Issue 37 / From Mumbai, Le15 Patisserie's Pastry Chef Pooja Dhingra Shares Her Sweet Secrets Of Success

From Mumbai, Le15 Patisserie’s Pastry Chef Pooja Dhingra Shares Her Sweet Secrets Of Success

Feb 20, 2016

We chat with Mumbai-based pastry chef extraordinaire Pooja Dhingra on dreaming up a pretty sweet success story.

Pooja Dhingra graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris years ago with the dream of bringing sweet Parisian treats to her native India. After years of hard work, assembling the perfect team and creating pastries that are like little pieces of heaven, Dhingra opened the doors to her now India-wide famed pastry shop, Le15 Patisserie. Now with four pastry boutiques across Mumbai, we catch up with her to get a peek into her life and the magic behind her shops.

Pastry Chef and Le15 Patisserie genuis Pooja Dhingra.
Photo credit: Le15 Patisserie

Geeta Wahab: What first inspired you to start baking?
Pooja Dhingra: My earliest baking memory is of making brownies with my aunt when I was six years old. I was really fascinated by the process of mixing simple ingredients like eggs, butter, sugar, maida flour and creating something so easy and delicious.
GW: What do you enjoy most about baking?
PD: I love baking. Coming to my kitchen every morning and seeing the happy faces in my kitchen makes me happy! I love the smell of freshly baked cupcakes and I'm banned from eating Nutella. My kitchen staff hides it from me every time I enter.

Delicious cupcakes.
Photo credit: Le15 Patisserie

GW: What inspires your treats?
PD: Travel inspires me a lot. When I went to New York a few years back and I instantly became a fan of their cheesecake, which inspired me to introduce a ‘Cheesecake Week’ in all my Le15 outlets with a raspberry cheesecake macaron and a red velvet cheesecake brownie amongst the other desserts.
The other such destination inspiration was Tokyo! I’ve been dreaming of this city for years and it surpassed every expectation I had. The food, people, culture were all so amazing. Walking under cherry blossom trees was just unreal. The Japanese are so precise and so creative with their desserts that I was left speechless after seeing and eating some of their creations. Attention to detail at another level.

Tasty selection of fresh macaroons.
Photo credit: Joy Manavath Photograph

GW: What is one piece of advice you would give a young baker?
PD: Be calm and have patience. Baking is an art which requires a lot of patience. Many times in the kitchen, your cake will overbake or your cream will curdle, but you have to learn to be patient and accept failure. I'm sure this will take you a long way in the future.
GW: What kept you motivated throughout the process?
PD: Le15 Patisserie took off in 2010. It has been a long journey, one of the most satisfying ones so far, and there’s a lot to look forward to in the future. At the time, there were not any stand-alone pastry shops in India, except maybe with the exception of one or two. I wanted to bring that culture to India, and set up Le15, which had been my dream. I was in love with macaroons and had never tasted one in India and made it my mission to make and serve them.
My idea was always to use the techniques I learnt in France but stick to a palate of flavours that will be liked and accepted in India. Having lived in both countries I guess I learnt what works where. My Le15 team and the hard work put in behind each and every one of them in making Le15 what it is today inspires me and keeps me motivated.

Le15 Patisserie 
Photo credit: Le15 Patisserie


GW: What is the next step for you?
PD: I have recently opened a café in Colaba along with a friend from culinary school and also have two books coming up, one on healthy desserts and the other is a small book on entrepreneurship.
For more information on the sweets, the shops or classes, please visit

If you can't wait for the lastest book, check out her previous piece, The Big Book of Treats.

Main Image Photo Credit: Pooja Dhingra 

Geeta Wahab


Cultivating a life she loves, Geeta (@geets.suites) is chasing all her passions, including her love for home décor. As a brand new home owner, her current journey has launched her further into that world - check out her Instagram @geets.suites for tidbits of her story and other decorating pieces. A...


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