There are people who dare to be extraordinary, dare to overcome difficulties to fulfill their Dreams.I have come across few such people who are doing different in life, they dare to take chances.Bringing such inspirational stories to you on my blog.My first story will be about Akanksha Arora who loves to see pet parents happy.She dares to Dream differently.
Last month I was in Mumbai for two days to take a Food Photography workshop. And I met Akanksa in the class.She is gorgeous, a spirited baker. I am so glad that she agreed to share few lines with all of you here about her journey as a pet baker.She dares to Dream .
Over to Akanksha ..
I met Sai at the food photography workshop she hosted in Mumbai. The workshop was an amazing learning experience for me, as I understood a huge deal about food photography and how to work a DSLR. Any doubts that I had Sai cleared them with patience. Sai is a warm and approachable person she made the class fun and interesting. Her work shows what a creative person she is …
Akanksha, how you started Barker’s Dozen and who motivated you?
I have had pets at home for as long as I can remember. My family has always encouraged me to be loving and kind to animals. After the demise of my first pet ‘Panther’, I started reading about reasons for early deaths in pets. To my surprise, I found the reason was food and the diet given to them. After consulting vets around I found people are not really aware of what is safe to give to their pets.
People think that if it is ok for a human to eat, it will be ok for the pet to eat it as well. At the Culinary Institute of America, we were briefly told about different products and how they affect the human body and what effect these products may have on pets. While working at Bouchon, I learned how to make a type of pet treats which I made during my break back home in Mumbai for my pet child Tiger. When I saw that he loved it which means I had passed the most important test.
While working at Bouchon, I learned how to make a type of pet treats which I made during my break back home in Mumbai for my pet child Tiger. When I saw that he loved it which means I had passed the most important test, I slowly replaced his evening snack with these treats. I used these treats to get him to do things like go for a walk (Tiger was 10 and did not get up much) and follow some basic commands.
I created a few other recipes keeping in mind the dietary needs of pets.After which they were given for testing and approved by vets. By this time I had introduced the treats to the other pets of my family; we used the treats to train them. This idea of gourmet treats and cakes started catching on and I realized this is the perfect work for me – Professionally trained baker who loves animals to no end – What else could I do except start a Pet bakery!
The best experience you had in this journey?
Every day is a great experience because I get to see my clients happy when they see and eat the goodies that have been sent for them. Also, when I see pet parents happy that they have given their children a nutritious diet, it’s the best feeling in the world!
What are the things you need to take care while baking a cake for a dog?
PET DIETS ARE VERY DIFFERENT FROM HUMAN DIETS! I cannot even count the times that pet parents have asked me to make the cakes sweet or put chocolate into their cakes. I know they mean the best for their child, but it is also important to know what your pets can and cannot consume.
What’s your future plan?
-My dream is to expand Barker’s Dozen to other cities in India, to give pets everywhere a chance to try delicious, preservative-free treats.I am very passionate about animals and hence this is more than just a business to me. We are a small-business for now although we are growing.I dream to be able to cater to every pet in India.
Also, there are some charities for animals which we currently support and would like to continue to do so with profits from Barker’s Dozen.
Your favorite baking stuff that you do at home for your family.
Being a pastry chef helps create a variety of dishes but my absolute favorite dessert to make for my family is still the same what I have been making for them since years that is a hot and decadent batch of walnut fudge. And also, a rich baked New York cheese cake which I improvise every now and then to make it sugar-free so the diabetics in the house can also enjoy it.
Your favorite Chef !
I have quite a few!
Chef Peter Greweling because of all that I was able to learn from him. He is a veritable ocean of knowledge. A true chocolate master!
Chef Francisco Migoya because of his creativity in taking old recipes and adding a contemporary twist to them.
And lastly Chef Vikas Khanna – he is soo cute! Oh and he is an excellent and a humble chef as well!!
Share some regular baking tips with my readers
- Salt is a game changer- a pinch of salt in your dessert can bring out the hidden flavors. Try putting a pinch of salt in your hot chocolate the next time you have it.
- We under estimate the temperature of egg and butter required. Room temperature always helps unless stated otherwise.
Good quality ingredients and bake ware is the ultimate mantra to getting the yummiest and best-looking products. Do not compromise on the quality of these, as they will determine the outcome of your hard-work.
Hope you enjoy reading this lovely share.I promise to bring another such inspirational story to you guys soon. Stay tuned.
Love Life & Inspire others…