As we sat down for the preview of the Yauatcha X Papa Don’t Preach tasting, our very first question to Karyna Bajaj, Executive Director, KA Hospitality, and Shubhika Sharma of PDP was, “How did you think of both collaborate? After all, their respective design aesthetics are poles apart. While the former loves her simple, minimalist desserts, the latter loves her clothes with pops of color and OTT elements. So when the desserts arrived at our table , our jaws dropped and I won’t lie, I could see everyone in the room go wild. Their two signature styles merged beautifully. The result? Festive limited edition baskets with lovely desserts.
“The idea was to marry luxury food and fashion in a decadent ceremony staged for your taste buds. We wanted the result to be a well-rounded treat where, like any good partnership, each part brings out the best in the The concept was to maintain the classic clean and luscious look of Yauatcha’s desserts with a touch of Papa Don’t Preach. The desserts are inspired by our upcoming wedding collection and promise vibrant flavors, innovative techniques and celestial designs. with a wide collection of chocolates, cupcakes and macaroons,” Shubhika shares.
After indulging in sweet and sour lemon pies, sinful macaroons, and chocolates that burst in your mouth with salted caramel, Karyna and Shubhika continued to share more about the idea behind this celebratory collaboration.
Karyna and Shubhika reunite for the new launch
“At Yauatcha, we always strive to create something new and exciting for each festive season. We had previously partnered with Manish Malhotra to create limited edition Haute cupcakes and macaroons. This year we wanted to broaden our creative horizons and organize something larger than life, pop and vibrant. And for that to happen, we thought Papa Don’t Preach would be the perfect fit. Their intricate details, innovative prints and dreamy hues give us a vast canvas to whip up unique desserts for the holiday season,” shares Karyna.
“Although we are in different industries, Karyna and I have a related friendship and an innovation base for our respective brands. This collaboration is the result of these objectives. In our two productions, food or fashion, we aim to grow through experimentation, innovation and the fusion of opposing elements,” adds Shubhika.
Iconic PDP Elements on Yauatcha Desserts
“The brand’s aesthetic is all about pops of bright color, shimmering gold, and those nostalgic shapes and symbols we grew up scribbling in our margins. The team incorporated flowers, stars, and hearts on a delicious base of pink, pista and yellow pastries. Macarons and chocolates, in particular, are delicately covered in gold foil, very much in line with our golden embellishments. There is also their signature dessert rose-shaped with a hint of PDP rose,” says Shubhika.
Work in progress
All in all, the journey in terms of idea, concept and end result was smooth as they were both on the same page. “We have exploited our synergies creatively. The pop colors of Papa Don’t Preach are reflected as vibrant, bold flavors in the desserts. We experimented with flavors such as Lychee and Lime, Salted Caramel and Apple aiming to redefine indulgence. Papa Don’t Preach reflects their usual explosion of color, reflective sequins, 3D embellishments and gold-plated metal pieces,” says Karyna.
But when it came to translating that aesthetic into desserts, the Yauatcha team was put to the test. Needless to say, they came out glorious. “Drawing inspiration from all of the above elements and color tones, Chef Romain Cornu, Global and Corporate Pastry Chef – Hakkasan Group, and the team have created a range of expertly balanced, gold-adorned confections with Indian and French aesthetics,” she adds.
Shubhika also faced some challenges along the way, as the two brands have distinct moods and aesthetics: “I remember sitting down with the brilliant chef and Karyna, and asking them if we could make a bright pink pastry; all I remember is the shock on their faces! Naturally, desserts are meant to be more neutral in appearance, so the hot pink idea was unappetizing. Merging two very unique concepts could lead to chaos, but we overcame that in imaginative ways. The result was a balanced menu of pastries, macaroons and artisanal chocolates,” the designer shares.
If you have a big sweet tooth, I recommend trying all the desserts on the menu. But to make it easier for you, here are some of the most memorable. Start with the Rose and Raspberry Cupcakes, which are shaped like a rose and have sugar crystals in the shape of dewdrops. At first you’ll have a hard time getting into it (because it’s so pretty!), but when you finally find the will to do so, you’ll be wowed by those fabulous layers inside and blown away when you bite into them.
I’m not a fan of lemon pies but Yauatcha’s lemon meringue pie was an exception. And, of course, you can’t miss the hazelnut chocolate praline, which is heart-shaped and comes in PDP’s stunning signature shade of blue. The passion fruit truffle and salted caramel chocolate are great choices in the chocolate section, while the chocolate and ginger and raspberry ganache are my favorite macaroons on the menu.
Karyna on Fashion Meeting Food
“I think we’re increasingly becoming a world of lesser borders, which is an extremely exciting time to be in. There’s so much opportunity for collaborative ideas between these two creative worlds and we’ve seen it successfully with fashion brands entering luxury dining spaces such as Armani Caffe, Prada Marchesi, Gucci Osteria, etc. Ultimately, as long as the brand ethos matches and there is synergy in the collective vision, we can really create magic for our customers,” she concludes.