Welcome to the sweet side of life!

By Juannette


Some days at the office do outshine others, and today would be no different. As I stand in the pristine kitchen of Chef Marco Gaspar with my notepad in hand and the smell of fresh brownies filling the air, I am momentarily reminded that occasionally, ordinary workdays suddenly become extraordinary.


It is with great excitement that I would like to introduce you to the latest member of our team Chef Marco Gaspar. It has been a long time coming but we finally have our pastry and dessert kitchen up and running and with a superb chef to man the fort or shall I say ovens.


Chef Marco has wowed the culinary world with his creations at leading hotels such as the Palazzo hotel, The Saxon Hotel, and The MGM Macau. As much as his amazing skills and impressive resume speak for themselves, I would like to introduce you to Chef Marco in a Q&A session that will hopefully give all our clients a better idea of who this baking aficionado is.


Marco thank you for taking the time to chat to me, I have a few questions for you.


Q: Tell us about where it all began and how you decided to get involved in pasty?

A: My whole family is involved in food in some way, I have worked with my parents as well as my gran & brother in some capacity in the food industry. The culinary world was just a natural progression for me, and besides, I genuinely enjoy it. I got the opportunity to do my in-service apprenticeship at the Saxon Hotel, and during that time I won a bursary to attend the HTA College in Randburg. I did a bit of everything in my studies but enjoyed desserts and pastries the most.



Q: Tell us about your accolades and awards?

A: As I mentioned I did my in-service apprenticeship at the Saxon Hotel and won a bursary to attend the HTA College (The HTA School of Culinary Art, is an Internationally Accredited Chef School). I worked abroad for 4 years at the MGM Grand Macau hotel in China. I also won a bronze medal in the Mini Salam Culinaire.


Q: What is your favourite dessert flavour combo?

A: Dark chocolate and passionfruit, yup it has got to be dark chocolate and passionfruit.


Q: What is one food trend you never understood or liked?

A: tsunami cake – I just do not understand what all the fuss is about.


For those of you who like myself have no idea what this is, allow me to explain. A Tsunami cake or sometimes called a "pull-me-up cake" as well, is a cake covered in an acetate cake collar with most of the frosting resting on top of the cake until you pull the collar off the cake and the icing runs over the cake covering it like a tsunami.


Q: If you could meet one celeb chef who would it be?

A: It would probably be Thomas Keller or Antonio Bachour


Q: What are your hopes for 2021?

A: I hope we can achieve some sort of normality this year, for things to return to normal.



Q: What is one kitchen hack that completely changed your life?

A: Do not try to cheat or take a shortcut. I have learned that when it comes to pastry there are no shortcuts, it will only catch up to you at a later stage.


Q: What is the dessert item you love to create the most?

A: Cookies, everyone loves a great cookie.


Q: Is there anything about desserts and pastries you do not enjoy and why?

A: The clean-up, especially butter or chocolate, well actually anything sticky. And there are always lots of sticky things to clean.


Q: If you were not a chef what career would you have pursued?

A: A racing car driver, not the easiest of professions but I would have enjoyed that. (FYI he is dead serious)



Chef Marco thank you for allowing us to have a look behind the curtain, from myself and the rest of the Saffron team a very warm welcome, we are so excited to welcome you to our team, and we cannot wait to see what amazing treats you come up with. Here is to the sweet side of life.


As for our amazing clients, get your hands on some of Chef Marco’s amazing bakes by sending your orders to enquiries@saffronkitchen.co.za


Yours truly

Juannette & The Saffron Team


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