Kait Gandhi, founder and pastry chef of La Maison De Kait, takes the dessert world by storm with her innovative variations of classic desserts
Tell us about your business and what you do?
I am the pastry chef and founder of a brand called La Maison De Kait in the UAE. We specialize in gourmet vegan pastries and desserts. Our mission is to challenge everyone’s taste buds and change the way people view veganism.
What is veganism?
Veganism means avoiding consuming any ingredient derived from animals such as dairy products, eggs, meat, fish, etc. The vegan market in the UAE has grown significantly in recent years as more and more people choose this lifestyle for environmental, ethical reasons. reasons or allergy reasons. Veganism will play a big role in the sustainable future of the world and I am proud to support this revolution. Vegan life is not a compromise; it should be of excellent quality, gourmet taste and of a better choice.
What are your most popular products?
My favorite is the Victoria Sponge Cake. We use only the best quality ingredients, no shortcuts, no preservatives, and each piece is handmade and hand-wrapped. I firmly believe you get what you put on, so we use the best of course.
Tell us about your professional background
My first introduction to the food industry started with an initial curiosity about how to make buttercream. I joined a cake decorating course almost ten years ago for this reason alone, and my endless fascination grew from there. Once I joined the world of cake decorating, I quickly won first prize in the famous Cake Boss Middle East competition, hosted by celebrity chef Buddy Valastro. And this victory encouraged me to take my ambitions to the next level through culinary school. I love to push the boundaries of food and explore new avenues. My obsession with veganism first started with vegan macaroons, then spread to cakes, brownies, cheesecakes, and here we are now, one of the UAE’s leading vegan dessert brands.
Have you always aspired to become a professional baker?
No, I just liked to eat cake. Prior to my culinary life I worked in financial services as a chartered accountant and corporate tax consultant in the UK. I know that the two professions are different from the world, but the mathematical basis and the obsession with precise calculations have certainly played a central role in the kitchen and with my recipe innovations.
What has been the most difficult part of your career?
Several years ago I had a back injury which led to paralysis. I was also pregnant at the time and couldn’t take any medication so it was high risk. It was probably the hardest thing to get over, as it took a lot of mental and physical energy to regain my strength and movement. But as any chef knows, life in the kitchen is very taxing, both physically and mentally and requires excellent form, which can sometimes be a challenge on really long days.
What motivates you?
I’m a bit of a people-pleaser type, so nothing motivates me more than customer feedback. I often get messages from strangers telling me that they enjoyed my products and that I made a difference in their life, and that means the world to me. Of course, I welcome reviews as well, without them we will never be able to achieve perfection, so they are just as, if not more valuable, than positive feedback.
What do you do when you are not working?
I’m a “work hard, play hard” type. When I’m not working I like to eat, party or sit on the beach at sunset with my family, and I also have a soft spot for Netflix in between!
Any advice for aspiring chefs and entrepreneurs?
These days there is a lot of competition in business. The barriers to entry for small businesses are certainly getting higher. But my best advice is to focus on making your own product the best it can be. People can’t deny the quality, and it will be your ladder over the great barrier. In a world of mass production and standardization, people will always be looking for “something special”. Aim to be that something special.