New Delhi: The secret to a successful business, especially one that deals with food, is mastering the craft. Liter Basar definitely has that part covered. From her days delighting the indigenes of Delhi with home-baked cakes to owning a successful dessert store – LIBA Café and Patisserie – in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, Basar has definitely shown unrivaled quality. Don’t take our word for it; you only need to ask the thousands of people who have tasted her magic and you’ll see why hers is a special brand.
Basar was brought up in Arunachal Pradesh with five other siblings. She got her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Delhi University and subsequently in 2016, earned her Diploma in Patisserie at the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. Not many bakers in Arunachal Pradesh can boast of this achievement.
Speaking on the beginning of her career, Basar says she didn’t always know how to bake. “Initially, I never could really bake. I just tried it out like everyone else. However, I watched a movie titled Sabrina. That movie inspired me to go to France and attend the exact same school that Sabrina did in the movie and learn baking from the best,” she explains.
Like most people, Basar notes her earliest kitchen experience was cooking for her parents, especially her father, who she casually says is a foodie. Basar says that her biggest motivation for delving into entrepreneurship is the drive buried deep in her heart to make something of herself and also make a significant difference in the world. In addition, she says being an entrepreneur comes with several benefits.
“I really was attracted to the very flexible working hours and the fact that I get to be the boss of myself. Additionally, I have the freedom to try several new recipes, I can travel when I want, meet new people and learn something new every day. All this wouldn’t have been possible with a 9 am- 5 pm job,” she says.
Role models are significant to people’s growth and path in life. People often look at role models as sources of inspiration in their chosen field. Speaking on her role model, Basar says; “I never really had a role model growing up in Arunachal Pradesh. But in Paris, the chefs who taught me were always striving for perfection and excellence through dedication and hard work.
That always has and will continue to inspire me,” she posits cheerfully. Basar says her favorite dessert ingredient to use is the Danish butter and Belgian chocolate. She also reveals that her favourite dessert is the classic French dessert; Madeleines.
“Its soft and buttery nature just endears me to it,” she says. In her kitchen, Basar feels butter is often underused. Considering its many uses and advantages, butter should be properly used and more often, according to her.
For creatives, constant inspiration is important. In the case of a high quality baker like Basar, inspiration is important in creating new recipes and revamping old ones. “Food is my major form of inspiration. Also, the freshness and quality of ingredients inspires me. When people close to my heart are around me, their presence also is a major form of inspiration,” Basar says.
“With all these forms of inspiration around me, I am most proud of creating my gluten-free recipe, which my customers receive warmly,” Basar says. Baking is an art. Its complexities may often prove difficult for people in the art. Basar notes important things bakers should know about the craft are their ingredients. “Bakers should also know their recipe and finally, bakers should know the passion that pushes them to succeed every day,” she says with so much passion in her eyes.
When asked about her current projects and activities, Basar highlights activities like; creating new recipes and the compilation of those recipes into a book. For her future projects, Basar says expanding LIBA Café and Patisserie into something bigger than it is currently with several other interests is at the top of the list.
For an entrepreneur as passionate as Basar about her business, there is no escaping work. Basar notes that a typical day for her would be to arrive at her kitchen early that day, discussing that day’s menu and desserts to be made with other chefs, as well as deciding on that day’s special and getting to work on it. She explains: “There’s no specific time I actually get off work, there have been times where I’ve slept in my kitchen after working for 20 hours”.
When catering to the needs of people, important health details like allergies should be considered paramount. Elucidating on how she manages to keep her kitchen gluten-free, she says; “Regarding baking gluten-free in my kitchen, the key is to keep the oven and the entire kitchen sanitized. Also, being very careful and precise is also important, you also have to utilize the several utensils for gluten-free baking.”
Basar understands the need for entrepreneurs to stay current with the current trends in their line of business. She says that pastry and the very concept of food is constantly evolving. Now, the pastry world is becoming more and more simplified, going back to the basics. This is why she keeps herself up to date with the nitty gritty of the food world.
All through her journey in the world of baking and desserts, there have been several noteworthy anecdotes, which Basar reveals she penned down in her yet to be released book.
Ever since the inception of LIBA Café and Patisserie, most of the successes can be attributed to the warm reception Basar and her recipes have gotten from the people of Itanagar. She reveals that her two best selling treats in Itanagar are the Madeleines and the fresh seasonal Fruit Cake.
From the streets of Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh, Basar’s journey has taken her across the world and back. Her recipes are widely talked about across Itanagar. Her perfect balance between baking and entrepreneurship has been pivotal to her steady growth in business. Perhaps, we may call her the Martha Stewart of Itanagar.
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