Sunday, 11 November 2012

Interview: Talita Setyady

A while ago while browsing the internet I came across this blog Talita's kitchen . I have been a follower and supporter of her blog since. Talita herself is a lovely, friendly person :)

Talita Setyady writes about her cooking adventures, her recipes and the stories behind them on her blog.  Her recipes are very creative and visually beautiful.   I wanted to know more about how she works and her future plans. She kindly agreed to an interview.
A little bit about Talita....
Talita graduated with a BMus in Jazz Performance from the University of Auckland. She plays the double bass for girl trio Teacups. After graduating she went on to explore another one of her passions which is food. 

She travelled from New Zealand to Paris to study Cuisine and patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu. In June 2012 she graduated with the "Grand Diplome" ranking first in Patisserie.

Just a couple of her creations....
The cherry and lime cake by Talita Setyady

Red plum tart with hazelnut frangipane
.I'm sure you'll agree that she is one very talented woman.  I'm sure that Talita with her creativity, hard work and dedication will be successful with her career.


1) I love the way you mix food and style e.g. referencing Tom Ford
lipstick and drawing inspiration from a candle.  It's a niche that is
pretty and  unique plus your creations are visually beautiful.  How do
you think of such ideas and recipes, are they generally spontaneous or
I am constantly thinking about cakes! Whatever field you choose to
pursue, I think it is important not just to consume what is presented
to you, but learn to be creative and really think about how you can
improve it. I spend a lot of time reading recipe books, going to
pastry shops and scouring food blogs. I find inspiration everywhere,
but I never want to just reproduce what has already been done before.
When I see a cake I like the look and taste of, I always try to
identify the aspects of it that works and what doesn't. This way, I
find I have a collection of ideas from which I can draw inspiration
from whenever I am designing my own cakes.

When I studied music, I would always have a voice recorder handy to
record sudden inspired moments when I am playing my double bass or
piano. I do the same now when I get ideas from tasting a cake or
passing a pastry shop's window. But instead of using a voice recorder,
I use my cellphone's notepad to type in ideas. I guess I still see
myself first and foremost as an artist/creative being than a chef. I
am definitely not the kind of cook that can survive 15 hours in the
kitchen just going through the motions. I need to be out and about,
reading, tasting, asking and creating.

2) If I recall correctly most of your recipes are sweet. Does this
mean you are more of a sweet toothed person than a savoury one?
I am in love with all kinds of food! I just find that I am able to
express my ideas better through designing my own cakes and pastries. I
am not like some of my pastry friends who can survive from eating just
desserts for all their meals!

3) I like  many readers I am sure love the way you provide photos for
a lot of the steps in your recipes.  Do  you take the photos yourself?
Yes I take the pictures myself. I use a Canon EOS 600D DSLR camera and
a Canon EF 35mm f/2 wide angle lens. I always use natural lighting as
I do not own any lighting equipments. I am by no means a proper
photographer, but I have a lot of fun taking pictures of my food!

4) Are video tutorials something you may look into?
I currently have a macaron instructional video in the pipelines. I
will definitely look into doing more, as I am a visual learner myself.

5) Where do you see yourself in say five years time?
I am nearing the end of my stay in Paris. I am moving to New York City
in 2013 to learn restaurant management, bread baking and cake design.
After that, I will be moving again to Bali - Indonesia where I will be
working at opening my own restaurant/tea room at my family's hotel in
2014. However, I hope to continue to travel and be inspired by what is
eaten and enjoyed around the world. I definitely plan on releasing my
own cookbook when the restaurant/tea room is up and running.

Thanks for the interview Talita and best wishes! I look forward to hearing about your next adventures & your cookbook. I hope we can meet one day!

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