the finished product.

Inese Rugāja heads up the institute and shares her story: “The idea to develop an activity that would reward you with new skills and a great experience came about three years ago.

At that time, there were few places in Riga where you could do something like that. Nowadays, when people spend most of our time in front of a computer and stuck in a routine, we’re constantly seeking ways to escape and rejuvenate. Our classes are available at different times of day so you can choose the perfect time. Creating something with your own hands is a major trend these days as it’s so rewarding to see the fruit of your own labour. Another reason that inspired us to open the Gastronomy Institute is the globalisation of the food industry. You need a chemistry book to decipher the ingredients of a shop-bought cake! However, if you make your cake at home, you can choose exactly what goes in it.”

Upon arrival at the institute, each participant receives an apron and a name tag to make it easier for the pastry chef to give instructions. The process is refined down to every detail to make sure there are no misunderstandings, and everyone succeeds in making their own cake to eat on the spot or take home. Everyone also receives their own personal recipe sheet to encourage making use of their new skills at home.

The institute caters towards different diets. Energy ball and avocado cake workshops are ideally suited for vegans.

Classes must be booked in advance and can be held in Latvian, English or Russian. The maximum amount of participants in each group is 15.