Pavani is an avid baker, and calls herself a couture sugar artist! She specializes in sugar flowers and couture fondant cakes, at which she just basically rocks. She is self-taught and has had no professional training, and here's exactly what makes her tick! Read on.

Who or what inspired you to become a baker?

My mother. She was an amazing baker, cook and artist. I started baking when I was 7. She left me a diary with 200 handwritten recipes when she passed away - that’s when I picked it up and started trying everything out and that sparked my interest in baking again. I unfortunately don’t bake so much anymore. I outsource my plain cakes from Orange Peel, owned by my cousin Rasleen Kochhar so I can concentrate on the designing bit, which is what I actually love doing.

What are some of your specialities and/or favourite creations?

I love making sugar flowers and tall wedding cakes. For me, the softer the colour palette, the more elegant the cake. Colours are so, so important to me. They make or break your final product! I love hand painting on cakes. I’ve been a painter literally all my life so I love combining my two interests. 

In your opinion, what is the hardest thing about being a baker?

The hardest part would probably be pricing one's work, and then explaining to people who try and haggle that what I’m doing isn’t something a machine can churn out in 10 minutes. My work is extremely detailed and time consuming! It’s easy to pick up a cake from a bakery within a moderate budget, but a couture cake requires hours of labour and precision. 

According to you, how is your bakery different from others and do you feel others are becoming increasingly commercial?

My work is different because of my sugar work. I have practiced and practiced to make sure I’m good at what I do. Details and precision are of the utmost importance to me. And considering that I'm a couture cake artist, I specialize in only those kinds of cakes. There will be lots of flowers and motifs and filigree and damask and delicate colours. I don’t really do theme cakes as such.

Yes others are becoming increasingly commercial, which isn’t always a good thing. I wouldn’t want to open up an outlet (at least not yet) or start doing 15 cakes a day, because then I won't be able to deliver the quality I'm achieving now.  

What is your favourite hangout in Delhi/any favourite bakeries?

When I’m at a loss for where to go, I go to Le Bistro du Parc in Moolchand. I love their Sangria and their oh so delicious food. The staff is super friendly, and I literally feel like I’m walking into my own house when I go there. As for bakeries, I absolutely love the macarons at L’Opera and the Corn Cake in Claridge's!

What according to you, makes Delhi, ‘So Delhi’?

Well, I may be wrong, but I have suddenly seen a very positive shift in people’s attitudes when it comes to art, food and culture. With the introduction of so many fantastic restaurants and galleries, people are taking an interest in those aspects, writing reviews and collecting art. It’s very refreshing! 

A hidden gem of the city everyone must know about?

At the risk of giving up my favourite table ( I go here at least once or twice a week) - Le Bistro du Parc. It’s definitely my favourite place to go to in Delhi!

A piece of advice for upcoming bakers - what do you think are the most important skills to possess?

Patience, precision, practice. Anyone can make a cake that tastes good. But it takes a steady hand and a passionate mind to make a cake that looks good too!
Firefly currently delivers all over Defence Colony, and would require 2 - 3 weeks' prior notice for your masterpiece to be crafted!

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Thanks for the awesome pearls of wisdom you've shared with us Pavani - hope you keep baking us more and more goodies!