As we sat down for the preview of the Yauatcha X Papa Don’t Preach tasting, our very first question to Karyna Bajaj, Executive Director, KA Hospitality, and Shubhika Sharma of PDP was, “How did the two of you even think of collaborating?” After all, their respective design aesthetics are poles apart. While the former likes her desserts simple and minimal, the latter loves her clothing with pops of colour and OTT elements. So when the desserts made their way to our table, our jaws dropped and I won’t lie, I could see everyone get excited in the room. Both their signature styles amalgamated beautifully. The result? A limited edition festive hampers featuring pretty desserts.
“The idea was to marry luxury food and fashion in a decadently curated ceremony for your taste buds. We wanted the outcome to be a well-balanced treat where, like any good partnership, each side brings out the best in the other. The concept was to maintain the clean and scrumptious classic look of Yauatcha’s desserts with a pop of Papa Don’t Preach. The desserts are inspired by our upcoming bridal collection and promise vibrant flavours, innovative techniques, and celestial motifs with a wide collection of chocolates, petit gateaux, and macarons,” Shubhika shares.
After we indulged in sweet and sour lemon tarts, sinful macarons and chocolates that burst in your mouth with salted caramel, Karyna and Shubhika continued to share more on the idea behind this festive collab.
Karyna & Shubhika On Coming Together For The New Launch
“At Yauatcha, we always strive to create something new and exciting for each festive season. We had partnered with Manish Malhotra previously to create limited edition Haute petit gateaux and macarons. This year, we wanted to widen our creative horizons and curate something larger than life, pop, and vibrant. And to make this happen, we thought Papa Don’t Preach would be an ideal fit. Their fine details, innovative prints, and dreamy hues give us a vast canvas to whip up unique desserts for the festive season,” Karyna shares.
“While we’re in different industries, Karyna and I have a kindred friendship and a foundation of innovation for our respective brands. We each have unique visions for our company but it’s fostered through shared values and goals. This collaboration is the fruit of those goals. In both our productions, food or fashion, we aim to grow through experimentation, innovation and fusion of opposing elements,” Shubhika adds.
Signature PDP Elements on Yauatcha Desserts
“The brand aesthetic is all about bright pops of colour, shimmering gold, and those nostalgia-inducing shapes and symbols that we’ve grown up doodling in our margins. The team incorporated flowers, stars, and hearts on a delicious base of pink, pista and yellow pastries. The macaroons and chocolates, in particular, are delicately topped with gold foil–very much in theme with our gold embellishments. There’s also their iconic rose-shaped dessert with a twist of PDP pink,” Shubhika says.
Work In Progress
Overall, the journey in terms of the idea, concept and final outcome was a smooth sailing process as they both were on the same page. “We worked through our synergies in creative ways. The pop colours of Papa Don’t Preach are reflected as vibrant, bold flavours in the desserts. We have experimented with flavours such as lychee and lime, salted caramel, and apple aiming to give a new definition to indulgence. Papa Don’t Preach reflects their usual burst of colours, reflective sequins, 3D embellishments, and gold-plated metal pieces,” Karyna says.
But when it came to translating this aesthetic into the desserts, the Yauatcha team was put to the test. Needless to say, they emerged glorious. “Taking inspiration from all of the above elements and colour tones, Chef Romain Cornu, Global, and Corporate pastry chef – Hakkasan Group along with the team crafted a range of confectioneries that are embellished with gold and are artfully balanced with Indian and French aesthetics,” she adds.
Shubhika also faced a few bumps along the journey of execution as both brands have distinctive moods and aesthetics, “I remember sitting with the brilliant chef and Karyna, and asking them if we could make a hot pink pastry; all I remember is the shock on their face! Naturally, desserts are meant to be more neutral in appearance, so the idea of hot pink was not appetising. The fusion of two very unique concepts could result in chaos but we overcame that in imaginative ways. The result was a balanced menu of pastries, macaroons and handcrafted chocolates,” the designer shares.
If you have a big sweet tooth, I would recommend tasting all the desserts on the menu. But to make it easier for you, here are some of the most memorable ones. Begin with the Rose and Raspberry Petit Gateaux, which is shaped just like a rose and had sugar crystals as dew drops. Initially, you’ll find it tough to break into it (‘cause it’s so pretty!), but when you finally find the will to do it, you’ll be impressed with those fabulous layers inside and blown away when you bite into it.
I’m not a fan of lemon tarts but Yauatcha’s Lemon Meringue Tart was an exception. And, of course, you cannot miss out on the Chocolate Hazelnut Praline, which is shaped like a heart and comes in a stunning shade of PDP’s signature blue. The passionfruit truffle and salted caramel chocolate are great picks from the chocolate section, whereas the Chocolate And Ginger, and Raspberry Ganache are my favourites from the macarons on the menu.
Karyna On Fashion Meeting Food
“I think we are increasingly becoming a world of lesser boundaries, which is an extremely exciting time to live in. There is so much scope for collaborative ideas between these two creative worlds and we have seen it done successfully with fashion brands entering the luxury dining space such as Armani Caffe, Prada Marchesi, Gucci Osteria, and more. At the end of the day, as long as the brand ethos matches and there is synergy in the collective vision, we can truly create magic for our customers,” she concludes.