Stavroula Tsakla

Pastry making is magic. Cooking and confectionery arts are not suitable for everybody as I believe it has to come from within you.

Stavroula, tell us a little bit about yourself and the profession you chose to follow.
Born and raised in Athens (with six of these years in Kalamata) however my origin is from Alexandroupolis and Agrinio and roots from Asia Minor.
I decided to become a pastry chef because I think that is the only profession that would suit me. Pastry making is magic. Cooking and confectionery arts are not suitable for everybody as I believe it has to come from within you.

But let me start from the beginning. I studied Baking and Confectionery in O.A.E.D. Galatsiou and during that period worked in a shop in Kallithea as well as helping a friend in his business.

I worked two years in a shop in Kallithea. And occasionally helping out with a very good friend in his shop

I have been in this profession for about 2.5 years fairly new to this with a lot more to learn. And believe me, I want to learn.

Your dedication and love for your work makes you a superior pastry chef. In order to be successful, one must devote many hours of studying as well as hands on practice, and let’s not forget it is an ever changing industry because of the introduction of new techniques, machinery and ingredients...

Stavroula considering your young age, I see that you search the background and history of your recipes. So talk to me about our Greek traditional pastries and your opinion in that.
Greek traditional pastries? Many sweets have their roots in Ancient Greece ... example, preserves, Pasteli, even cheesecake and donuts have Ancient Greek roots.
Having said all that, the dessert which best represents Greece is yogurt with walnuts and honey. Nothing more traditional than that.
Of course good ingredients play a vital role for delicious results.

Stavroula do you have a favorite dessert?
Of course I have a favorite dessert... a woman’s best friend is chocolate and since being a woman I love chocolate. Chocolate soufflé in the winter and chocolate mousse in the summer. Both are easy and quick to prepare.

Can you share with me one of your highlights in your career?
Oh yes, when a client came to congratulate me in person for an order I had prepared for him the previous day. It made my day and all the tiredness I had felt was immediately forgotten.

What is your favorite dessert?
I think PROFITEROL is the dessert where I would put my signature. Of course I'm still novice and this may change in the future

And a chef whom you admire?
The chef who I admire is my teacher and mentor Chef Nicos Yourzis.
I have made it my personal goal to better myself every day and eventually to have the opportunity to work abroad beside well known pastry chefs and pick up knowledge and secrets of the trade.

Thank you for your time and for your recipes Stavroula, I wish you the best of luck.

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