There is a new adress for bakery in Kashmir and that is “Le Delice” at Boulevard on Dal Lake. Let us take you through a detailed interview with “Saqib Mir” the mind behind the French bakery. Saqib was busy designing an engagement cake at Lalit Hotel Srinagar in his workshop when I took this interview..
What would be new for spring and summer menu at the bakery?
“Saqib”, says there would be lot of experiments that he would be doing by the fresh fruits available and grown in the valley. Right now it’s the season of strawberries so we are trying to make strawberry verrine and caramel verrine. Once cherries come in the valley we will start making cherry verrine and cherry clafoutis that are like tarts. Coming very soon would be strawberry tarts too, that’s my favourite too, says “Saqib”. He also says that his idea is to use as many local products as possible, except few. Here at “Le Delice” Bakery we do not use any artificial flavour except for vanilla, because it’s too expensive. We use natural flavours and for that we use fresh fruits. We do not even use any colours in cakes, but when there is need of it I trust more of French natural colours and we get them from France.
Do the people of Kashmir understand and appreciate your product?
When I started the bakery I wasn’t sure if I would get so many orders on daily basis, but slowly we have made a good name in market and we have a loyal clientele says, “Saqib”. Saqib has spent last thirteen years practising baking and it’s his profession and passion and he makes his living by this art of baking. The loyal clientele that “Le Delice” has is because of the taste, freshness, quality, texture and a little of everything. “Saqib” says, above all there is a lot of love that I believe make our products beautiful. Talking about the price range, the cakes and other products are quite affordable. We keep very less margins because the ingredients we use are very expensive so if we will keep high margins the product won’t be affordable.
Whose idea was to open a “French Bakery” in Srinagar, Kashmir?
It was my idea to open up a French bakery in Kashmir, but my wife supported me in each and every possible way, says, “Saqib”. The whole journey started when I did my diploma in patisserie from France. After completing two and half year of diploma in France I worked in France for a while. In 2014 we came to Kashmir and we started our “Le Delice” baking workshop. Because of the devastation caused by floods we moved back to France. We then came to Kashmir again in 2015 and we started off with our bakery shop “Le Delice” in July 2015. “Saqib” says, he has trained some people in learning this art of baking, who further work in the workshop and create the products that he often does quality check on, but not all unfortunately, because of the lack of time, hence whenever there is a complaint from the customer he makes sure he rectifies it and corrects it. Telling about the specialty products from “Le Delice” bakery’s “saqib’s” favourite that one must also try is strawberry tart, in cakes its charlotte cake and opera cake that the will be introducing soon.
What made you come back from France and settle down in Kashmir, your homeland?
“Saqib” says, it’s a place where I was born and where I grew up. I always wanted my children to experience Kashmir. I wanted them to grow up here. One always want to come back to the place they were born in.