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Posted On: 22 May 2018 10:00 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 10:30 am

St. Regis Doha's newly-appointed Executive Pastry Chef talks about his sweet creations!

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Mama Baba Ghanoush (MBG) recently spoke with The St. Regis Doha Hotel's newly appointed Executive Pastry Chef Pablo Rodriguez Cordero (CPRC) about the secret to whipping up great desserts at home plus the launch of a new and exciting bespoke service at Sarab Lounge offering five-star custom made and hand-crafted cakes.

Let's see how their 'sweet encounter' went...

MBG: How did you become a pastry chef?

CPRC: I went to a culinary school in my home town in Seville, Spain. There, I met a French pastry chef and he really inspired me! I learnt so much from him that I changed my course of study. Thanks to him, I am now a pastry chef!

MBG: Describe your role as Executive Pastry Chef at The St. Regis

CPRC: I oversee the pastry creations in all the restaurant outlets. I work throughout the day at Astor Grill, Opal by Gordon Ramsay, and The Oyster Bar to ensure that all pastries, cakes and breads are served to the highest standard. My job keeps me very busy and I am thrilled to be in Qatar!

MBG: What expertise do you hope to bring to the St. Regis?

CPRC: I hope to continue and maintain the high level of quality and service the hotel provides. I love to innovate recipes and I’m currently working on the new bespoke cake service at Sarab Lounge. We are designing a new range of bespoke cakes that will offer a mix of bakery, bread and cookies with a focus on hand-made croissants and pastries.

MBG: You’re originally from Spain. How do you think Spain has influenced your cooking style and methods?

CPRC: My whole style is influenced by my home country! There is a huge selection of good quality products and fruit in the Mediterranean. I love to work with seasonal produce. The key to a great pastry is the freshness of ingredients.

MBG: What do you think are the most important factors on creating stunning pastries and desserts?

CPRC: Flavor! Personally, it doesn’t matter how beautiful a cake or dessert looks if the flavor is 'just okay.' I’d rather have a standard looking cake with great quality ingredients than one that looks pretty without flavor. Nowadays, there is a lot of focus on the appearance of cakes. Everyone seems to be using a sponge base with butter-cream icing and glaze. It doesn’t matter how many layers or how much icing a cake has—if there's no flavor to it then it’s no good!

MBG: You believe that cakes should reflect a client’s personality. Why?

CPRC: I think pastry chefs need to use ingredients that reflect something unique or special about the client. For example, a specific place or heritage should provide inspiration for a recipe. If you see an Italian chef using Amalfi lemons or a Spanish chef using Valencian oranges it shows attention to detail. I love to personalize cakes to a client’s personality incorporating their preferred tastes.

MBG: Describe the ‘bespoke’ service at the St. Regis. What can people expect?

CPRC: I know people expect top service. Customers can expect the best bespoke experience where our team will prepare a special cake using their personal guidelines. We try to involve the client in the process as much as possible to ensure the best results!

MBG: What do you think of Middle-Eastern pastry making?

CPRC: I love Middle Eastern pastries! I love baklava! They are assembled with so much detail. Nuts feature heavily in Middle Eastern desserts and I especially love a Tunisian style baklava which uses almond marzipan.

MBG: Can you share one of your favorite personal tips for baking at home?

CPRC: Follow the recipe! Baking is a science and if you alter one ingredient by a few grams it can change the final product. Be careful about modifying a recipe.

MBG: What do you like to cook at home? Desserts?

CPRC: I never cook sweet things at home! After eating all day in the kitchen at work, I come home to eat light meals with lots of salad and seafood.

About St. Regis Doha:

Contact number/s: (+974) 4446 000, 3387 0925
Email: [email protected]

Do you love eating baking cakes as much as Chef Pablo Rodriguez Cordero? Or you just like eating sweets? Drop us a line in the comment section below and also, don't forget to like and share this article—it keeps us going!

(Words by Kim Wyatt)