Christmas goodies from Petit Appétit

Saturday, 21 December 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Cheranka Mendis Just 19 going on 20, Tatyana Perera was a lover of numbers until her hidden talent, passed on from mother to daughter, blossomed a few years back. Having opened her own ‘Petit Appétit’ catering, excelling in bite-sized food, Tatyana is all ready for the season, with the delicious aroma of heavenly Christmas cake drifting through her house as she runs around preparing dishes that are mouthwatering at sight. Her menu offers a range of delectable goodies including Petit Savories (chicken, seafood, vegetable) , vol-au-vent, spicy pies, mini savory baskets, quiche, sausage rolls, bouches, spring rolls, spicy éclair, party starters, BBQ spare ribs and baby chicken drumlets; as well as Petit Sweets – meringue, profiterole (with custard filling of choice), pavlova (tropical topping, berry topping), éclair, cream bun, pastel rainbow meringue, Brazo de Gitano, almond tarts, chocolate cherry tarts (with a drizzle of nuts), cheesecake and a range of specialty cakes made upon request. For the season, her hands are busy mixing the special Christmas rich cake or Christmas cookie dough, when she isn’t icing the seasonal Yule logs.       Q: Tell us a bit about yourself? A: I’m 19 and I turn the big 2O next month! I was a student at St. Bridget’s Convent. I left school a year into my A/levels and joined the Prima Baking School where I obtained a Diploma in Pastry and Baking. I also have a Diploma in Cake Decorating as well. Currently I’m a student at the Colombo Academy of Hospitality Management at SLIIT. After graduating from the Prima Baking school I joined Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo as a Trainee Chef   in the pastry and chocolate section where I worked for over one and a half years.       Q: What made you start Petit Appétit? A: To be honest Petit Appétit is something that was in the pipeline for some time but never had the opportunity, or the time, to kick start. I used to cook and bake goodies for family and close friends’ functions but that’s where it stood for the longest time. It wasn’t until a few months ago when my family and I came up with the idea of ‘bite-sized food,’ which invariably became the name of my project ‘Petit Appétit’ (small appetite). We wanted to offer our clients an alternative to the same old boring short-eats and desserts. After a few weeks of trials we put up our Facebook page and things have picked up from there.       Q: Was cooking/baking always part of your plan? A: The kitchen and I were far apart. I was more of a numbers person and all I wanted to be was a banker since I was a kid. But then around 2010 right after my O/Ls, my sister’s wedding was being planned and since our mum did most of the planning and running about, I just so happened to tag along. Seeing how things were coming together, and especially the hotel planning, it made me fall head over heels in love with the idea of working in hotel and food industry. I convinced my folks to enrol me in Prima and that’s where it all began.       Q: Do you look up to anyone as an inspiration? A: Yes I do; my family, without whom this would just be a distant dream. Ammi is my fairy godmother of cooking and she is my idol. She is a brilliant cook, ‘brilliant’ being an understatement. She’s not your traditional ‘follow the recipe’ kind of cook. She will add a bit of this and a pinch of that and poof you got a magic potion. She is a treat to watch in the kitchen. This is probably why our family and friends find our kitchen the most interesting place to hang out in our house when she’s in there. As for the business and creative side of it, my dad, sister and brother-in-law are the masterminds behind the whole Petit Appétit concept. They are also my master food tasters (one of the many positive perks they indulge in I think).       Q: When did you start and what are your most popular dishes? A: We started off in October this year and as of now our best sellers are the spare ribs, savoury short eats, pavlova and almond tarts.         Q: If anyone wants to place an order, how do they contact you and how many days ahead should they call you? They can call on 0770150018, email [email protected], or get in touch via Facebook Minimum 48 hours prior notice is required.