Callebaut India Finds Its Patissier of the Year 2024 In Mumbai’s Vedangi Gawde

It was the third edition of the flagship event hosted by Belgian chocolate maker Callebaut and was organised for the first time since 2019.

Published On Jun 04, 2024 | Updated On Jun 06, 2024


It is a fine moment for Vedangi Gawde, the chef de partie at Sivako, a fairly well known pâtissier in Mumbai. The 24-year-old has recently been announced winner at the Callebaut Patissier of the Year 2024, which is no mean feat but what is truly astonishing that in this year’s theme, which was ‘Craft Your Signature’, Gawde was the only female contestant in the finale lineup. The 2024-edition is also a bit special, which is also the third event for Callebaut, as it comes after a hiatus of five years due to Covid and lockdown- related challenges. 

Vedangi's creation for CPY'24

Dhruva Jyoti Sanyal, managing director of Barry Callebaut Cocoa & Chocolate Ingredients India, said, “Callebaut is a preferred brand for chefs all over the world, and we are focused on enabling chefs to craft at their best. With Callebaut Pâtissier of the Year, we take a step further to provide a platform for our talented pastry chefs in India to showcase their craft to the larger community nationally and globally. This year’s theme, ‘Craft Your Signature,’ gave chefs the opportunity to showcase their authentic selves through their creations, and we’ve seen a great display of skill, talent, and passion over the course of the competition - from qualifiers to the finale! It's a moment of pride to see Indian pastry chefs craft at their best with Callebaut Chocolates." The flagship event’s regional qualifying rounds were conducted across key Indian cities in February — in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru. 

Vedangi Gawde, Callebaut Patissier of the Year 2024

In a quick interview with Zee Zest, Gawde tells us about her foray into the world of cakes and creams, among other things. 

“Growing up, my mother used to bake for us, and I think it was those moments in the kitchen with her that sparked my love for baking,” she starts, “But my first choice for a career was that of a chartered accountant! But it didn’t work out as planned and I found myself returning to the baking world.” 

It’s after she finished her internship that Gawde joined chef Eureka Araujo, the creative director of the Mumbai-based pâtissier, Sivako. “Baking had become more than just a hobby; it was a passion rekindled from my childhood, filling my life with creativity and satisfaction. I have been at Sivako for two years and it has been nothing less than a learning experience for me, filled with growth, thanks to chef Eureka’s inspiring leadership,” she says. 

The Callebaut Patissier of the Year competition happens to be Gawde’s first. “I was terrified at the beginning. But then I decided to give it my all and not let anything hold me back. Most importantly, it wouldn't have been possible without chef Eureka's unwavering support and motivation. Her belief in me made all the difference. She was my constant source of motivation throughout the competition. She helped me with the design and implementation of my ideas, always pushing me to do my best.” The competition, Gawde adds, made her a more confident person, going beyond “learning new techniques in pastry”. 

“As an introvert, opening up to others was always a challenge, but this experience helped me break out of my shell. I found that as I mastered new skills in the kitchen, I also gained the courage to connect more with those around me, sharing my passion and building meaningful relationships,” she says.

(L-R) Jury chef Arvind Prasad, chef Minette Smith, Vedangi Gawde, jury Romin Renard, jury chef Pratik Deshmukh

There was quite a bit to do at the competition. Gawde had to make chocolate bonbons, share fresh pastry, a snack on-the-go, and then there was the mystery box challenge and a chocolate display. “Crafting my signature in the pastry competition wasn't just about baking; it was about showcasing my artistry. Sticking to the theme, I infused my creations with new techniques, unique flavours, and a reflection of who I am. I believe it was this personal touch that ultimately led to my victory,” she says. 

In the heat of competition, maintaining consistency and managing time are often a participant’s toughest challenges, and for Gawde it was no different. “The pressure was intense, but staying true to my vision while keeping pace with the clock pushed me to my limits. Chocolate is my creative fuel—it ignites a surge of energy and satisfaction. It inspires me to explore, play, and experiment with new flavours and techniques and be creative at the same time,” she further says. 

Addressing all aspiring chefs, Gawde said the trick is to keep innovating. “Keep cooking up new creations that reflect who you are. Embrace change, learn new techniques, and never lose sight of your passion. Remember, persistence is key.” 

(L-R) Jury chef Minette Smith, jury chef Arvind Prasad, first runner-up Yash Chhabria, jury Romin Renard, jury chef Pratik Deshmukh.
(L-R) Second runners-up chefs Nilesh Dewulkar and Sandeep Sharma.


Yash's creation for CPY'24
Sandeep's creation for CPY'24

The final of the flagship event was organised on May 24-25 at Taj Lands End Bandra in Mumbai. Chef Pratik Deshmukh, the Head of Chocolate Academy Mumbai, acted as the head of jury for the event, a panel that also consisted of prominent culinary artists such as chef Minette Smith, Callebaut Global Creative Lead, chef Romain Renard, Regional Head Chocolate Academies Centers - MENA, and chef Arvind Prasad, Indian ambassador for Callebaut Chocolates and founder and executive pastry chef at Whitecaps International School of Pastry.  

Nilesh's creation for CPY'24

Photo: Callebaut