In an exemplary display of culinary skills, Delhi-based pastry chef Mohit Dudeja (21) bested participants from 28 countries including South Korea, China, Switzerland, Canada, Japan and the UK, to be adjudged silver medallist (patisserie and confectionery), ending India’s dry run since 2007 at the three-day WorldSkills 2017 competition, staged in Abu Dhabi last October.
This biannual competition (aka World Championships of Vocational Skills) — organised by the WorldSkills Foundation, Madrid (Spain) — attracts youth from industry, government and education institutions of its 78 member countries to celebrate skilled trade professionals. In the latest 2017 competition, over 1,300 participants from 59 countries competed in 51 different skill sectors.
An alumnus of Bangalore’s Lavonne Academy of Pastry Arts, and the only child of businessman J.P. Dudeja and homemaker Neelam, Mohit attributes his recent achievement to his mentor at the Oberoi Hotel, Mumbai where he interned, and chef Vinesh Johny. “Although the Union ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship invites applications from interested candidates, I was exempted by virtue of my mentor chef Vikas Bagul’s strong recommendation which bagged me a wild card entry into the competition. I owe him a deep debt of gratitude,” he says.
In March 2016, Mohit started his 18-month training at Lavonne Academy under the tutelage of co-founder chef Vinesh Johny. In between, he travelled first to Busan (South Korea), where he mastered the art of sugar sculptures, and later to London to compete in the EuroSkills competition on invitations from the governments of South Korea and the UK respectively.
Also an avid marathoner, Mohit is presently focused on becoming a confectionery entrepreneur. “With modest investment support from my father, I plan to open my own patisserie in the national capital next year. I’m sure I have the skills to make it big,” he enthuses.
Wind in your sails!
Autar Nehru (Delhi)